Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: playoffs

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoring Big in Social Media

With the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins set to face-off in the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA is interacting with and tracking fan response like never before—with some surprising results.

Through a unique partnership with Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft and CBCSports.ca has been using Hockey Night Pulse at hockeynightpulse.cbc.ca to track fan reaction on Twitter throughout every playoff series, while a partnership with GetGlue.com allows fans to “check in” to CBC’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA while they watch and chat with other fans.

Inspired by modern browser standards like those built into Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft’s Hockey Night Pulse allows users to track Twitter reaction to every goal, save and penalty in real time using HTML5. Looking back at the data collected gives a unique perspective on the playoffs.

To date, Hockey Night Pulse has crunched more than 1.2 million tweets on the playoffs. Some results:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cbc, media, microsoft, playoffs, scf, twitter

Post-Game 7 Comments: Bruins Coach Claude Julien

Q. Just comment on Nathan Horton delivering two Game 7 game-winning goals for you.

COACH JULIEN:  Well, he certainly has played like a big-game player obviously.  Overtime goals and winning goals.  And I think for a guy who hasn’t played in the Playoffs for many years, he certainly has kept a lot of energy inside of him and a lot of obviously excitement to go out there and play the way he did.

And we thought it was fitting, not just for him, but for our team.  I think this was probably one of our better games that we’ve played as far as there’s no big mistakes that I saw in the game.  I thought it was a well-played Game 7.

We had energy.  We had confidence.  And certainly had some chances earlier on.  But their goaltender was extremely good for them and kept them in the game.

But I thought it was a hard-fought series.  Tampa Bay certainly deserves a lot of credit.  The fact that where they were before this year for the last few seasons and to come back this year and play the way they did, and then push us straight to the limit in the third round of the Playoffs, I think they deserve a lot of credit.

From the ownership down, they’ve obviously done a pretty good job.  And they certainly gave us all we could take.  So I think even though they lost, I think they need to be congratulated on their season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+julien, playoffs, transcript

Post-Game 7 Comments: Lightning Coach Guy Boucher

Q.  Could you just describe your emotions—obviously your team laid it all out on the line in Game 7—what you’re feeling right now?

COACH BOUCHER:  Obviously it’s difficult.  It’s difficult because you know what your players put on the ice is every little ounce of energy is left that they have, so there’s a lot of respect that comes at the end of this.

It’s difficult because we were playing these Playoffs for Wayne Fleming.  And we know he’s going through a hard battle right now.  And we knew that every win that we got put a smile on his face.  So that was really important to us.

And it’s too bad we couldn’t put a smile on his face tonight.  But we certainly recognize everything he’s done for this team and how close we felt as a family.  And obviously he was a big part of it.

So I guess there’s losing but there’s a lot more than that for us.  We had a year that was so full of adversity.  You start the year and you have half the team that’s new, an entire staff that’s new, an administration that’s new.  GM and president, CEO and owner, and so many new people coming together, and I just think it’s outstanding that the players and everybody else involved in the organization was able to get this team to be a team real fast.  That’s really difficult, even with a team that you had the previous year.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guy+boucher, playoffs, transcript

Top-10 Stanley Cup Contenders

From Sam McCaig at The Hockey News:

San Jose, Detroit and Calgary are the class of the West, while Boston, New Jersey and Washington are the lead pack in a wide-open East. Right here, right now, the smart money is on a Boston-San Jose final.

Here’s why:

1. SAN JOSE SHARKS
They’ve been one of the best teams in the NHL for several years and they’re all too familiar with the pain of losing in the post-season. The blueline has been studded with experience and there’s more grit than ever before among the forwards (and still a lot of talent, too). And this is it for old guys like Claude Lemieux, Rob Blake and Jeremy Roenick. This team is motivated, skilled, experienced and deep. Is it now or never? No. But it’ll sure feel like it if the Sharks fall short once again.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, stanley+cup

Western Conference Odds

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News (h/t MSNBC):

There just isn’t a night off playing in the West.

“You look at the teams out there, even L.A. is playing good right now,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane told SportingNews.com. “They’re competing for a playoff spot. All those teams out there are pretty good, especially when you go to Canada, too, and you see those hostile environments. ... You have to be on your game and mentally focused.”

