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GDT - W.C. Finals, Game 2: Red Wings (1-0) host Blackhawks (0-1) (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Cliche or not; your best players have to be your best players?  Probably more true for CHI than DET.  In 12 games, Datsyuk has a whopping 5 pts, Homer has 4, and Hossa has 7.  Kane has 12 pts (but is -6), Toews has 10 (-1), and Brouwer 2 (+2).  Sunday was something completely different for CHI.  Kane and Toews were each -3 and had a total of 3 SOG.  Meanwhile not only did Zetterberg (1 g, 1 a, +3) , Cleary (2 g, +3)  and Franzen (1 g, 2a +3) take them to school, they also tied them to the whipping post.  A glance at the team numbers as well as the player stats reveals just how much stronger DET is at 5 on 5 hockey than is CHI.  CHI players have lots of points, but their +/- is not nearly as strong as DET.  DET have a ridiculous 5-5 f/a number at 1.93.  DET then, must stay out of the sin bin.

Finally, here is an interesting tid-bit that portends well for DET:  The Red Wings have eliminated Quenneville-coached teams in each of their last four championship seasons, sending him home three times when he led St. Louis and last year as he led Colorado.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Don’t Do It Patrick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

Here’s free advice for Patrick Roy as he decides whether to take a job with the Avalanche:

Don’t do it.

Denver is a great NHL town. We love our hockey. But this is the wrong time. The Avs are a franchise going nowhere.

As much as fans would like to see Roy come swaggering back to Colorado, I’m afraid he knows the ugly reality.

This franchise ain’t nearly what it used to be.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+roy

Attack The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times,

This is my hope for tonight: That the Blackhawks remember what got them to the Western Conference finals. Fearless play. Depth and talent. Resiliency. Confidence. The Hawks seemed to forget all that Sunday. They played too tentatively for much of the game, as if they were in awe of the Red Wings. I want to see them attack the Wings tonight. I want to seem them play with the confidence that got them this far.

Since Sunday’s loss, we’ve heard a lot about how great the Red Wings are. Suddenly, the Wings are unbeatable, a perfect team. And if the Hawks make so much as one mistake against them, they’re doomed. Crazy talk. Some perspective, please. The Wings weren’t even the best team in the conference this season. And they needed seven games to get past the no-longer-mighty Ducks.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Waiting On Niedermayer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Wood of the Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

While the idea of dealing Pronger for a couple of younger players, say a forward and a defenseman, might have seemed attractive when the Ducks were struggling before the trade deadline, it is now considerably more problematic to envision the club’s blue-line corps minus the 6-foot-6, 214-pound standout.

“I can only handle what happens on the ice and what I do to help the team win,” Pronger said. “Other than that, it’s completely out of my hands.”

Once Niedermayer makes his intentions clear, Murray will be able to deal head-on with other matters, including those involving Pronger, Beauchemin and Wisniewski. It’s still awfully tantalizing to ponder a blue line that includes both Pronger and Niedermayer, a tandem that was the driving force behind the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup championship….

“He’s obviously been a huge part of this team for four years,” Pronger said. “Anybody who can skate like that has a lot of time left. I think it’s whether he has the desire and the passion and the will to play. He’s the only one that can tell you that.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Babcock Goes Big Time - Rome Is Burning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Hit Lidstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,

I have an idea. My plan even follows the John McDonough Ten Commandments, all of which are Thou Shalt Market Everything. So, if we’re going to stick with “One Goal,’’ then make it this: “Hit Nick.’’

As in Nicklas Lidstrom.

More than getting the Zetterberg line out against the Toews line, the Wings want to match up with Norris Trophy hog Lidstrom and speedy but small Brian Rafalski (fits neatly into the overhead compartment). OK. Fine. Then make them pay for it. You have to take an opponent’s strength and make it a weakness.

So, as much as it goes against the talented, creative instincts of Kane and Toews, they need to chip the puck deep, specifically into Lidstrom’s corner. Make him turn around. Make him face the glass. Make him carry the puck so they can hit him.

The Hawks need to punish Slick Nick. He is too cool for the room. A living instructional DVD. The prized piece in the Wings’ traveling Hall-of-Fame exhibit. Lidstrom is everything Duncan Keith ought to want to be when he grows up.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fleury The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

This is a big-time goaltender, folks.

Like all of ‘em, Fleury gives up a bad goal here and there. It happened in the Washington series and the Philadelphia series before that.

But like only the truly great ones, Fleury makes the huge saves when they mean the most. That’s why you can’t just look at his statistics, which couldn’t match Ward’s coming into the series. Against Philadelphia, the big stop came in the third period of Game 2 when Fleury stopped center Jeff Carter with a fabulous skate save, giving the Penguins a chance to win in overtime. Against Washington, it was stealing the Capitals’ great Alexander Ovechkin blind early in Game 7 with a glove save that led directly to the Penguins’ 6-2 win.

Then, last night.

Fleury was a wall early in a 0-0 game, making great saves on Tuomo Ruutu, Eric Staal, Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen during a Carolina power play. He robbed center Chad LaRose in the second period, somehow stopping his backhander after a rebound. And he was big late, diving to make a save that prevented Staal from scoring the tying goal in the final 30 seconds.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Cooke Hit On Cole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

The Hurricanes lost Erik Cole midway through the third period after Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke caught him knee-on-knee in front of the Pittsburgh net. Cole played only one shift after that, and an angry Paul Maurice wasn’t happy about the hit afterward.

Asked if he thought it was a knee-on-knee hit, with the implication that it was an illegal one, a curt Maurice said, “Yes, I did. I felt that was, yeah.”

Cole officially has a “lower body” injury, but he clearly hurt his left knee in the collision. Cooke said the contact was accidental.

“He was cutting across the middle,” Cooke said. “I turned sideways to hit him, and he turned the other way. I almost fell over, too.”

continued and watch the hit (1:15 mark) within the video highlights below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole, matt+cooke

Blackhawks Will Be Just Like The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Spent a lot of time Monday around the Red Wings and you come away so impressed with how these guys handle themselves. They are pros, through and through, and it starts with Nicklas Lidstrom, the best leader in the game.

Then you walk down the hall to the Hawks’ dressing room and you get the same feeling. These guys are mostly kids, but they handle themselves in the same professional manner as the Red Wings. That’s why this is a special team, folks. These kids get it and it starts with Jonathan Toews, who already had a Lidstrom-like presence in his room.

Toews is there every day, as captain and spokesman, answering wave after wave of questions from reporters like he’s been doing it 10 years.

In the end, the Hawks might get more out of this series, even if they lose, than they did from beating Calgary and Vancouver. The Hawks want to be the Wings, and they’re going to be someday with a few tweaks here and there. Mark my words.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

If You’re An Ohio Cop…Don’t Mind Me, Just Keep Dozing

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Leaving in, wait one, about twenty minutes.  If I had more time, I’d address this.

TPSH

Chris Osgood is the weakest of the remaining goalies.  His best days are done.

Have at it.  Blast away if you want.  HockeyinHD consistently points out the flaws in practically every one of this guy’s arguments.  This one’s no exception. 

Me? I’ll be listening to 20,000 chant somebody’s name tonite.  “The Puck Stops Here” is too long of a name to yell, and we may not be smart or sober enough to get four syllables out consecutively like that.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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