Kukla's Korner Hockey
Carlo Colaiacovo got up.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the fine folks in The Sooner State and hope the many KK members and readers from Oklahoma are safe and secure.
from Pat Pickens of Slap Shot,
At the start of the Rangers’ series with the Boston Bruins in the N.H.L. Eastern Conference semifinals, most fans and pundits gave New York a sizable advantage in goaltending.
It is no secret that Henrik Lundqvist is one of the league’s best goalies. He is the defending Vezina Trophy winner and was nominated for the award again this year. He was hot entering the Boston series, with a 120-minute scoreless streak and .947 save percentage.
Yet, through two games, it has been Lundqvist’s counterpart, Tuukka Rask, a fellow Scandinavian, who has given his team the edge.
Rask’s 35 saves Sunday helped Boston win Game 2, 5-2. He has surrendered four goals on 72 shots in the two games and used his showdown with Lundqvist to keep his focus.
The older I get, the better I was. I was fortunate to be on an Oyster River High School soccer team that was at the tail end of a dynasty (we went 96 straight regular season games without a loss) and we made it to the state championship game in two of my last three years in school. I played soccer at UNH before I had a Joe Theismann-type broken leg... came back for one more season, but was a shadow of what I was... and it got me into broadcasting purely by happenstance. It all worked out OK, and the lessons learned from soccer help me with hockey concepts every game.
and the answer is...
from Neil Greenberg of Capitals Insider,
In fact, it is because this team wins so much that it has fostered what I like to call a Culture of Perennial Disappointment: failing to advance past the second round since its dark-horse run in the 1998 Stanley Cup playoffs.
So, we should be able to agree this organization is made up of winners. However, is it also made up of chokers?
You know, calling the Caps “Choking Dogs” used to be funny. But it isn’t any more. Because it has been happening for 12 years. In nine of their past 12 playoffs the Capitals have either frittered away a substantial playoff lead or lost to a team they finished above in the regular season.
That was Tony Kornheiser’s Washington Post column from 1996, after Washington won the first two games against Pittsburgh before dropping the next four, leading to a first-round exit — a trend that plagues this organization with the term “chokers.” But it is a moniker that, sadly, has been earned.
The Capitals have the worst postseason record in games in which the team can win the series with a victory (minimum 10 games played in those situations):
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish simply isn’t going to pay $5 million a season for a second-line player who has world-class ability.
Although Hemsky goes into traffic, gets hurt and plays hurt — both admirable traits — the Oilers can find better ways to spend his salary. They need bigger forwards, even if they don’t have Hemsky’s skill set, which, apart from his first two seasons, has made him pretty close to a point-a-game NHLer.
The problem is that Hemsky has missed 118 games the past four seasons — a red flag for other teams who like healthier players on their roster.
Can the Oilers get anything substantial for Hemsky these days?
“I don’t think there’s a market for him … I shouldn’t say there’s no market,” said former NHL general Craig Button, who now works for TSN. “But the salary cap is coming down to $64.3 million. He makes $5 million for one more year. Would the Oilers pick up half of that to trade him, 50-50 (with another team)? That would still free up $2.5 million in cap space for the Oilers.
A summary of the Hotstove talk from last night... P.J. Stock takes a look at Craig Anderson, Elliotte Friedman talked coaching jobs including Patrick Roy in Colorado, Glenn Healy talked about the NHL participating in the Olympics with things looingk very positive and the last topic was the $100,000 fine Doug Wilson was hit with but why wasn't George McPhee?
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is difficult enough for the Rangers to win even when Henrik Lundqvist is at the top of his game. It is all but impossible for the Blueshirts to even come close when The King plays as if he’s a plebeian.
Which goes a long way in explaining yesterday, when it appeared as if the Bruins were shooting pucks made out of Kryptonite rather than vulcanized rubber at the Rangers’ Superman in the 5-2 Game 2 victory that sends the Blueshirts back to New York facing their second consecutive 2-0 series deficit.
“The game was about hunting down the puck, and it was tough,” said Lundqvist, who has yielded four long ones overall in consistently being forced to contend with traffic in front, including Johnny Boychuk’s 50-footer at 12:08 of the second that snapped a 2-2 tie. “It was definitely a tough game to 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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org