Kukla's Korner Hockey
There was no hope at NBC last night, with game five of The Stanley Cup Finals (Ottawa vs. Anaheim) at a mere 2.1/ 3 in prime time. Comparably, that was 25 percent below the year-ago overnight series average for The Stanley Cup Finals (2.8/ 4 in 2006).
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
As the 2006-07 season comes to a close, here are some of our more memorable moments from this postseason:
Hockeytown? Try Buffalo
The unbridled enthusiasm of Buffalo fans for their team was heartwarming. To see thousands crowding the areas around the HSBC Arena—while the game was going on inside—is the stuff that makes GMs around America drool. As for the place that likes to call itself Hockeytown, Detroit, they should be forced to loan that title to Buffalo after failing to sell out a single home date during the playoffs. Guess that’s what you get for driving up your playoff ticket prices when the local economy is in the tank.
many more memories…
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Something disappeared between the clinching game in the Eastern Conference final and the start of the final round, and no one could find it despite persistent probing by coach Bryan Murray.
Whether Murray will be around to help answer that question is a question. He’s now without a contract, and owner Eugene Melnyk could well be looking for a scapegoat to carry the can. He can’t be happy, not only with his team’s loss in only five games in the final, but also with the way it lost.
Maybe Murray will decide he doesn’t want to be around for another shot. He has to be bitter to see such a promising season unravel in five games.
Yet, there will be more than enough blame to go around. Few will have to worry about not getting a proper share.
Spector has some UFA talk up today and I will be relaxing just a bit.
We have the NHL Awards Show coming up next week, the NHL Draft and the craziness that is the UFA signing period which begins on July 1st.
KK will also be undergoing a major facelift and a few other surprises too.
Kick back a relax a bit today… I will have the results of the KK Stanley Cup Challenge up sometime in the next few days. It will take some work to tabulate the TOI (time-on-ice) and match them up to all the predictions.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Go back to the opening night loss in Anaheim, the night the Ducks served notice that they would play the games on their terms: hard, fast and physical.
The Senators, as it turned out, had no answer for that.
That Game 1 win was only a one-goal decision, 3-2, Ducks, but it served notice to anyone watching that these Ducks wanted it more. They outworked the Senators for everything they got, every goal, every chance, and every shift. They brought their winner’s game that night and they brought it to a higher level every night after that. It was a level of desire and intensity that the Senators could never quite match.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Then Scott handed it to brother Rob.
As the Cup, the first ever won by an NHL West Coast team, was passed from player to player here last night, every touch became a story.
The Niedermayers became the first brothers since Brent and Duane Sutter in 1983 to win it together.
The winner of everything there is to win in hockey, from Olympic gold to world championships, World Juniors, Canada Cups and World Cups, Scott Niedermayer won something he’s never won before - the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP this night.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Jason Spezza’s magic touch defied him at the worst possible time.
In the biggest playoff series of them all. In the most crucial game. In the delicate moments.
“Obviously, I wish I could have done more and been a better player than I was,” Spezza said after Ottawa’s 6-2 dream-ending loss to the Anaheim at the Honda Center last night. “I just couldn’t get it going in the finals.”
from The Maven,
The Senators skated down the left alley, the right alley and center ice. Wherever they skated, they got beaten, first physically and then mentally.
So, here’s a congratulatory QUACK-QUACK for the new champs. From Nieder to Nieder; Carlyle to Burke; they deserve everything they got.
As for those imposters from North of the border, well, they can still go around telling people that they invented hockey.
But I’m beginning to think that that’s as much a myth as the Ottawa Senators as champions!
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Ducks were by far the better team Wednesday, as they were for most of this series. They’re not from a “traditional” hockey city, but they won this series the old-fashioned way: They outworked the Senators, played stouter defense and got goaltending that was far superior to anything the Eastern Conference champions could muster.
They played for each other, covered for each other and, when it was over, exulted for each other, surrounding goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere in a squirming pile of humanity. The standing-room-only crowd of 17,372 at the Honda Center, as lively as any that ever filled the arena of an Original Six team, roared while streamers dropped from the rafters and championship hats appeared on players’ heads as if by magic.
read on (reg. req.)
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
At 36, on a Wednesday night in June, it found him.
He knelt between the circles with his parents and his wife and children and brothers, all huddled around Stanley.
Selanne has the Cup. And he is not on anybody’s checking line. He scored 46 goals this season.
He flipped in the backhander that airmailed Dominik Hasek and topped the water bottle in Detroit, reversing the Western finals.
In Ottawa on Monday he made the same instinctive, explosive play that has made him everything he is, getting free and hitting Dustin Penner for the winner that set up Game 5.
That’s when the Ducks, relentless finishers throughout, routed the Senators, 6-2, to bring the Cup to California for the first time.
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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