With help from SportsClubStats.com, which uses a formula to predict playoff probabilities, and a little inside information from Chicago winger Adam Burish, whose Blackhawks are wrapping up a road trip that took them to half the Western cities, we break down the bubble teams.

Dallas Stars
Games played: 52
Points: 59
Probability of making the playoffs: 71.4 percent

read on to find out everyone’s chances

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, western+conference

Dark Horses Race to the Playoffs

From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News,

If there’s a dark horse team hoping to hoist the Stanley Cup this summer, they’re obviously going to have to go through at least one of the division leaders along the way, so wins against those penthouse franchises are paramount; after all, the easiest way to prove you can do something is by doing it.

With that in mind, here are the teams who can put The Fear into a favorite in the post-season:

BUFFALO (six wins against division leaders)
The Sabres have a balanced attack, good goaltending and a veteran defense. They’ve also beaten every Eastern Conference division leader at least once already, including Boston three times.

read on for more dark horses

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Players Who Bring the Intangibles

From Scott Cullen at TSN:

Using hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways and face-offs, then, here are the top “intangible” players in the 2008 NHL playoffs.

Top Intangible Ratings - Playoffs

Brooks Orpik, D, Pittsburgh (2.66)
Brenden Morrow, LW, Dallas (1.86)
Stephane Robidas, D, Dallas (1.67)

read on for Cullen’s complete list

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Gentlemen, Place Your Wagers…

From the Detroit Free Press:

Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl have reached a gentleman’s wager over the Stanley Cup series between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If Detroit wins, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will send Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick goodies from the Steel City, including Heinz Ketchup and Primanti Sandwiches. He will also ship Mayor Kilpatrick an octopus from Wholeys Fish Market. Dan Wholey, the market’s owner, made news this week when he said he would not sell octopi to any Red Wings fans during games in Pittsburgh.

If the Penguins win the Stanley Cup, Kilpatrick will send some of Motor City’s favorites such as Little Cesar’s Pizza Kits, Faygo Pop and a proclamation declaring Pittsburgh “America’s Hockey City,” according to a statement issued by Kilpatrick’s office.

Clearly, neither of these cities are going to prove themselves to be bastions of fine American cuisine…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: betting, playoffs, stanley+cup

44 Reasons to Watch the Stanley Cup Finals

From Page 2 at ESPN,

1. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin: The most exciting tandem since Gretzky and Messier, these franchise cornerstones are a combined 41 years old, which is still five years younger than …

2. Chris Chelios: A first-ballot lock for the Badass Hall of Fame, he’s one of the fittest athletes you’ll see in any sport. He might be the only one to have actually threatened his commissioner with physical violence.

3. Not one word about Spygate.

4. Not one word about Roger Clemens.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Odds & Ends—From Fish to Fatherhood

  • Fish markets in Pittsburgh won’t be selling octopus to just anyone. If your driver’s license reads “Michigan” you’ll have to import your 8-legged splatter bombs from out-of-state. [ESPN]

  • Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is currently working as a golf caddy this summer. Says PGA golfer and friend Dudley Hart, “He’s trying to stay out of the way.” [Dallas Morning News]

  • Forget the SCF games… the important question is: Which city has the better arena? Distinguising Mellon Arena and The Joe. (I’ve been told one smells better, but that issue is tastefully not discussed…)  [Puck Daddy]

  • Anaheim Ducks’ Todd Marchant will be appearing as a panelist on the website SheKnows.com, as one member representing the New Faces of Fatherhood. Todd will be sharing his thoughts on topics of parenthood, sex education and more.  [press release]

  • Some NHLers have hot wives. (Who knew?) [Waiting for Stanley]

  • The Crazy Canucks podcasters talked hockey in a panel discussion in Vancouver a few months ago. (Nothing that fascinating, but yes, that’s me making an ass of myself in public, alongside my much-smarter cohorts.). [YouTube]

Filed in: NHL Talk, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blogging, playoffs, podcasting

Remembering Cup Finals of the Past

From Chuck Gormley at The Sporting News,

But for all of the players who have had their names inscribed on the Cup, an equal number have fallen just short in their quest for Lord Stanley’s coveted mug. So what separates the winners from the losers? What makes the 34 1/2-pound silver chalice so difficult to attain?

