Kukla's Korner Hockey
Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail shares some random news from the SCF today, including:
Red Wings’ defenceman Niklas Kronwall has a connection to the Swedish rock group ABBA; his father, Hasse, who passed away in 1992, toured with the group briefly before meeting his mother and marrying and getting out of the music business. However, Kronwall suggested that his family’s ABBA connection was “a little overblown. At some point, he was working with them; I don’t know exactly what his position was; he was traveling with them a little.”
Still, Kronwall counts himself an ABBA fan. “All Swedes are fans of their music; obviously, we don’t listen to them as much as back in the day, but I like the music and I think the musical Mamma Mia is great.”
ABBA, Nik? All Swedes? So cliché, but I suppose it’s better than that disaster pointed out earlier. Still, just once I’d like to hear about a Swedish hockey star listens to something less predictable and who has no idea what an IKEA is.
Q. Could we get an update on Tomas Holmstrom, we saw he skated a bit this morning and went off?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: He did just what everyone else did. And basically what we’re going to do is he felt pretty good. He’s going to come back for the game tonight, see how he feels.
If he’s ready to go, he’s playing. If not, obviously he’ll be scratched.
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo!
Dominik Hasek will enter the Hall in his very first year of eligibility. But right now, he’s been reduced to Hall of Fame backup.
“That’s the way it is,” Hasek said. “It’s definitely disappointing, especially because I feel well. Like I’ve said many times, I’m ready to go any time. But the team is playing very well, we’re winning. Ozzie is doing a great job for us. So I understand the situation. I wish to be there but the coaches feel they better go with Ozzie.”
And that’s a pure, honest sentiment from the 43-year-old Czech star. It’s eating him up inside not to be in goal right now. But he also has tremendous respect for his goalie partner and has been nothing but the good teammate since losing his starting job 26 minutes into Game 4 of the opening round in Nashville.
From Dave Waddell via the National Post:
Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, who was injured Wednesday when he was dumped by Pittsburgh defenceman Hal Gill, said he’s optimistic he’ll play in tonight’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final [...]
“Yeah, that’s how it looks like,” Holmstrom said when asked if he’ll play tonight. “It feels good.”
While opting not to discuss the nature of the injury, Holmstrom said it’s unrelated to his groin problem that caused him to miss almost all of March.
Plus more on practice lineups at Red Wings Corner.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
During the playoffs, we often talk about the sacrifices players make to reach the Stanley Cup finals; the commitment, the good fortune. NHL officials are no different. This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings represents their ultimate competition. Only the best of the best are chosen to call these games. This is their Stanley Cup as much as it is the players’.
So, every day, when O’Halloran steps out of the shower and notes the meandering scar that runs from his stomach around to his back, he is doubly thankful to be here, not just professionally, but at all.
“You wonder about karma sometimes,” the 44-year-old O’Halloran told ESPN.com this week. “March 13, 1983 was the day I was shot. So that’s why I wear No. 13.”
From Erik Erlendsson at the Bolts Report:
This is also what I was able to surmise from conversations last night. Barry Melrose is not a done deal. No definitive offers have been made to anybody and the team is still talking to other candidates. And to clarify one other thing, no deal with Melrose, or anybody else for that matter, can be done anytime soon, and certainly not in the next couple of days. Oren Koules and his group were told by the executive board of the NHL the other day that the only issues that can be dealt with right now are those of a time sensitive manner. A head coach, is not a time sensitive matter. Nothing can be done until the board of governors meeting on June 17 in New York. So even if a deal was in place, it certainly couldn’t be announced.
Now my reaction to the Melrose news is the same as many of you guys. I’m not sold on a coach who has been behind a television camera the past 13 years, and not behind a bench. I also can’t believe that if this were to be true, that Melrose will command a $2 million annual salary - NHL coaches not named Scotty Bowman don’t make that kind of money.
Note: Melrose himself maintained that no deal had been reached when talking to ESPN’s SportsCenter last night.
Q. Game 4 is the swing game in any seven‑game series, and a lot of your guys admitted to being nervous before Game 1. Do you think all those nerves are gone for tonight?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, I think so. We know what we have to do. And this becomes the biggest game of the series. So probably a lot of guys are going to have a similar mind‑set to Game 3.
Q. Kind of a lighter question for you here about Colby Armstrong, who is serving as a guest analyst for us. And Colby actually predicted in Game 3 you’d have a big game and you guys would win 3‑2. Do you think he makes a perfect analyst?
Q. Would you like to get the obstruction stuff out of the way first, before I ask my…
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: (Laughter) I said what I had to say yesterday, so let’s move on (Laughter.)
Q. You said the first couple of games nervousness could have been an issue with your team. Do you sense going on in the series that’s less and less the case, and do you think that will be less the case tonight?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: Absolutely. And it’s part of the process with a young team. And the more the series goes on, the more we’re going to feel comfortable and we’re going to be better.
And we got better every game. Our focus gets better every game. And tonight I’m expecting we’re going to play ‑ we played a good game, Game 3, but tonight I’m expecting we’re going to be better as well.
From Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
But the trade to Pittsburgh came as a complete surprise.
“I was actually negotiating on a new contract with Atlanta and I’d been teasing ‘Hoss’ for more than a month before the deadline about how much he was going to like going back to Ottawa or playing in Montreal,” Dupuis explained. “In the end, he got the last laugh.
“At first, I joked with reporters that I was coming along to carry Hoss’s bags. But I got the dream-of-a-lifetime job of playing on a line with Sid and Hoss.”
From Francis X. Donnelly at the Detroit News,
The Red Wings lead the Stanley Cup finals two games to one and the Pistons made the NBA Eastern Conference Finals for the sixth straight year before bowing out Friday night in Game 6.
Success has buoyed the spirits of the staggered populace, providing a respite from the bleak economic landscape, residents and psychologists said.
“We need it,” said Pat Searles, a Warren personal trainer who was laid off by a health club six months ago. “We need something to feel good about.”
On the other hand, as CBC points out, just don’t bet on the game! Sports is an emotional roller coaster, and the playoffs can be brutal.
*An old report on NPR stressed that sports fan stress can be a heart hazard.
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.
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