Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre McGuire at Sports Illustrated,
Canucks (3) vs. Stars (6)
Look for low-scoring, tight-checking games that could be decided by special teams. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo has a huge edge over Dallas netminder Marty Turco. The Stars need offense from veteran forwards Mike Modano and Mike Ribeiro and steady forechecking from Brenden Morrow, but if Dallas doesn’t shut down the Sedin twins and win one-goal games, the Canucks will take the series.
The Pick: Canucks in seven
read on for all Western and Eastern Conference picks…
Also, I try to choose out some key picks from different sources and have had numerous emails suggesting picks from bloggers, websites and MSM sites.
Feel free to add links to those sites in the comments of this post.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In June, the NHL’s Western Conference will likely let us know who will be sipping from the Stanley Cup. With all due respect to the talented Sabres, the playoff-tested Devils and the upstart Penguins, this season, the West is in a league of its own. No East Coast bias here.
Here are five reasons why you should believe me:
Before you spill your coffee on the keyboard, Martin Brodeur was not traded to the Western Conference. But check out these numbers. Aside from Brodeur, the East’s other starting goalies with playoff experience—Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist and Ray Emery—have a combined losing record in the postseason.
added 12:56pm, E.J. Hradek at ESPN tells us why the East will win….
Looks like the quote from Bryan Murray has opened the memory bank at ESPN…
” ... You fat pig. Have another doughnut!”
—Then Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld to referee Don Koharski after Game 3 of the 1988 Wales Conference finals. Schoenfeld took exception to Koharski’s game-calling and waited for him in the hallway after the game was over. Schoenfeld allegedly shoved the referee and blurted out the quote.
“All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
more playoff quotes…
via the Buffalo News,
After all, the Sabres’ meaningless loss to the Philadelphia Flyers’ Sunday afternoon averaged a 16.4 rating and 36 share on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. To put that in perspective, the Easter Sunday game had higher local ratings than every network series in prime time Sunday night and almost every program all week.
ABC’s declining “Desperate Housewives,” which may have suffered because it was competing with the final season premiere of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” was in second place Sunday with 14.5 rating on Channel 7. “Without a Trace,” the popular CBS series was third, with a 12.5.
The Sabres’ rating was almost as high as the 16.9 rating for last Tuesday’s edition of “American Idol” on WUTV. “Idol” may be losing audience now because it is so obvious that anything but a Melinda Doolittle victory would be a travesty.
from the Blueland Blog,
Despite all the talk of this being the Thrashers first playoff appearance it turns out that the Thrashers, as individuals, have oodles of experience in the post-season. The second-most in the Eastern Conference and fifth most among all playoff teams. Scott Mellanby has been there. Bobby Holik has been there. Slava Kozlov has been there. Greg de Vries. Keith Tkachuk. Alexei Zhitnik, Niclas Havelid and Jon Sim. They’ve all gone deep, and there are six Cup rings and 15 Finals appearances on this roster to show for it. Combined our roster has 275 games more of NHL post-season experience of the supposedly veteran Rangers.
I told you before that people would call us out as being inexperienced, and I told you they’d be wrong. Now you have the numbers right in front of you to show you just how wrong they are.
more & a nice chart with playoff games played for each team…
from the CP via TSN,
As the Senators prepared to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the Eastern Conference post-season beginning Wednesday, Murray’s first order of business was to address the “choking dog” brush - his words - that he’s sick of seeing his team painted with.
“I think it’s bullshit,” Murray snorted following the team’s practice.
While it’s the 10th straight season the Senators have qualified for the playoffs, they’ve advanced beyond the second round just once in their history.
from S.L. Price at Sports Illustrated,
What makes a winner? Considering that this is sport’s central question, the one agonized over by coaches, general managers, owners, parents and fans, considering how winners such as Yogi Berra and Michael Jordan are still revered, it’s remarkable that even those who wear the label find the question difficult to answer. After an initial stab at familiar terms—luck, confidence, hard work—there comes the flutter of ums, a pause and then surrender: “I can’t explain it,” Sakic says of Drury. “I can’t explain what he does.”
Or in the words of Scotty Bowman, who won the Stanley Cup nine times as a head coach and, with the Red Wings, fell victim to Drury’s overtime game-winner in Game 2 of the ‘02 Western Conference finals, “It’s hard to describe. We had one in Detroit with [Steve] Yzerman; they’re not big guys. You look at them game in, game out—and you still don’t know how they can do it.”
read on... long and if you like Chris Drury, you will be happy…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
If ever a league needed its stars to be its stars, it’s the NHL circa 2007.
I’d prefer the stepping up to be done by Marian Hossa in Atlanta, Marian Gaborik in Minnesota, or Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh. I’d like the starring roles to be filled by players paid a star’s salary, such as Calgary’s Jarome Iginla, Nashville’s Peter Forsberg, or Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom.
It doesn’t even have to be a forward to make me happy. For all I care, it could be any or all of the Isles’ Rick DiPietro, the Canucks’ Roberto Luongo and the Devils’ Martin Brodeur making headlines.
At my NHL.com blog today, I try to prepare you for the next two months.
I am interested in your traditions/habits and would appreciate you leaving a comment about them.
from the Calgary Flames,
And now it is playoff time. We are playing the Detroit Red Wings, my former team.
I would have to say that the leader of that team is the guy nobody mentions, Niklas Lidstrom. He is the calming influence on that team. The emotional leader is Kris Draper.
They have skill in players like Pavel Datsyuk and they have Tomas Holstrom who is tough to play against. You add Todd Bertuzzi to that line, too. I think he is the wild card for them. We all know how well he can play.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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