Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Terry Frei at the Denver Post,
But major-junior players not making the NHL often end up educationally short-changed, or at least behind their contemporaries. The education-on-the-fly aspects of major junior and then major-junior’s scholarship program — roughly a year of college money for each year of playing — aren’t enough. (The major-junior scholarship program, let’s just say, doesn’t match a Harvard scholarship.)
Except for the absolute elite (and [Drayson] Bowman appears to be among that group) or players who would have little interest in a college education under any circumstances, I still believe the best route, for most U.S.-born players especially, remains NCAA hockey.
Elliotte Freidman did a great piece on Bob Probert duing the HNIC pre-game last night.
Cherry can’t believe the ice time for Malkin and feels Wings wrap up the series on Monday.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
When NHL GMs gather tomorrow in Detroit for their Stanley Cup get-together, they’ll start planting the deal-making seeds for the entry draft at Scotiabank Place June 20-21.
While not all the brass showed up at the prospects’ combine that was completed yesterday at the Westin Bristol Place, there were enough executives in the hotel lobby to fan the trade winds that have already started to blow.
Here’s a few players to keep an eye on:
Senators C Jason Spezza: His name will come up a lot in the next few weeks with his salary jumping $3 million (all terms US) to $8 million next season. Hard to believe the Senators would deal him; they’d have to get another front-line centre in return and Spezza has good chemistry with RW Dany Heatley.
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.
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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