Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Helene Elliott at the LA Times,
Kris Draper called the penalty killers’ job “unbelievable.” He wasn’t exaggerating.
“You see the guys they throw over the boards,” he said “that was really the difference in the hockey game, us being able to kill that off.”
Zetterberg was asked whether that sequence was the best he’d played in his life.
“What part?” he asked, genuinely puzzled.
From Lyle Richardson at FoxSports,
Since the end of the NHL lockout, however, the league implemented a series of new rules — which essentially saw officials whistling down blatant obstructionist tactics — that opened up the game for skill players.
No team has benefited more from those rules than the Red Wings, whose talented roster has skillfully played head coach Mike Babcock’s puck possession game, a system built on speed, puck movement and hard work, to perfection.
The Wings’ game is one of almost constant motion, focused on moving the puck quickly between teammates. Even when a Wings player appears contained by one or more opponents, they’re always looking for a way to move the puck.
As a result, the Red Wings are able to employ a swift transition game, dominating play in the offensive zone and resulting in numerous scoring chances.
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy,
The biggest disappointments in Game 4 ... well, I was going to say it was the strange lack of fire from the Penguins during stretches; but in reality, and without a doubt, they were found in NBC’s broadcast.
While it was nice the telecast acknowledged the tragedy, failing to show the moment of silence before the game in honor of Luc Bourdon was a disgrace and showed a massive misunderstanding of NBC’s hockey audience. The death of an NHL player is a rather atypical occurrence; a moment of silence before a Stanley Cup finals game for a fallen peer is extraordinary. It was a newsworthy moment, and NBC dropped the ball.
and more thoughts on game #4
Update 1:15pm ET: Also from Greg today, Darren McCarty’s thoughts from years back on the horrors of a nude Brendan Shanahan.
From Marty Henwood at Hockey.com,
All things being equal, it seems almost a foregone conclusion that Lidstrom will accept the most fabled piece of hardware in hockey - perhaps as early as Monday night - and hoist it high above his head. Watch closely. You’ll be seeing history.
You see, if Lidstrom and the Wings prove themselves to be the NHL’s best this year - and really it is no longer a question of if but rather when - he will become the first European captain ever to lead his charges in a champagne shower.
Hey, and either way, you’ll see a first. Should the Penguins somehow find a way to win three in a row, Sidney Crosby will be the youngest captain to ever win the Stanley Cup. Right about now, let’s just say that probably isn’t happening. As in a Jessica-Alba-will-probably- not-knock-on-your-door-asking- if-she-can-use-your-shower sorta way.
From Bruce Dowbiggin at the Calgary Herald,
Paul Kelly, the Boston lawyer who’s now the executive director of the NHL Players Association, believes Canada should have at least one—and perhaps more—NHL franchises if the league relocates a team or expands.
“I think it would be a huge error not to relocate one of the existing franchises to Hamilton or Winnipeg,” Kelly told the Toronto Star when asked about where failing U.S. franchises might move.
Kelly then pointed out that it’s folly for the league to blackball RIM billionaire Jim Balsillie, who wants to bring another team to southern Ontario.
“He built his company from nothing into an $80-billion company. We would be foolhardy not to see his efforts happen.”
(Kelly subsequently told the Herald by e-mail that this is an issue he will be pursuing, and that getting teams to Canadian markets where they can be more profitable is in the NHLPA’s interest.)
From the Edmonton Journal,
“I think he can be a star ... you can see the potential he has, the icetime he gets. He never wants to come off, and the way he can skate,” said Oilers assistant coach Charlie Huddy, who looks after the blue-liners. “I think he’s only scratched the surface. His offence will come ... the creativity will come out. You’d like to see him take the puck to the net more, the way he can skate.”
That’s the rub with Pitkanen. He doesn’t get nearly enough points for his ability, although he did have 43 twice in Philadelphia. He had a meagre 26 last season here, albeit in only 63 games because he had a bad knee and sundry other smaller ailments. That put him in a tie for 50th amongst defencemen with David Johnny Oduya in New Jersey and James Wisniewski in Chicago. Hal Gill, who would lose a race with the Zamboni, had 24 points, if you’re counting. Pitkanen should be a 55-60-point defenceman, but he’s not. He might also be a shutdown defenceman because he can close people off with his skating but those sort of guys often have a physical edge to their game. Pitkanen doesn’t.
There’s been much discussion this week about adding bans on motorcycles to NHL contracts. Some thoughts from Hugh Adami via Canwest News:
And, if a motorcycling ban was put into place, where does the NHL draw the line the next time something bad happens to a player involved in an activity that isn’t prohibited?
What if avid golfer Daniel Alfredsson is bopped in the head by an errant golf ball and misses half the season or is forced to retire?
And what about professional athletes and fast cars? Dany Heatley’s horrific accident in Atlanta almost five years ago resulted in the death of passenger and teammate Dan Snyder. Excessive speed led Heatley to lose control of his Ferrari. How could the Atlanta Thrashers protect themselves in the future against young players not using common sense in hot cars? Ban them from driving anything over 125 horsepower?
Regular readers will recall that I missed work around here for a week or so a few months ago due to a fairly serious concussion. If I ever decide to make a total fool of myself and confess exactly how I got that concussion, it would support Adami’s point well—you really can’t protect people from everything.
From Ben Schmitt at the Free Press,
Splat! The octopus hit the ice of Mellon Arena to a chorus of boos just after the national anthem Saturday.
But the tentacled toss didn’t come from a Michigander. Zach Smith, 19, of Cleveland, an avid Red Wings fan and adrenaline junkie, hurled the slimy creature. Then he got tossed. Security guards threw him out.
“You’re outta here,” Smith said they told him. “Come back in and you get arrested.”
But Smith and his two friends from metro Detroit, who asked not to be identified, had a plan. They had bought an extra ticket in anticipation of his booting. That’s an extra $300 from a scalper
From Tim Cowlishaw the Dallas Morning News,
“I came into the league and saw guys that were 32 and I said, “That’s not me. I’ll be done before then,’ ” he said. “Then 32 felt like it came and got here overnight. Now I hear young guys talking about not wanting to put in the work and I think, “Are you kidding me?’ “
Modano said he considered announcing his retirement at different points during the regular season when he was frustrated with his play.
“The first quarter of the season was really rough on me,” he said, recalling his struggles to surpass Phil Housley as the highest-scoring U.S.-born player in league history. “There were probably more times I didn’t feel I was as competitive as I wanted to be than there had been in the past.”
more including his current plans
From Erin Nicks at The Universal Cynic,
Anyway, back to Burns. The Senators need someone who can crack the whip and get this franchise back to a defensive mindset. It may only be a short-term solution for a couple of years (Burns’ act can wear thin), but it’s better than watching Bryan Murray wear two hats. He’s currently the right choice, which obviously means the Senators won’t get him. And don’t talk to me about Bob Hartley, okay? I want a coach who knows about building a foundation—I don’t want a guy behind the bench who wears it. (Combine the over-gelled hair and the eerily smooth skin tone, and you’ve got a walking corpse running the team.)
more… including thoughts on Bob Cole, Jim Hughson, the playoffs, etc
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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