Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Adrian Dater at the ‘All Things Avs’ blog in the Denver Post,
I’m more proud than ever to cover the NHL, after watching last night’s triple OT thriller. It’s still the game of Real Men.
And that’s why, even though I bled green as a kid and have a virtual shrine to Larry Bird from where I write this, I probably won’t watch more than a few minutes of the C’s-Lakers Finals coming up in about 12 more days, or whenever they start a series in the NBA now.
I didn’t watch a full NBA game all year, and I’m not about to start now. The game is unwatchable to me now, and so are the god-awful broadcasts. I don’t need every 2-3 pass possession broken down 23 different ways by the men in pancake makeup, or the ditzy sideline reporter reporting that “Kevin Garnett told me the Celtics need to come out strong in the third quarter if they want to get back into this game. Guys, back to you.”
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
How entertaining was the contest? The worn-out beat reporters sitting on press row – men and women who after two months of travel typically pray for the final to end in a sweep, regardless of who wins – were standing in OT ...for good chunks of it anyway. It’s the first game I can recall attending in years where I felt nervous energy as a paid neutral observer.
“That was probably one of the best games for a long time,” said Penguins coach Michel Therrien. “And it’s fun.”
The question now is how does the NHL build off it; what can the league do to help sustain the momentum it has built?
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Indeed the most vocal that Lidstrom became during this year’s playoff run was before Game 6 of the Western Conference finals, after Detroit had lost two straight to the Dallas Stars. According to Cleary, Lidstrom said, “O.K., boys, this is going to be a good night for us. Do what we do, boys. Just believe in ourselves, and let’s not be nervous.” The Red Wings won 4-1 to clinch the series. Lidstrom speaks the hockey idiom in an English so lightly accented that veteran fourth-liner Kirk Maltby said he “found it weird” when Tomas Holmstrom joined the team in 1996 and Maltby heard Lidstrom speaking Swedish for the first time.
more on Nick…
Scotty talks game 5, GM meeting, coaching situation in Toronto and other hockey topics with the Morning Show on Fan590 In Toronto.
Go here to listen…
Don Cherry and Barry Melrose break down game 5 of the SCF.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
This must be what it feels like when the air tank runs dry just metres from the top of Mt. Everest.
It must be what the dirt tastes like when the Triple Crown is lost on some longshot’s improbable last leap to the wire.
This must be the way the Andretti family goes home from Indianapolis.
What else can you say about how the Detroit Red Wings were denied the Stanley Cup Monday night at Joe Louis Arena?
from Jean-Sebestien Giguere at the LA Times,
In Game 6, hopefully Pittsburgh will draw a little bit of energy from this win. The Penguins seemed to be a tired team out there. They’ll be in front of their fans and hopefully they’ll give them some energy.
They can’t rely so much on Fleury. They’ve got to try to play in their zone more. Try to put some pucks on net and don’t just keep throwing the puck down the middle. Those little blind passes are what Detroit thrives on. They’re going to have to keep their game a little more simple.
As far as Detroit goes, I don’t think it has to change much. Maybe play a little bit better defensively. But it went to six periods. I think they played well for the most part. If I’m Detroit, I’m telling myself that Game 6 is a must-win.
more on Game 5 and 6…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
After next season, Pittsburgh has only Crosby, Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney and Kris Letang under contract. That will be the time when Shero will have to figure out ways to try and pay Malkin and Staal as they hit unrestricted free agency. Malkin, it’s quite likely, will be looking for the same $9 million Crosby gets, or even more….
That said, Detroit has really only one major decision to make this summer and that’s how much to offer unrestricted blueliner Brad Stuart. The Wings’ next challenge will be to sign Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen in the summer of ‘09, but they have a history of being able to sign top players for less than market value.
So the team to watch after this Cup final might not be the Penguins. It could still be the Wings.
more on the Pens cap situation…
from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The rumor over the weekend was Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Fritsche or Stefan Legein and the No. 19 pick to San Jose for Patrick Marleau. I spent most of Saturday pursuing this and was told by a handful of close-to-the-situation sources that there’s no truth to it, that the two clubs have not put together the framework of any specific trade as of yet. No names have been mentioned.
If there was merit to the rumor, I would have sparked up a blog immediately.
from Empty Netters,
-The Penguins had no business winning that game. They were thoroughly outplayed for most of it.
-That was easily the highlight of our hockey-watching lives. We watched the four overtime game against the Capitals in 1996 and the five overtime game against the Flyers in 2000 on television. Those were memorable experiences, but they both pale in being able to witness Game 5 of a Stanley Cup final in person.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org