Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Each of the NHL’s final four teams is battling a burden, fighting a perception, attempting to overcome bad karma that to some extent can add to the otherwise significant pressure.
t’s one more reason that when the Sabres, Senators, Ducks or Red Wings gather on the ice with the Stanley Cup and pose for the celebratory picture, they will have passed the most testing playoff process in sports.
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
While Anaheim Ducks defenders Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer vie for their second Norris Trophies, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is seeking his fifth. The trophy honors the former owner of the Red Wings.
Pronger, the 2000 Norris Trophy winner, and Niedermayer, the winner in 2004, could become only the second pair of teammates to run 1-2 in Norris balloting by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Lidstrom edged teammate Chris Chelios, a three-time winner, in 2002.
What can be said about Lidstrom that hasn’t been said before?
via Elias Sports Bureau,
This is Chris Drury’s sixth year in the NHL playoffs and he’s reached the Conference Finals each time: 1999 through 2002 with Colorado, and the last two years with Buffalo. Drury has 18 points (10 goals, 8 assists) in 33 career games in the Conference Finals, and five of the 10 goals he’s scored in this round have been game-winners (two in overtime).
The Senators’ Dany Heatley led all players with 10 points (three goals, seven assists in five games) in the second round of this year’s playoffs. Rounding out the top five were Jason Spezza (3-5-8), Martin Straka (2-5-7), Pavel Datsyuk (2-4-6) and Daniel Briere (1-5-6).
I touch on a few subjects today at my NHL.com blog.
The talk in changing the OT format gets addressed too.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
“What do you think about making the nets bigger?” he asked me.
“I don’t think any idea should be off the table,” I said.
“All I know is, if they replaced the current nets with the bigger ones (the league) tested a couple years ago, I’d bet you most fans in the stands wouldn’t be able to tell the difference,” he said. “But with that extra bit of room to shoot at, it would make a big difference to shooters.”
“And if that didn’t result in more scoring?” I said.
“Then I’d shrink the goaltending equipment even more than they already have,” he said.
more NHL bits…
via Canadian Christianity,
Doan also recently made headlines over allegations that he had made a derogatory comment to a French-Canadian referee. According to the Toronto Star, NHL officials came to Doan’s defense, saying he had been cleared of any wrongdoing well over a year ago. One positive thing that was stressed in some of the media coverage was that fact that Doan is a committed Christian. In a recent issue of Faith & Friends, before the controversy erupted, Jayne Thurber-Smith profiled Doan.
SHANE DOAN is stickhandling his way through the National Hockey League (NHL) with grace, faith and a firm belief in family.
An interesting conversation going on now on WXYT in Detroit regarding a column Helene Elliott did for the LA Times yesterday and re-printed in the Detroit News today.
I caught bits and pieces of the talk, and then turned it off when one of the so-called jocks said this about Helene, “What does an Anaheim beat writer know about the Wings?”
Click, turned the station, maybe if they would have realized Helene Elliot is part of the Hockey Hall of Fame, I would have continued to listen.
from the Windsor Star,
“We have simple structure on our team and we believe structure allows the skill to come out if we compete and we put a large emphasis on how hard we compete and how quick we get to battles and how hard we want to play on the puck,” Babcock said.
In their first home game after that early western trip, the Wings beat the Sharks 2-1 by playing the simple game Babcock had been preaching.
Detroit won nine games in a row and the Wings’ rededication to buying into what Babcock was selling was cemented.
“We’re playing the system and playing it well,” Wings captain Nick Lidstrom said.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from the Detroit News,
Bettors packed Casino Windsor’s 8-month-old sports betting venue earlier this week, watching big-screen TVs, eating, drinking a few toddies and generally going crazy, as one waitress described the evening at The Legends Sports Lounge.
While the clientele was typical for a Detroit Red Wing playoff hockey night in Legends, Monday night was special—the high-flying Red Wings clinched the second round of the playoffs in search of a Stanley Cup championship.
That translates into continued big crowds and big bucks for Legends.
Don’t forget about the latest KK Challenge.
You have a chance to win a $100 gift certificate but your submission must be in by 7pm ET today.
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