Kukla's Korner

Osgood Is The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Just like last year, the Pens are now looking at having to win four straight or at least four out of five to take the Cup. Only one team, the ‘71 Canadiens, has ever won the title after losing the first two games of the final.

But that’s just the surface story. The reality is this year’s final is very, very different from last year, both in terms of the intensity of the competition and the nature of the two games played so far.

The Wings, battered by injuries, have been outshot in both games and either outplayed or at best fought to a draw.

Yet they lead two games to none.

The reason, aside from the fact Justin Abdelkader is outscoring both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined, is Chris Osgood.

read on

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

I Just Had A Great Idea.  Fire Gary Bettman.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Speaking of idiots, another Monday morning and one more reason why Gary Bettman is an absolute joke.  Look. I don’t care that Evgeni Malkin wasn’t suspended.  I think it would have been funny and the tearful sobs from Pittsburgh would have been pleasant to listen to.  But, really?  A hockey player was pissed off so he started a fight.  No one was hurt.  Nobody’s any sadder or happier because of it.  It’s hockey.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Another Unsuspendable

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHL’s suspension policy of acting tough on lesser players who commit infractions and going easy on the stars who do the same thing took another hit tonight.  With 19 seconds left in game two, Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins instigated a fight against Henrik Zetterberg.  There is an “automatic” one game suspension of anyone who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game or in overtime.  Since Malkin is too good a player to receive a suspension (after all Malkin is the top scorer in the playoffs), his suspension was rescinded.

The most coherent interpretation of the rule for suspensions for instigating fights at the end of the game is that you will be suspended for it, unless you are a key player to the NHL’s marketing and they want you to stay in the game.  The NHL would not like to be accused of deciding who wins the Stanley Cup due to suspending a star player.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Wings Getting Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

If the Red Wings clearly need no help, why are they getting it?

Why, when the puck comes off the end boards behind Fleury, does it wind up in the net twice in 20 minutes in Game 1. Why, when Hossa is battling Pascal Dupuis for the puck along the boards, when Hossa hooks him so effectively that Dupuis’ stick is snapped in half, does play continue with no whistle until Detroit scores a go-ahead goal at 10:29 of the second period. Why does Justin Abdelkader, without an NHL goal to his name, suddenly become The Magical Michigander, swatting rolling pucks past Fleury night after night in this series?

Moreover, why do the Red Wings get to play with two goalies—Chris Osgood and Henrik Zetterberg?

more

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

Early Review Is In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

Here are some quick notes from the Wings’ 3-1 Game 2 victory over the Penguins at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday night:

• Old reliable, Wings rookie Justin Abdelkader, struck again in Game 2. The former Michigan State standout, an unlikely hero in Game 1, scored another huge goal early in the third period to give his team a two-goal lead. In this case, the kid got a lot of help from Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who watched a very stoppable shot from the top of the left-wing circle sail over his glove and into the net….

• At the other end, Detroit stopper Chris Osgood continued to make timely saves for his team. On this night, he also got a lot of help from the goalposts. The Pens rang three shots off different parts of the goal frame. Still, there were several other occasions when Osgood made nice stops….

read on

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

NHL Recinds Automatic 1-Game Suspension Against Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Ansar Khan at MLive:

NHL vice president of operations Colin Campbell has rescinded the automatic one-game suspension Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin was facing for receiving an instigating penalty with 19 seconds to play in the third period, when he started a fight with Henrik Zetterberg.

continued…

From the original NHL press release:

Rule 47.22 states: “A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident.  The director of hockey operations will review every such incident and may rescind the suspension based on a number of criteria. The criteria for the review shall include, but not be limited to, the score, previous incidents, etc…”

Following that review, Campbell said: “None of the criteria in this rule applied in this situation. Suspensions are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight.  A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident.  Neither was the case here and therefore the one game suspension is rescinded.”

NHL Hockey Operations also determined that Malkin should have been assessed a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

Game #2 by the Numbers

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From John Kreiser at NHL.com:

A few of the pertinent numbers from Detroit’s 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday night.

0—Players on the Red Wings who had a minus rating in Game 2. Fifteen Wings were plus-1, and Pittsburgh’s only goal was scored on the power play. The Penguins had no plus players.

1—Wins by Detroit when trailing after one period. The Wings had lost both games this spring in which they trailed after the opening 20 minutes, but won on Sunday night despite trailing 1-0 after the first period.

2—Goals in the Final by Detroit rookie Justin Abdelkader, who scored the third goal in Games 1 and 2. Abdelkader has yet to score a regular-season goal.

continued…

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

Crosby Not Playing Like Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

via NBC Sports:

A frustrated Sidney Crosby took a whack at Kirk Maltby’s skate as Game 1 ended, tired of what he called the nonstop chirping by the Red Wings forward. So far, it might be Crosby’s best shot of the Stanley Cup finals.

Blanketed by Henrik Zetterberg whenever he steps on the ice, Crosby has gone from being the best player in the playoffs to being a concern to the Pittsburgh Penguins because of his lack of offense.

He’s not playing badly, but he’s not playing like Sidney Crosby.

continued…

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

SCF “Unknowns” Taking Spotlight

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Doug Harrison at CBC:

At the start of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL fans in Detroit and Pittsburgh probably could have predicted with confidence that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would be at, or near, the top of the scoring race and Nicklas Lidstrom would lead all defencemen in points.

Further from the thoughts of the most ardent fans were the names of Detroit rookie forwards Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino, along with Pittsburgh defenceman Mark Eaton and forward Craig Adams.

But each contributed on the scoresheet, on special teams, in the faceoff circle or simply with their presence to help the Red Wings and Penguins advance to the NHL championship final for the second consecutive season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+lebda, craig+adams, justin+abdelkader, mark+eaton, rob+scuderi, ville+leino

Deja Two…On To Pittsburgh

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Sidney Crosby’s being throttled.  And he’s got the real leader of his team fighting his battles for him.  Hats off to Malkin for at least showing some fire where Gary Bettman’s poster boy has had none.

And meanwhile, maybe all those Pittsburgh fans were right.  Maybe they can beat Detroit.

But the question they should be asking is, can they beat the Grand Rapids Griffins?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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