Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein and Karl-Eric Reif of the New York Times,
There is always plenty of blame to go around when a team loses in the playoffs. This postseason, some of that blame has been directed at Russian stars: Ilya Kovalchuk of Atlanta, Alexei Yashin of the Islanders, even the Pittsburgh rookie Evgeni Malkin.
In the 1970s and ’80s, North American coaches, team officials and commentators routinely criticized European players in general for being soft and lacking the character needed for the rugged Stanley Cup playoffs. Although that point of view is rarely heard today, it still has its proponents, like the CBC commentator Don Cherry (who is also working for NBC).
As die-hard hockey fans, we know the Flames were trying to send a message to the Wings today.
In my opinion, they went too far. McLennan should be gone for the rest of the playoffs and if Calgary is eliminated, serve at least 10 games next season.
The other “messages” sent by the Flames late in the game should be looked at too.
Not the way to end any game, and believe me, the media will be all over this.
added 8:12pm, from the AP via TSN,
The slash might lead to a stiff suspension from the NHL, which gave the Islanders’ Chris Simon a 25-game suspension for viciously swinging his stick last month.
McLennan didn’t talk to reporters after the game.
“I think the league will take a look at a few things that happened,” Zetterberg said.
Flames star Jarome Iginla got into the act, with hooking and cross-checking penalties with 43 seconds left with aggressive stick work.
“It was really about getting some fights going at that point to keep our energy up and carry some anger into the next game,” Iginla said with several new stitches over his left eye. “We’re not going away.”
Will any road team win a game in the Flames/Wings series?
Wings have a chance tomorrow night and I believe the game will go to the team with the best legs.
I believe this will be Hasek’s first back-to-back game of the year.
Tighten the straps boys, it is going to be a great game.
from the Edmonton Journal,
In a full-page newspaper advertisement in both Edmonton dailies, Patrick LaForge details a string of obstacles, including injuries and extended road trips, that hampered the Oilers’ performance this year. Under the headline, Proud to be in Oil Country, the letter from LaForge also defends Edmonton as a great place to play hockey.
“It’s our annual report back to the fans and the community on how we did,” LaForge told the Journal in an interview today.
from the Calgary Herald,
By now you’re probably getting the idea that Bertuzzi is one big set of shoulders. And that was on a night when the Flames won. Hand them a loss and the Flames will probably have him rivalling the Great Khali. His mass is especially noticeable on nights when Robyn Regehr, the Flames’ redwood, is out of the lineup—as he likely will be the rest of this series.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock obviously spied Bertuzzi barging through Calgary’s zone like a piano mover on Thursday.
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The hockey season will go on for some Pittsburgh Penguins.
Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Sergei Gonchar will represent their countries at the IIHF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, at the end of the month.
Malkin and Gonchar will represent the home country, which opens play April 27 against Denmark.
continued... no mention of Crosby…
update 1:54pm, from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The NHL’s Art Ross Trophy winner will not defend his World Championship scoring title for Team Canada at this year’s tournament in Moscow.
Crosby will sit out the tournament to let a broken bone in his left foot heal.
“It would have been a huge thrill for me to play for Team Canada again, especially in Moscow, which is a place I’ve always wanted to play,” he said.
Getting down to nitty-gritty hockey today. Enjoy the games!
Ben Wright at Blueland Blog has a great recap from the exit interview process with Don Waddell and Bob Hartley. This from Hartley,
On what went wrong:
“On our side we simply had no answers- for their puck control. That Hossa, Jagr and Nylander line- they took away lots of our energy and after that their support players which are great players, they played very well. It seemed that every game they got big goals from everyone.”
Capitals Insider pointed to this in the NY Daily News,
Still, there is a theory going something like this: The deeper the Rangers, perceived as having national marquee value, go in the playoffs, the more fans, most of them casual NHL viewers, will hop on the bandwagon.
The NHL desperately needs these casual fans. They are the only hope the the league has of pulling its TV ratings out of the toilet.
more fromt he NY Daily News…
from the Tampa Tribune,
We knew at some point in the series that [Brodeur] was going to stand on his head and he played very well,” Lightning captain Tim Taylor said. “That’s why he is who he is.”
And on this night, Brodeur had to be the Brodeur the Devils have relied upon so many times in the past. The Lightning showed no effects of an emotional overtime loss two nights earlier and showed up to play.
Tampa Bay was the better team on the ice for most of the game, limiting the Devils to 14 shots, a franchise record low allowed by Tampa Bay in a playoff game and a New Jersey record for fewest shots at home in a postseason game….
Lightning coach John Tortorella said he liked they way his team played, but failed to elaborate on his point. When pushed on the issue, he traded expletives with a reporter from the New York Post while being broadcast live on Canadian television station CBC.
added 3:43pm, To see the Tortorella interview, go here...
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.
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