Kukla's Korner Hockey
friom the CP via Metro News,
The Ottawa Senators send the best line in the playoffs against the NHL’s best trio of defencemen when they face the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup final.
Game 1 goes Monday night in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET). Centre Jason Spezza and wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have been the best line in the playoffs, combining for 23 goals and 58 points in 15 games.
The Ducks counter with Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin at the blue-line, who have each averaged more than 30 minutes of ice time per game in the post-season.
added 7:22pm, from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
The 2007 Stanley Cup finals pairs a juggernaut with few discernible flaws with a could-be juggernaut with a penchant for self-destruction. In other words, the clash between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks has all the makings of a classic. That is, unless the Ducks lose their collective minds, which they have shown the ability to do, and the Senators have their way with them.
At the start of the regular season, there were many who believed Anaheim was capable of arriving at just this point—the Stanley Cup finals. Not so many thought the Ottawa Senators would get here. But how the teams arrived here has dramatically changed the perception of both heading into the finals.
from the Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Since the modern Senators are only 15 years old, however, it’s not quite waxing nostaligic.
It’s more about looking back and marvelling at how the Sens landed their franchise in the first place.
And probably how they didn’t deserve to. I’ll never forget being there on Dec. 6, 1990 at the plush Breaker’s Hotel in West Palm Beach as then NHL president John Ziegler sat at a press conference with Bruce Firestone of Ottawa on one side and Phil Esposito of the successful Tampa bidder on the other, announcing the NHL’s two newest teams.
added 5:00pm, for a look back at the old Senators, turn to Legends of Hockey!
from Stats Blog,
Since the beginning of Anaheim’s 2003 run to the finals, no two teams have more playoff wins than the Ducks and Senators.
Most Wins in Stanley Cup Playoffs, 2003-2007 Playoffs
Ana. . . .36
Ott. . . .31
NJ. . . . 27
TB. . . . 24
SJ. . . . 22
more on the matchup…
from TBM at NBC Sports,
And more importantly, how much longer can the Wings rely on a core of players who are living monuments to the league’s history? Chris Chelios is 45, Dominik Hasek 42, and Nicklas Lidstrom and Schneider are 37. Chelios, Hasek and Schneider are all unrestricted free agents this summer, and you can bet all three will be back next season.
How much longer will the Red Wings keep trotting out these old warhorses? As long as they a) produce and b) work relatively cheap. Hasek and Chelios both make less than $1 million a year, which makes them cap friendly. If the NHL’s salary cap does approach the $50 million mark, look for Detroit to be active in the free agent market, pursuing players like Ryan Smyth and Chris Drury.
That would be just like the good old days for Detroit. And who knows about old times better than the Red Wings?
from the CP via TSN,
Rick Bowness had to live through the lean years. Jacques Martin put up with his teams being called underachievers.
Both former Senators head coaches say they’re happy for their old team reaching a first-ever Stanley Cup final.
“I’m ecstatic for the team and the city and I hope they do well,” Bowness, the team’s first coach, said Wednesday.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s all about people - even in this new My NHL 2. It’s all about players with no quit in them, from the No. l liners to the supporting casts willing to sacrifice to make good things happen even at a time when players, with rare exceptions (they know who they are) are grossly overpaid and over-pampered.
It’s about leaders such as Daniel Alfredsson, whose overtime goal ended the Buffalo Sabres’ season. We have never met formally, but it’s not necessary to know someone to understand what he brings to the ice and how he handles adversity off it.
from the Barrie Examiner,
But really, the Stanley Cup final should begin Saturday night at 7 p.m., because that’s when Canadians most like to watch NHL hockey on television.
It’s a little show called ‘Hockey Night In Canada’, and it’s been around for more than a few years.
Starting the final then would also show Canadian hockey fans some respect, respect that’s been sorely lacking during these playoffs. The most recent
example was playing the last Ottawa-Buffalo game on a Saturday afternoon during the long, Victoria Day weekend.
It was a warm, sunny spring day, and the NHL forced Canadian fans indoors for their playoff hockey fix just to appease NBC, an American TV station that attracts a handful of fans whenever it shows hockey.
...comes from Evan Grossman at NHL.com,
Four town employees were recently fired from their jobs for gossiping and spreading false rumors around their New Hampshire office. It’s unknown if the four plan to take up careers in the rumor-mongering hockey media now that they need new jobs.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Has the time come for the National Hockey League to revert to the 2-3-2 playoff format for the Stanley Cup final?
For the fourth year in a row, the NHL has ended up with a final that is a geographic nightmare, pitting a team (Ottawa) from about as far north and east as it can get, against a team (Anaheim) about as far south and west as it can get.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com