For answers, we sought out current and former players who have reached the finals.

continued with memories and opinions from the likes of Mike Knuble, Georges Laraque, Bobby Clarke and others

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, stanley+cup

The Hype is Building

From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,

Some people have written the SCF should be starting tonight and I can see where they are coming from. But the hype has not even reached its high point yet—that begins later today and extends into Friday. The national media types will be settling into Detroit today. Media day is scheduled for tomorrow and then the stories really start rolling out.

I have this distinct feeling the SCF will attract the casual sports fan. Call it the Crosby Coming Out Party if you wish, but everything points to a series of skill, speed and great players. Both sides have the ability to turn it on offensively and that translates into “can’t turn away from this game” for that casual fan.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

What’s Your Superstition? Share and Win

[Note: Original post time was May 21, 3:09pm ET. I’ll be bumping it to the front page periodically. The entries so far are great!]

imageNo amount of personal hockey superstitions have ever helped my Vancouver Canucks, but that’s never stopped me. From idiotic morning routines to game-day-meals, that team gets anywhere near the playoffs and I develop so many tics I’m like a strung out former heroin addict dealing with an OCD problem. 

Fortunately I’m not alone.  Kukla, for instance, bought this ticket in Nevada last November, betting $20 that the Red Wings take the Stanley Cup this season.  Yet cocky as that may be, he’s been too superstitious to make mention of it to anyone.  He only decided he’d let me mention it because, well, that doesn’t “jinx” things the same way, apparently.

See where I’m going with this? Well, yes: hockey fans are nuts. But also:  We’d like to reward 3 of you with $50 gift certificates to IceJerseys.com or shop.NHL.com for sharing your own special brand of crazy. 

What’s your most reliable superstition? Or just share your friend’s.

Winners will be selected by a random draw from the comments of this post. Enter by 5pm ET Saturday, May 24th. Rules are below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: KK Website Business, KK Challenge, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+fans, playoffs, superstitions

Not-So-Gentlemanly Behavior

From Brian Christ at the ABQ Journal.com,

One of the most revered traditions in sports is the handshake ceremony after each Stanley Cup playoff series, when the bloodied warriors on each team line up to offer congratulations to their foes for a job well done. Sportsmanship at its greatest.

  It’s just seems incomprehensible, though, how guys who had just been knocking the pus out of each other can all of a sudden start hobnobbing. For me, it’s not uncommon to hold a grudge against someone who takes 3 minutes to heat a pile of rice in the office microwave.

  So, is this on-ice glad-handing genuine?

continued…

Note: Accessing the complete text of the article above may present obstacles to some readers, so I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the relevant excerpt below the “continue reading” link

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+propp, chris+chelios, martin+brodeur, playoffs, rob+blake

Game Day with Penguins’ Coach Michel Therrien

Getting some answers today from Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach Michel Therrien.

Q.  Can you give us an update on Gary Roberts’ status?
      COACH THERRIEN:  He’s still sick.  He’s got pneumonia.  It’s a mild case, so he’s listed day‑to‑day.  He’s not going to play tonight.

        Q.  Is it something you expect him back later in the playoffs?

  COACH THERRIEN:  Yes, yes, hopefully.  He’s on medication right now, and we’ll go from there.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michel+therrien, playoffs, quotes

Questions for the ECF Coaches

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien and Philadelphia Flyers coach John Stevens were both available for some questions today. 

Below are the transcripts from their respective Q&A sessions.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+stevens, michel+therrien, playoffs

NBA Playoffs Better Than the NHL Playoffs?

From Tom Jones at Tampa Bay.com,

First, I’m a hockey guy. I covered the NHL for 15 years and if the choice is between watching a hockey game on television and watching another event live from the first row, I’d probably pick the hockey game. To me, it’s the best sport there is, and there’s nothing like the passion, drama and intensity of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Except this year. (And, to be honest, last season, too, because I wrote about this same subject.)  Quite frankly, the NBA playoffs have been better than the NHL playoffs. Here are five reasons why:

continued…  and he’s got a couple good points, but I have a feeling that hockey fans are going to disagree strongly with some others…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nba, playoffs

Comebacks Not Likely

From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com:

Can the Stars make a sudden turnaround and take control of the series? Sure they can, but I don’t see it happening. Led by coach Mike Babcock, the Wings are on a roll and are determined to erase the memories of losing to the Anaheim Ducks in last year’s Western Conference Final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have showed they can adjust to any style of play their opposition throws at them. The Flyers are trying to be physical with the young Pens, but it hasn’t worked for them to this point. Talent-wise, the Flyers just don’t match up with Pittsburgh and must play perfect games from here on out in order to extend this series past five games.

