Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the blog of Scotty Bowman at NBC Sports,
With three of the four playoff games reaching double overtime, it’s obvious how terrific goaltending has been for these teams. It used to be that teams would attack in the first 7-10 minutes of the first overtime to try and end it, but now they’re a little more cautious. I think we have so much more open hockey that once you get to overtime, you don’t get those outnumbered situations. You try to draw a power play instead and that’s when the goalies take over. It happened repeatedly in the Rangers’ Game 3 win over the Sabres.
Game 3 of the Rangers/Sabres series drew a 1.3 rating and a 3 share in the overnight ratings.
Game 2 on Saturday between the Wings and Sharks drew a 1.0/2.
via the LA Times (reg. req.),
While playing the Blackhawks on April 29, 1982, in the second game of the conference finals, Canucks Coach Roger Neilson became convinced referee Bob Myers was biased against his team. After yet another call went against the Canucks, Neilson grabbed a white towel, stuck it on the blade of a spare stick and began waving it in mock surrender behind his team’s bench at Chicago Stadium.
Several Canucks players joined him, making their point very clear. Although Neilson was fined $1,000 by the NHL, the towels were a hit back in Vancouver. A local businessman printed up and sold several thousand towels — with the proceeds going to a charity — and fans snapped them up for the next home game. And the next, and the next.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Marty McSorley, the San Jose Sharks’ color man, who apparently isn’t available to work tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings for what the team describes as personal reasons. As a result of McSorley’s absence, the Sharks brought back Drew Remenda, their former analyst, to work with Randy Hahn, his long-time play-by-play partner, for tonight’s telecast of the third game of the Red Wings-Sharks’ series on FSN Bay Area….
Earlier in the season, McSorley was critical of Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock on a broadcast, citing as his source an unidentified player in the Detroit dressing room. I was actually watching the broadcast on my satellite dish that night and remember thinking, it was a pretty strong statement by Marty - far bolder than the commentary you normally associate with these in-house sorts of broadcasts, where they tend to tread carefully around anything remotely interesting or controversial.
from the Vallejo Times-Herald,
A sheet of paper taped to the locker-room wall in Detroit that listed “Warren’s Playoff Goals.” The shoulder patches with his initials - WAS - sewn on each jersey. Those same initials on lapel buttons worn by coaches and front-office staff.
But it goes beyond that. Nearly three weeks into a playoff run that began with the death of goalie coach Warren Strelow, Evgeni Nabokov makes it clear that Strelow is still very much on his mind.
“You know what? I think about his advice even more than I used to,” Nabokov said. “You used to have the guy by your shoulder all the time and telling you this and now he’s not here. But you’re trying to remember what he would say and what he would think and how he would react.”
from the Vancouver Sun,
In the eyes of Canuck coach Alain Vigneault and his players, they are the not- so- mighty Ducks. And the Canucks figure they can prove it, if only they can get their special teams act together.
The Canucks outplayed Anaheim at even- strength Sunday night, but another subpar performance by their power- play and penalty- kill units allowed the Ducks to skate to a 3- 2 win and a 2- 1 lead in their best- of- seven Western Conference semifinal series.
“I thought five- on- five we were good again, but the difference was obviously special teams,” Vigneault said. “Theirs were better than ours. It was a tight game and we had some chances at the end, but couldn’t get it done.”
from the Leader-Post via the Vancouver Sun,
Only one hockey rivalry is worth $3,900 a pop and that’s Canada/Russia.
But these guys aren’t watching, they’re playing.
Teams of beer-leaguers from Vancouver, Fort McMurray, Alta., and Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., spent almost $4,000 per player to suit up for three games each against senior squads in St. Petersburg and one more in Moscow. And it turns out the trip has actually been priceless.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Both coaches have matchups that are working for them.
The big question going into this series was if the Devils’ shutdown unit of John Madden, Jay Pandolfo and Sergei Brylin could stop the Senators’ top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Senators have won that one going away.
Madden and Pandolfo have been on the ice for all but one of the Senators’ seven goals in this series (that was Dean McAmmond’s short-handed goal in Game 1).
fromm the Hockey News,
• I heard Monday Night Football commentator Tony Kornheiser say the NFL is just more fun when the Chicago Bears are good. I think the same can be said for the Rangers, or any Original Six team for that matter. For some reason, things are just more interesting when a classic club is in the mix.
• The Canadian anthem singer puts me in the mind of Adam Sandler’s “Opera Guy” character from Saturday Night Live. Somebody should get Sandler to do an anthem. Yes, really.
• Ducks win, but we’ll leave you with a one question. A) Is Chris Pronger hurting? He doesn’t look like the dominating, peak-of-his game Chris Pronger on this night. We suspect we’ll see a different Pronger as the series matures.
from the New York Post,
That they were able to square the series on Jamie Langenbrunner’s double-OT breakaway Saturday was their escape, but the Devils will be playing with fire if they can’t slow down the Senators and dictate a more deliberate tempo, starting in Game 3 of this 1-1 second-round series here tonight.
“[High speed] plays more into their hands. We’re able to do it, but at the end of the day, we’re a patient team that sits back and waits for mistakes,” Martin Brodeur said. “We feel we’re able to skate with them, but we have to be in control.
“It’s all about not playing to the level of your opposition. You have to play to the level you’re comfortable with.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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