Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Dr. Larry Lauer at NHL.com,
The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins now stand four wins away from achieving their mission—winning the Stanley Cup. But just making it to the Stanley Cup Final is an accomplishment. The long journey begins with the preseason, carried through the grind of 82 regular-season games, and then six weeks of physical, intense playoff hockey.
This has to be truly one of most exciting times in a player’s career—the anticipation of a championship, the anxiety of the “what will it be like” and “everyone is watching,” the confidence of having disposed of three tough opponents, and the desire to make an impact in the biggest series of your life.
From Chuck Gormley at The Sporting News,
But for all of the players who have had their names inscribed on the Cup, an equal number have fallen just short in their quest for Lord Stanley’s coveted mug. So what separates the winners from the losers? What makes the 34 1/2-pound silver chalice so difficult to attain?
For answers, we sought out current and former players who have reached the finals.
continued with memories and opinions from the likes of Mike Knuble, Georges Laraque, Bobby Clarke and others
Can we all say enough predictions and analysis!
I am heading to NHL Media Day in about an hour or so and Alanah will soon be joining you at KK.
Hopefully I will be able to file some reports throughout the day and remember, you can watch a live stream of NHL Media Day beginning at 2pm ET today.
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
“I try not to think about where I am right now,” said Helm, a fifth round choice (132nd overall) of the Red Wings in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. “Obviously, I’m going to cherish this moment but I’m not going to get to caught up in it.
“Every kid growing up wants to play in and win the Stanley Cup. We’ve still got another huge step to make but it’s a dream to get this far.”
Helm’s rise through the Red Wings system is nothing short of remarkable.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Still, it’ll be the Lidstrom versus Crosby confrontation that will be worth the price of admission.
Aside from his obvious talent, it’s Crosby’s industriousness and strength on his skates that truly make him a handful. Lidstrom, of course, has made a living playing against the best forwards on the opposing roster every night for 16 years, playing more of a contain-type game than an attacking one and rarely being caught out of position.
If Babcock goes for this matchup in Detroit, it will be intriguing to see whether Penguins head coach Michel Therrien accepts it, or tries to get Crosby away from the multiple Norris Trophy winner.
from Ryan White of the Oregonian,
Watch. Watch for the little things. Watch the way Lidstrom holds the puck a second longer than anyone else, and opens up a world of passing lanes. Watch the way Crosby finds lanes not even Lidstrom could imagine. Watch Datsyuk and Zetterberg and Malkin move through traffic, so calm in the middle of so much chaos.
Watch what should be one of the best Cup finals in a long, long time. Go ahead. Do it. You work hard. You deserve the pleasure this series should provide.
from Empty Netters,
What if the Penguins win the Cup?
continued... and that was enough Cup talk Seth!
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Declared dead after the lockout of 2004-05, the league is now being hyped as prime for the mass-market breakthrough it has yearned for since Commissioner Gary Bettman was in short pants.
Its showcase event, the Stanley Cup finals, will begin Saturday in Detroit with Crosby and Fleury’s whiz-kid Pittsburgh Penguins facing Lidstrom’s savvy Red Wings. The games should be entertaining, with clear storylines:
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A matchup of the two best teams in hockey, something of a rare occurrence in hockey and a series where a great many in the business of sports forecasting would be willing to just throw up their hands and yell “pick’em”.
But not your humble Sportsnet. ca correspondent.
What follows is an expanded Sportsnet.ca breakdown complete with an overview, an explanation of what both teams need to do to win, an analysis of the key players and, as always, an unshakeable prediction in regards to how it will all turn out.
You don’t have to thank me now, but feel free to send a cheque in my name to any charity of your choice including the Kelley’s Kids foundation a group that has had it’s hand in my wallet for decades.
From Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports…
The abridged review of the NHL Powered by Reebok Featuring XM with Special Appearance by Starbucks Store: Cool gear, awesome customer service, but I was promised an ice wall “which serves as a backdrop to feature merchandise as well as the Stanley Cup at select times throughout the year,” and I did not get to see an ice wall “which serves as a backdrop to feature merchandise as well as the Stanley Cup at select times throughout the year.”
But Puck Daddy has fun nonetheless, reviewing the NHL store, accompanied by photos. (Including an ever-so-slightly disturbing image of my fine friend copping a feel off a female mannequin wearing a Blues t-shirt…)
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