Once again, the Flyers can make a make a comeback, but I don’t see it happening.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Playoff Justice

From Al Strachan at FoxSports,

This is NHL playoff justice. Anything short of an ax-murder is likely to be ignored. But don’t blame the current dispenser of justice, Colin Campbell. It has always been this way.

There has been the occasional exception. When Gary Bettman was in the first few months of his regime, he didn’t understand hockey tradition very well (insert your own cheap shot here) and seeing Dale Hunter deliver a cross-check to Pierre Turgeon after a goal, decided that Hunter had earned himself a 21-game suspension.

But since then, the NHL has followed a firm policy. First of all, suspensions, when they occur, are much shorter than they would be for a similar incident in the regular season. Secondly, every effort is made to keep the stars in the game.

At one time, the league used to defer playoff suspensions. One of the more notorious examples was the vicious slash that Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall delivered to Edmonton’s Kent Nilsson in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, mike+ribeiro, playoffs, suspensions

Drop the Puck, Already!

From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,

Do I really need to know, and why should I even care, how many bags of peanuts will be sold, or who has the greatest team-orientated men’s room, complete with flashing goal light? Soon I expect an overhead view from the local news chopper chasing a car on the highway that is displaying the home team’s flag flapping from the window.

There will soon be pictures plastered on the web of five-year-old kids, with their faces painted, a feature of some guy who mowed the team logo into his lawn, even live broadcasts by a radio station giving away free tickets to anyone who can do the stupidest thing involving worms and raw eggs.

Drop the puck. I am ready for hockey and just hockey.

more…

(I dunno, Paul. Personally, I kinda like the idea of U.S. television stations so excited about the NHL playoffs that they’ve got choppers chasing down cars with team flags…!)

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Questions for Mike Babcock & Ken Holland

A short Q&A session with the media, talking with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland.


        Q. What sort of lessons do you take from being at this point last season as you enter this series?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I think the big thing is I’ve been really fortunate to be here. This is my third time in five years, and it’s the best time of year. It’s a lot of fun. You want to prepare as hard as you can and get your team ready to go.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland, media, mike+babcock, playoffs

Rivalry Back in the NHL Playoffs

From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,

Familiarity itself doesn’t breed contempt, but seven straight playoff games almost always do. In any case, slights that have been accumulating during a lengthy history sometimes also do the trick. Given the current level of vitriol, the Penguins and the Flyers seem to have a history that started about 20 minutes after the founding of colonial Penn’s Woods.

Although Detroit and Colorado had the most disputatious rivalry of the past 15 years—a badge of honor that should be retired after that four-game pillow fight between the Red Wings and Avalanche in the second round—the matches between the Penguins and Flyers are now hockey’s most combustible and most entertaining.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, rivalries

Don’t Mess with OT in the Playoffs

From Marty Henwood at Hockey.com:

How many times must it be said that the NHL shootout sucks? 

No, I didn’t stutter. It sucks, much like a working Hoover. The shootout should go the way of lava lamps, ‘80’s hair and Thomas Dolby. Just gone, yesterday’s news. Period.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but the shootout just doesn’t do it for me. They’re bad enough in the regular season.

But don’t even get me started if you are one of those who actually believe, while sober, that the league should mandate shootouts in place of these overtime marathons that last three, four, five extra periods.

more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: overtimes, playoffs, shootouts

2008 Conference Finals Schedule—Times & Dates Finalized

Here are the final confirmed times and dates of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.

image

Below, a couple updated brackets people might find useful.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+schedule, playoffs

2008 Conference Finals Schedule

Game times aren’t available yet, but here is the schedule as we know it for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals starting this week. (Update May 5th:  times and dates finalized and available here)

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+schedule, playoffs

No Messing Around in OT

From Darren Dreger at TSN,

Six of the 13 overtime games last year were decided in the first overtime period, while the remaining seven needed a second overtime period or longer.

No such marathons this year with the average overtime this year clocking in at 6:48, with 13 of the 14 games decided in the first 12 minutes and three ended by the winning teams first shot.

No one is complaining, but it’s a trend that is difficult to explain.  Experts are required, coaches, managers, NHL executives.

