Kukla's Korner

Play Of Fleury The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Let there NOT be this headline in the papers, however: “Detroit, Choke City.”

The Penguins won this series more than the Wings choked it away. Yeah, Marian Hossa got a good taste of karma with this result and, yeah, no team in this decade has lost a home Game 7 of the Cup Finals until tonight. But Detroit was good enough to win tonight, and was in Game 6 as well.

The difference ultimately was the play of Marc-Andre Fleury, the oft-maligned goalie who was benched at times during the regular season and who many hockey insiders thought lacked the mental toughness to win a game like this.

more

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

The Journey Ends

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

There he was, Mario Lemieux, former captain and now owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, searching the crowd on the Joe Louis Arena ice surface for his current captain, Sidney Crosby. Finding Crosby, Lemieux gently handed the Stanley Cup back to him and, in doing so, closed the circle on the Penguins’ remarkable championship run.

For a team that on this night lost Crosby to a knee injury early in the second period and still gutted out a thrilling 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions from Detroit, its first championship since 1992 is as much a celebration of an improbable journey as it was the celebration of a game.

An improbable journey for a franchise that looked dead and gone just a few years ago.

An improbable journey for a team that fired its coach and looked a long shot just to make the playoffs in mid-February.

continued

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

Gary’s Wallpaper

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

We’re going to say this one more time and I’m going to make it as clear as I can.  No one here has claimed a “conspiracy.”  No one has said Gary Bettman orchestrated a Pens Cup.  It’s not Gary Bettman’s fault that Hal Gill accrued a grand total of 2 penalty minutes over the entire series.  Really. It’s not.

What we have said, and will continue to stand behind on this blog, is that he got what he wanted.  He wanted a North American “face of the NHL.”  He wanted to be able to point to the Pens as a franchise he “saved.”

He marketed Sidney Crosby.  He branded him.  Now he’s got him.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Great, Gutty Performance By The Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Face it, most people besides Pens fans were predicting a game 7 win by the Red Wings.  it did not happen and the Penguins played a great game 7 road game.

Get a goal, then another and then play the best team defense that you can. 

The system worked and I feel the key to the game was the Pens defensive system not allowing the Wings to play in the middle if the ice.  Most of the time the Wings spent in the offensive zone, was spent along the boards and they were unable to get the puck to the front of the net or any scoring lanes. 

When it gets to a game 7 anything can happen as last night showed.

Great series and now Pittsburgh holds the Cup.  Enjoy the summer Pens fans, then get ready to feel like your team has a bullseye on the back of their sweaters.

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

Pittsburgh Penguins Win The Stanley Cup

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I was wrong in prediction for the Stanley Cup finals.  Pittsburgh won.  That brings my record to 9-6 in my playoff predictions.  It’s a .600 record, which isn’t bad but I have done better in past years.  While I was wrong, the Detroit fans that make up most of the commenters on this blog were even more wrong.  For the last month or more they have been screaming at me how Detroit is an elite team and a dynasty.  Their dynasty didn’t win the Stanley Cup.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Don’t Blame Osgood

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Drew Sharp at the Free Press:

The coming days will find Detroit in a constant state of complaint. Those who fervently believed in the inevitability of a downtown championship celebration will seek blame for the Stanley Cup inexplicably leaving town.

The more-stubborn conspiracy theorists will take to their graves the certainty in their minds that Pittsburgh’s remarkable recovery from a 3-2 series deficit was a league-orchestrated operation to fulfill Sidney Crosby’s championship destiny.

But there’s one flaw in that theory. You mean there was only one flaw?

Crosby didn’t play the final 30 minutes Friday after an apparent knee injury.

There’s plenty of fault to go around following this collapse. 

Point a finger at the lack of secondary scoring, Marian Hossa’s vanishing act against his former team, as well as the missing in action Tomas Holmstrom and Jiri Hudler.

But you can’t blame Chris Osgood.

continued…

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

Mad Max’s Moment

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

via NBC Sports:

Max Talbot, this is your moment — and Marc-Andre Fleury, too, as he finally quieted the talk he can’t win a big game by making 23 saves in the biggest game of all.

Now, the list of players responsible for the Penguins winning Stanley Cups includes first-round draft picks Lemieux, Jagr, Crosby, Malkin, Fleury — and Talbot, an eighth-rounder and the 234th player taken in the 2002 draft, a proven scorer in juniors who was told he must reshape his game to make it to the NHL.

Retool it he did, becoming a grinder, a role player, a utility man deluxe with a knack of scoring big goals in big games, such as the goal he scored in the final minute of finals Game 5 a year ago, with the champagne on ice in Joe Louis Arena.

more

And more on Max Talbot from Cam Cole via the National Post

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

Grading the Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Canadian Press via the Sporting News:

A report card look at the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, evaluating their performance in the Stanley Cup final:

FORWARDS

Penguins, A: The prevailing thought was that Pittsburgh couldn’t match the Red Wings depth up front—WRONG. The Penguins won the two biggest games of the year without even receiving a goal from either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. And how about Max Talbot? His four goals in the series were two more than anyone else could muster. And how about managing to win Game 7 after losing Crosby to an injury? Impressive.

Red Wings, C-plus:
This group was clearly hurt by the foot injury to Hart Trophy finalist Pavel Datsyuk. Even though he was back in the lineup for the last three games, there’s no way he was at 100 per cent. Henrik Zetterberg, the best Wings player in the series, did all he could to pick up the slack but it wasn’t enough. It was a miserable final for Marian Hossa.

read on

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

Congratulations, Penguins!

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

imageCongratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on this year’s Stanley Cup win.  I’ll defer to Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters for the final minutes of play…

3:00: Three minutes. Tick, tick.

2:30: Two and a half minutes. Tick. Tick.

2:13: A shot by Kronwall from the right point just clinks off the cross bar after hitting a body or two. (thump, thump). Geez.

1:30: One and a half minutes. Tick. Tick. That’s bad grammar. We know.

1:17: The Red Wings take a time out to get organized with a faceoff in the Penguins’ zone. We can’t believe we’re watching this in person. Osgood is pulled.

1:00; One minute. Tick. Tick. [...]

0:00: End of game. End of season. End of playoffs. End of finding the way back to the Stanley Cup. Penguins 2, Red Wings 1.

Update 11:06pm ET: Malkin wins Conn Smythe. via TSN

The reluctant superstar put together the most productive spring in more than a decade, racking up a playoff-best 36 points and helping lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup.

That helped earn Malkin the Conn Smythe Trophy on Friday night, making him the first Russian ever to be named playoff MVP. In fact, he’s just the third European following Henrik Zetterberg last year and Nicklas Lidstrom in 2002.

“Big day in my life,” Malkin told CBC while his teammates paraded around with the Stanley Cup. “My friends are happy, I’m happy.”

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

Hello Summer

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Bottom line: any team that can beat the Red Wings four out of five games when the temperature’s above 75 deserves to win the Stanley Cup.

They, the team, deserve our congratulations. 

Because I don’t have to, I’m not watching the Cup presentation, the Smythe, the handshake.  We’ll be seeing quite enough of that for the next 12 months thanks…the hobbled “captain” lifting the greatest trophy in all of sport.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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