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Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The television cameras caught NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in his seat during the second period as the Wings poured it on.

Bettman’s expression said it all. Watching the team he’s tied his league’s future to go up in flames, he looked a guy who was suffering from kidney stones.

-Bob Duff of the Windsor Star & contributor at NBC Sports.  More from Duff on the game last night…

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

Talbot Targeted Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The last time a Canadian player slashed a Russian player in an attempt to break an ankle was 1972. Everyone thought it was great then, but somehow I think the Red Wings are not going to think too highly of the Max Talbot slash on Pavel Datsyuk in Game 5.

Was it a ridiculously vicious chop? No. Was it a targeting of an injured player? Absolutely. And some people might suggest that’s what the Stanley Cup playoffs are all about but I’m sure the Red Wings would say otherwise as they don’t embrace that whole concept of vigilante justice very much. Their idea of getting back at the opposition is to do what they did in Game 5 – score lots of goals.

more on game 5…

added 7:48am, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Talbot was called for slashing—and it certainly appeared he was trying to aggravate Datsyuk’s bad foot. Talbot knows that critics probably will suggest his intentions were bad.

“They can suggest whatever they want. I went for the puck and his foot was there,” Talbot said.


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

Did Penguins Motivate The Wings?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

For almost a week, the dominant theme was how the Pittsburgh Penguins appeared to be coming of age, ready to be the best.

Last night, however, they looked far too immature to win a Stanley Cup.

Funny thing, the Pens started well against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. But it all went downhill after the opening three minutes. By the second period the rout was on, the classy Motowners showed they might still have a lesson or two to teach their opponents about composure, and multi-talented Pavel Datsyuk had made a triumphant, two-assist return in an overwhelming 5-0 Detroit win.

“The more I played the better I felt,” said Datsyuk.

Did he have his injured foot frozen in order to play?

“I don’t know,” he said with a slight smile. “It’s a secret.”...

In fact, the comments from Pittsburgh players like Brooks Orpik and head coach Dan Bylsma that Detroit players, specifically Henrik Zetterberg, looked tired in Games 3 and 4 in Pennsylvania rankled the veteran Wings.

read on

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

Rangers Need Star Power

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Penguins have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, the Caps have Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, the Hurricanes have Eric Staal, and the Rangers . . . well, and the Rangers have no one remotely comparable. Fact is, the Blueshirts don’t have a forward who would be selected in the top, what, 100 in a league-wide dispersal draft.

Fact also is that it has become nearly impossible to get a top-end, difference-making talent any way other than by bottoming out and hitting the draft lottery jackpot, for it is rare indeed that an elite player gets to free agency in his prime.

Which brings us to 28-year-old Marian Gaborik, eligible to become a free agent on July 1 following a season in which he, a) turned down an $80 million contract extension from the Wild because he had no interest in continuing to play for Jacques Lemaire; and, b) was limited to 17 games because of a hip injury for which he underwent surgery in early January.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

So Very Tired.  Exhausted.  Done.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Good morning.

Gather the family because Dave Guralnick has a present for them.  Go on now.  Go get ‘em. 

Ready?  Ok.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

No More Big Screen In Pittsburgh

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The biggest outdoor hockey party in the world in 2009 has been killed on orders of the NHL.  The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a big screen viewing party for many of their playoff games as possible outside Mellon Arena.  The problem is that the NHL doesn’t want this.  NBC has complained that the games broadcast on their station suffer apparent rating drops due to this big screen.  Since the NHL’s only stream of money from the NBC telecasts is a share of advertising revenue, which is dependent upon the game’s Nielsen ratings, they have killed these parties.

Nielsen ratings count the number of television sets that are tuned to the game.  They do not count the number of people actually watching the game.  Thus one screen with thousands of viewers counts the same for them as one screen with one viewer.  This is a rather poor methodology, because obviously many people watching a screen means many people watching the commercials and more likely to buy the products advertised.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Forget The ‘Old” Red Wings Label

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

If you listened to all the hyperbole heading into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, you would have thought the Detroit Red Wings were now known as the Decrepit Red Wings.

Their top center, Henrik Zetterberg, who is all of 28, was apparently going to be fitted for a walker, a respirator, bifocals and false teeth on the club’s off day.

The rest of this ancient group —- including guys such as 22-year-old Darren Helm, 25-year-old Valtteri Filppula, 28-year-old Niklas Kronwall, 29-year-old Johan Franzen and 30-year-olds Daniel Cleary, Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk — was so drained that cots were going be placed in the dressing room for between-periods naps.

Well, guess what? The Red Wings probably have enough energy left to take the Stanley Cup for a little stroll around Mellon Arena come Tuesday.


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

Game 5 Highlights

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Doc Emerick of NBC with the call…

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

Nothing Works For Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The superstitious Pittsburgh Penguins are running out of hotels in Motown.

The Penguins ditched the Detroit hotel they stayed in last year when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final, and after dropping the first two games of the 2009 championship series, they moved out of their downtown digs for suburban lodging.

The ploy didn’t work because the Penguins were thoroughly beaten by the Wings 5-0 in game five as the older Detroit players survived five games in eight nights with their best effort yet to take a 3-2 series lead at Joe Louis Arena….

Near the end of Karen Newman’s rendition of the national anthem, a couple fans tossed customary octopi onto the ice surface at Joe Louis Arena. Penguins forward Maxime Talbot skated over and spit on one of the squid before the game five began.

Talbot’s questionable decision was a sign of things to come for the Penguins in the second period, when the Red Wings power play finally got on track to score three times.


added 11:47pm, from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Can we officially call the Pittsburgh Penguins the Phoenix Suns/Utah Jazz now?

What a laydown, meek, terrible, abominable, atrocious, awful, putrid, lousy, rotten showing tonight by the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins, in Game 5 of the Cup Finals at Detroit.

The Penguins are the old Suns and Jazz wrapped into one. The Suns and Jazz always had good years in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but never could win it all.

These Penguins look like the NHL’s version of those two losers.

Absolutely awful performance tonight. I don’t care what the Pens do in Game 6; this series is over. And I suspect the Pens will do what they did last year in a Game 6 at home - play close for a while, then lose to the Wings.


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

Coach Babcock After Game 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q.      Your thoughts on the lift Datsyuk gave the team?

        COACH BABCOCK: Well, I think I said this earlier, if he played the series without Malkin and Crosby and they suddenly come ?? this guy’s one of the best players in the world both offensively and defensively in the winter. Just makes the team more comfortable. We need plays, and suddenly we relaxed and we made plays.

        We’ve been able to have success, but it’s been much harder, obviously, without him. And you have to learn to win a different way and find a way. I’ve been very impressed with our guys finding a way. We bought time so he can come back, and ideally he can help us get over the top.

Continue Reading »

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

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