One NHL coach contends lackluster goaltending is the reason why OT’s are ending so quickly. There may be something to that. Goalies have combined for a weak .880 save percentage in overtime this spring.

more…

Of course now that Dreger’s addressed this, the basis of Murphy’s Law would argue that at least two games in the coming round are destined to go 6 periods or more, just to make up for the shortfall.  smile

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: murphy's+law, overtime, playoffs

Penguins Move on to Eastern Conference Finals

From Shelly Anderson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Marian Hossa scored in overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers today at Mellon Arena, clinching their second-round playoff series. They advance to the Eastern Conference final, where they will play cross-state rival Philadelphia.

Dates and times for the third round are pending, but Games 1 and 2 will be at Mellon Arena.

continued…

Update 5:23pm ET: Story of the game from David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail.

Update 5:44pm ET: Live post-game press conference underway.

Video streaming is below.

(click that link to access the NHL’s pop-up player)

Update 5:53pm ET: Game video of Hossa’s OT goal below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa, playoffs

Today in Playoffs History—May 2

imageMay 2, 1967 • With the oldest lineup in Final history, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game Six to win the 1967 Stanley Cup. The Leafs’ roster included 42-year-old goalie Johnny Bower and 41-year-old defenseman Allan Stanley as well as seven others at least 30 years old.

Toronto center Red Kelly played his 65th game in Final competition, setting a Stanley Cup record later tied by Montreal’s Henri Richard.

______________
*historical info courtesy of the NHL
*photo from Legends of Hockey.net

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

For the Love of the Game

From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,

And that is probably the most miraculous thing about the Cup: It has the unique ability to turn men into little boys.

Like the 6-year-olds they once were, NHLers really are playing for the trophy at the end of the season. Their salaries stop when the regular season does. There is, of course, a monetary prize, a playoff payout, that goes to all teams, but if you break it down per hour for the intense, all-consuming work the finalists will put in over eight weeks, they would probably make out just as well if they had been manning the deep fryer at a burger joint.

The game is distilled to its purest form during the playoffs. Stanley of Preston, whose farsighted vision was as long as his title, really did reward the top amateur team because in the spring, hockey is about the love of the game.

more… about what makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs special

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs, stanley+cup

Random Musings During Playoff Time

From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,

Early favorite to replace Ron MacLean as the HNIC host when or if he ever leaves - Elliotte Friedman

Speaking of TV guys, Ed Olczyk continues to impress with his analytical work. Breaking down a play moments after it has happened is hard to do, but ‘Eddie O’ is always pointing out key plays during the game.

This coming from a Detroit Red Wings fan, but you almost feel sorry for all the injuries the Colorado Avalanche have had in the recent past. OK, that was long enough to sympathize for the Avs!

more stray thoughts from the boss…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, playoffs

Today in Playoffs History—April 30

April 30, 1972 • The New York Rangers made their first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final series game since 1950, losing to the Boston Bruins 6-5 in the opening contest.  The 1972 championship clash between New York and Boston marked the first time in 43 years that the two had met in the Final. Boston won the best-of-seven series in six games.

Video below features highlights from the series.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

Musings From the Playoffs

From Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca,

4) Is there an NHL team that looks dumber or cheaper than the Buffalo Sabres right now?

Former Sabre Danny Briere, who practically begged the Sabres to give him a reasonable contract offer last season, is leading the league in playoff scoring and is a big reason that the Flyers still have a chance to go from worst to first in a single season. The Sabres made it clear they had no interest in signing Briere (though for the record they did make a token effort hours before free agency opened, an effort that reminded many of their “attempt” to re-sign Ted Nolan as coach a decade earlier).

more… observations gleaned from this year’s playoffs

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere, playoffs

Road Bumps Ahead

From Paul Kukla at his NHL.com blog,

Fans of the Red Wings, Penguins and Stars are laying low, hoping the apple cart is not disturbed and their team continues their winning ways.

Well, I am here to tell you to expect a bump in the road, and maybe, just maybe, a complete turnaround from your opposition. Both Detroit and Pittsburgh are on the road now. The Wings will be dealing with an unhappy group of players in Denver, players who have too much pride not to fight back with all they have.

continued… *plus some words on the officiating

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Brush Up on Your Stanley Cup History

Joe Pelletier at Greatest Hockey Legends is looking back at every Stanley Cup champion since 1930, offering capsule looks at the playoffs and teams, and of course highlighting all the heroes.

