Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Red Wings—a terrific club in just about every way—seem destined to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.
“Obviously, we’re in a tough situation,” Penguins winger Marian Hossa said. “But they still have to win one more game. We’re going to make it really miserable for them.”
That was the general theme in a disappointed Penguins dressing room. No one wanted to talk about having to win three consecutive games, two on the road. “We just have to win one,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “If you worry about winning three games, it can get a little overwhelming.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHL no longer is about referees who call games by feel and on instinct and who recognize that an elastic clause must be part of any rulebook, even if written in invisible ink.
Instead, it’s about referees who color by number, who are working not to please the participants but rather their supervisor who deducts points for every incident in which some player raises his stick parallel to an opponent’s and is not whistled for a penalty.
Missing significant and blatant penalties? That apparently doesn’t count for as much in this administration.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Three days of insistent whining by Michel Therrien about alleged obstruction and a well-timed dive by Sidney Crosby combined to put the Pittsburgh Penguins in a wonderful position to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive.
But the Detroit Red Wings would have none of it.
Instead, they absorbed an interference call produced by Crosby’s clever lunge that gave the Penguins a long, 5-on-3 power play in the third period last night, grimly fended off every second of it without allowing a single shot on goal and rode that tremendous effort to a 2-1 victory in a hard-fought, bruising Game 4 of the 2008 Cup final.
From David Staples at the ‘Cult of Hockey’ in the Edmonton Journal,
NHL refs call ticky tack fouls for minor and inconsequential stick infractions all year long, but when it really matters, they refuse to call crucial obstruction penalties, and that’s why Pittsburgh failed to come back and tie the game on the Penguin’s five-on-three powerplay in the third period Saturday night.
Detroit ace Henrik Zetterberg laid the lumber on Sidney Crosby at the side of the net, tying up his stick far before Crosby ever got the puck, thus making it next to impossible for Crosby to score when Marian Hossa put a perfect pass right on his stick, with a wide-open net staring at Crosby.
It was the kind of non-call the NHL is infamous for. Unlike any other major North American pro league, where a foul is a foul is a foul is a foul, no matter what the score and what the import of the game or when it occurs in the game, the NHL’s definition of a penalty constantly shifts.
12:22am ET: Updated below with quotes from Marian Hossa and Darryl Sydor.
Q. Sid, if you could just talk about that five‑on‑three and what you think went wrong on there?
SIDNEY CROSBY: We missed the net a few times. And there was a couple pucks laying on the crease we just didn’t put in. I think if we went back, we’d try to hit the net and generate more from that. But we got set up there for a while, and just couldn’t put it in.
11:50pm ET: Updated below with some comments from Chris Osgood added.
Q. Henrik, can you describe just in general your defense tonight and specifically your defense on the five‑on‑three?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: That was the one thing we wanted to do a little better today. We want to have a little bit more poise in our own end.
We wanted to make some good decisions down there. I think we did. They got opportunity to tie up the game with the five‑on‑three in the end there.
We played good. We tried to keep them outside and tried to be in the shooting lanes. And when they got a puck through, Ozzie made a save.
Q. Can you comment on the missed opportunities on the five‑on‑three, please?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: Tough to explain. And there’s no doubt we needed to get that goal. We didn’t execute well.
We got a good chance to tie up the game right there, and we didn’t do the job.
Q. You weren’t real happy with Zetterberg after 3. Can you give us your thoughts on that one after 4?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: That’s not what I said. After 3 what I said was that the coach didn’t do a very good job, and I had some people on the ice too long. I thought those guys are fantastic players, obviously, and they drive the bus for us.
And but they’re like everyone else. We all gotta be good. When I don’t do a good enough job, you gotta ‑ you need to stand up. When you don’t, you gotta be willing to call them out. I thought Zetterberg was fantastic. So was Datsyuk in that five‑on‑three, Kronwall and Lidstrom.
Post-game press conferences broadcast live at the NHL Network Online.
Update 10:58pm ET: From Ira Podell of the AP via the Star-Tribune,
The Detroit Red Wings wrecked the Pittsburgh Penguins’ home-ice advantage and gave themselves a shot to hoist the Stanley Cup in Hockeytown.
Jiri Hudler snapped a third-period tie for the Red Wings, who rallied from an early deficit to beat the Penguins 2-1 Saturday night and grab a 3-1 lead in the finals.
From Greg Logan at Newsday,
Popular backup goaltender Wade Dubielewicz, who helped the Islanders reach the playoffs two seasons ago, is among a group of unrestricted free agents the club plans to let go. General manager Garth Snow said no offers have been made to forwards Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko and Josef Vasicek because of the need for roster space for a youth movement, and “Dubie” rejected the offer he received.
“We made a significant offer that he turned down,” Snow said of Dubielewicz, who had a 9-9-1 record last season with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. “We wish him the best.”
continued with more on the NYI’s upcoming roster plans
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.
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