Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Mercury News,
This is the third time the Sharks will face the same opponent in the postseason two years in a row. On the previous two occasions, the Sharks won the first year and lost the second.
Last year, the Sharks beat Nashville in the opening round, four games to one. The Predators say they will be using that defeat as motivation.
“We saw them last year, and I think we’re a little more prepared as a team and as a group,” Nashville Coach Barry Trotz said.
The Sharks enter the playoffs on a roll, having finished the regular season with a 13-1-3 run. “The last three games especially, we’ve been honing our playoff intensity,” defenseman Kyle McLaren said. “We feel good about the way we’re playing.”
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
Spraying to all fields, wondering if anything less than a Stanley Cup championship will make this a disappointing season for the Ducks:
•It shouldn’t be that way, but there will be self-imposed pressure to finish off the best season in franchise history (record 110 points, record 254 goals and first division title) — especially after falling in the conference finals in 2006 and in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003.
•They certainly won’t say this publicly, but the Ducks received the most favorable matchup in the first round among the top seven teams in the Western Conference.
From the Maven at The Maven,
I’ve seen miracles in more than a half-century of covering hockey, but the Islanders MIRACLE triumph at the Meadowlands yesterday was a unique one for me.
The game is packaged, awaiting only a ribbon with the Isles leading, 2-0, late in the third. Then, it’s 2-1, and remarkably John Madden ties the count with 0.8 seconds left!
No team ever has been under more pressure in an overtime than Ted Nolan’s sextet. Somehow, they survived it.
from Jim Kelley at Sporstnet,
As we mentioned above, hockey still has serious problems, and, perhaps, more coming. You can even argue that in his early years Bettman either created or allowed many of the problems that he has now addressed, but in the big picture the Commissioner who came to the game without a trace of hockey knowledge, without even a hint of a feel for its history and tradition and who jumped feet first into a vicious and ill-conceived expansion via one of the most short-sighted and special-interest ownership groups in the history of sport has done what many thought was impossible.
He’s made the game better.
via Multi Channel News,
Akimbo Systems struck a deal with the National Hockey League to make complete games from the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs available through its Internet-download service within 48 hours of broadcast.
Games from the NHL playoffs—set to begin April 11—will be available for 99 cents each to users of the RCA Akimbo Player, a device that plugs into an Internet connection and a TV, as well as through AT&T’s Homezone service and computers with Microsoft’s Windows Media Center Edition.
Akimbo’s Internet video-on-demand service uses Microsoft’s Windows Media format, with video typically encoded at 2 megabits per second.
“It’s full TV resolution, not a tiny Internet-streaming window,” Akimbo vice president of marketing Jim Funk said. “On a TV, the video scales to standard-definition.”
Separately, the NHL offers live Internet streaming video of out-of-market games through its NHL Center Ice Online package.
Akimbo website but nothing about this announcement as of this time.
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down every first round matchup and has this to say about the Ottawa/Pittsbugh series…
It might not be what the big brains at the NHL would like to see, but the Senators’ experience and talented back end prove the difference in a surprisingly short series. Ottawa in five.
more on that matchup plus you will find links to every series on the right sidebar of that page…
from the NY Post,
“It’s almost a storybook,” understated goalie Wade Dubielewicz, the newest hero in the Islanders’ proud pantheon of former greats.
“I can’t wipe the smile off my face,” Dubielewicz said after his dramatic 3-2 shootout victory over the Devils yesterday at the Meadowlands….
“I tried my best for you,” Clemmensen said to the Leaf fans, who are up in arms today because Lou Lamoriello decided to leave Martin Brodeur out of yesterday’s finale.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Forty years wandering in the hockey wilderness, still no closer to the Stanley Cup than they were the day Punch Imlach’s reign ended.
His first one, that is.
For the Maple Leafs, this has become a drought of biblical proportions, and truly this week it was as though the hockey gods sent down a mischievous elf named Wade Dubielewicz to ensure the drought would continue.
The Stanley Cup Matchups. Details at ESPN.com.
Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames
Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks
Buffalo Sabres vs New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lighting
Atlanta Thrashers vs New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins
(Complete schedules forthcoming.)
Updated 12:30pm EDT:
The National Hockey League today announced the dates, times and national broadcast information for the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Quarterfinal round, which begins Wednesday, April 11.
2007 FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,
Much of the talk the last couple of weeks of the NHL’s regular season centered around either Sidney Crosby or Roberto Luongo being named the 2006-‘07 MVP.
Great talents, yes. Certainly worthy of the discussion. In fact, I’ve got Crosby No. 2 and Luongo No. 3 on my ballot. But the winner of this season’s Hart Trophy, I believe, has to be New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur.
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