This past weekend he has posted Stanley Cup capsules dating from 1930-1944. He’s added 30 new biographies as well.  A lot of great hockey reading.

[Greatest Hockey Legends.com]

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs, stanley+cup

Today in Playoffs History—April 28

April 28, 1996 • A sold-out crowd at the Winnipeg Arena said good-bye to the Winnipeg Jets following a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game Six of their Western Conference Quarter-final series. It marked the final game for the Jets before moving to Phoenix and becoming the Coyotes.

Here are the final moments of that game, committed to YouTube for posterity.

______________________
*historical info via NHL media

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

Grumbles From a Grumpy Old Man

From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,

So I figure I’ve earned the right to complain about a few things I’ve seen during this season’s playoffs. If you agree with me, give me a call and perhaps we can further discuss our issues over a glass of prune juice. 

In any case, I remember when…[...]

• The NHL didn’t feel the need to pander to corporate sponsors by endorsing a contest where an NHL legend - in this case Mark Messier - brings the Stanley Cup to your house.  The news release for the Bring Home the Stanley Cup promotion reads like this: “Known as ‘the Holy Grail’…the Stanley Cup ™ (sic) is one of the most celebrated sports icons and is the ultimate goal of hockey’s greatest players.”

Then leave the Stanley Cup ™ to them, not to some painted-up slob whose fingers are greasy from eating too many potato chips.

more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, stanley+cup

Today in Playoffs History—April 25

April 25, 1964 • Toronto goalie Johnny Bower blanked the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 to propel the Maple Leafs to their third straight Stanley Cup title.

image

______________________
*information via NHL media
*photo found in at Legends of Hockey.net

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

NHL Conference Call with Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz

On today’s NHL conference call for the media, the guests were Buffalo Sabres’ coach, Lindy Ruff, and Nashville Predators’ coach Barry Trotz. The coaches were invited to help preview the semifinal round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Here is the transcript from the Q&A.


Q. I wanted to ask you both, if you were to make a pick here of the final four teams in each conference, why wouldn’t you pick the team that did best against your own team? For instance, Buffalo did well against Montreal and Philly but 0-4 against both Pittsburgh and the Rangers. Nashville did well against Detroit and Colorado but 0-4 against San Jose, and 3-1 against Dallas.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz, coaching, interviews, lindy+ruff, media, playoffs

The NHL Hour

San Jose Sharks center Jeremy Roenick and Hockey Hall Of Famer Pat LaFontaine will be the guests on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement. 

*At show time, listen live at this link.  While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: nhlhour@nhl.com.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.

Update 4:14pm ET: The ‘listen live’ link isn’t working as it should. The show can be heard live by going to this link served up by the NHL Online page.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, jeremy+roenick, media, nhl+hour, pat+lafontaine, playoffs

Sheldon Souray on the Playoffs

During the playoffs, Sheldon Souray is blogging weekly at AskMen.com.  Today’s installment includes thoughts on home ice advantage, and the importance of veterans:

A veteran just brings experience. He’s never too high or too low. You can’t think you’ve lost the series after one game; you have to be even-keeled and provide stability for the young guys. And that ties into the home-ice advantage. A vet has been there before, so he’s not intimidated to play in places like Montreal, where the crowd is loud.

When you’re in the playoffs, you just have to trust that everyone else on your team is going to step up.

At the bottom of the post, you can find contact info to send your questions to Souray.

Previously on KK: Martin Biron’s blog at Maxim, and Milan Lucic and Jamie McLennan are blogging at The Hockey News

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blogging, playoffs, sheldon+souray

Red Wings - Avalanche Rivalry is History

From Terry Frei at ESPN,

[Joe Sakic:] “I was joking around that a lot of these kids were in elementary or junior high when that was going on. But they’re going to see what it’s like firsthand pretty quick, I’m pretty sure.”

So, first things first: If this upcoming series develops a sharp edge, it won’t be because of history, but because of the present—the high stakes and overheated emotions of today—not because anyone got psyched the night before by looking at footage of Patrick Roy duking it out with Mike Vernon or Chris Osgood at center ice; or Foote’s running battle with Brendan Shanahan; or even Lemieux’s infamous check of Kris Draper into the boards at the old McNichols Sports Arena in 1996 and Darren McCarty’s subsequent vengeance.

History will be an issue because of the infectious undercurrent, and even then not necessarily because it makes sense.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, rivalries

Today in Playoffs History—April 24

Flashbacks To: 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2006

imageApril 24, 1994 • Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gary Suter tallied three goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Four of their Western Conference Quarter-final series.

Suter became the eighth defenseman in Stanley Cup playoffs history to post a hat trick, joining Bobby Orr, Dick Redmond, Denis Potvin, Doug Halward, Paul Reinhart (twice), Al Iafrate and Eric Desjardins.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

Official Conference Semifinals Guides

image

NHL.com has preview pages set up for every series going into the second round.  Each one of the links below has its own selection of related multimedia archives (photos and video), the official media guides for each team and stories from various NHL.com writers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, playoffs

Today in Playoffs History—April 23

Flashbacks To: 1950, 1996, 1997

April 23, 1950 • In the first Game Seven overtime in Final history, left winger Pete Babando, assisted by center George Gee at 8:31 of the second overtime period, gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win and the 1950 Stanley Cup title.

Four years later, another Detroit left winger, Tony Leswick, repeated Babando’s overtime feat in Game Seven of the 1954 Final. Since then, no player has scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime in the seventh and deciding game of the Final.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

Conference Semi-Finals Playoffs Schedule

From NHL.com:
image

The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and national broadcast coverage for the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semifinal round, which begins Thursday, April 24 when the Montreal Canadiens host the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche.  On Friday, April 25 the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers and the San Jose Sharks host the Dallas Stars.

Complete, detailed schedule is below:

 

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, playoffs, schedule, semifinals

Today in Playoffs History—April 22

Flashbacks To: 1945, 1962, 1976, 1988

April 22, 1945 • At 12:14 of the third period, Maple Leafs defenseman Walter “Babe” Pratt scored the Cup-winning goal to give Toronto a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of the Final.

Leafs rookie goaltender Frank McCool, who allowed only nine goals in seven starts, limited the Wings to one goal or less for the fifth time in the series.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

The Handshake Agreement

From Mark Emmons at the Mercury News,

No matter how intense, physical or downright dirty a series becomes, hockey players suddenly discover their inner-Miss Manners, rein in their raging emotions and shake on it - win or lose. A rugged contest will come to a civilized conclusion.

“We’re probably the most violent sport where you can get hurt at any time,” Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said. “And it’s just an incredible show of respect that when it’s all done, you can leave it right there and shake hands.

“Maybe it’s because we’re a classy sport. Unfortunately, sports can be about chest-bumping and pointing at myself. But that’s not what hockey players are all about.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, ron+wilson, sportsmanship

Game 7s Memorable

From the Canadian Press,

Game 7s were a hot topic this week, and a player who was in a truly memorable do-or-die contest was Boston Bruins backup goaltender Alex Auld.

Auld played for a very good Vancouver Canucks team that lost to Calgary in overtime in Game 7 of their first-round NHL playoff series in 2004. The Flames went on to lose the Stanley Cup final in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

continued… with more tales of guys back for another shot at game #7s

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Today in Playoffs History—April 21

imageApril 21, 1951 • Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bill Barilko scored the Cup-winning goal at 2:53 of overtime to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in Game Five of the 1951 Final. It was the only Stanley Cup series in which every game had ended in overtime.  Toronto’s Sid Smith, Ted Kennedy, Harry Watson, Barilko and Montreal’s Maurice “Rocket” Richard each netted overtime winners during the five-game matchup.

Barilko died in an off-season plane crash in the summer of 1951, though his remains would not be discovered until 1962.

______________________
*information courtesy of NHL media
*Photo found at mikeboon.com, where he also provides a tribute to Barilko

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

The NHL’s Dream Postseason

From Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

For the most part, the teams that remain alive are the ones the league can seriously promote on television, and in the process, draw fans to the sport. The Rangers, of course, are the best of that group.

They bring in the huge New York market. They boast established stars like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan. Just as important, they have home-grown American stars like Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. And of course, they have Sean Avery who, like him or hate him, does get noticed. For the NHL, it doesn’t get much better than that.

As of this writing, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington are all alive. The first two command attention, just by the reputation of their cities. And Washington has Alexander Ovechkin.

Again, this is a pure treat for the NHL.

more… on the potential matchups in the 2nd round

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

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