Kukla's Korner Hockey
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
The Wings did a brilliant job of limiting the Penguins’ attack in Game 2. Detroit held Pittsburgh without a shot in the first 12 minutes of the game. For those scoring at home (and even if you were just watching the game), the Pens managed just eight shots in a 52-minute span from the beginning of the second period in Game 1 through the eight-minute mark of the first period in Game 2. The Penguins didn’t get an even-strength shot until the second period. The problem is simple—Detroit manages to outnumber you just about everywhere on the ice.
“We play a different team than we played in the first three rounds,” Sykora said. “It’s like there’s nothing out there. For us, the key is to play the way they are — get that first goal, get the power play going and then shut it down and play good defensively. That’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s nothing special they’re doing out there. They got the first goal and then they shut it down.”
more on the game from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail…
Q. Can you comment on Gary Roberts on Franzen, please?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I haven’t seen it. I heard he didn’t have the puck, and I heard he tried to sock him in the head. I didn’t see it, so it’s hard for me to comment.
Q. You had a conversation with Malkin about him being the leader in this game. How do you explain him having zero shots in this game?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: It’s really tough to generate offense against that team. They’re good on obstruction. It’s going to be tough to generate any type of offense, if the rules remain the same. So it’s the first time we’re facing a team that the obstruction is there, and we’re having a hard time skating to take away ice.
We took two penalties tonight on the goalie. We never take penalty to the goalie in the playoff. I’ll tell you something, I reviewed those plays. He’s a good actor. He goes to players, and he’s diving. Took away our power play. Got to get focused. I know our players are frustrated right now. It’s tough to play the game. But Osgood did the same thing against Dallas under Ribeiro.
Our team never go to goalie. We never did it. And we don’t target the goalie. But this is, want to talk about experience, he goes to players, and he knows what to do, I guess.
From Dan Barnes at Canwest News via the National Post,
But Medvedev is not Russian hockey, merely a player in it. For now. The fact that he is trying to convince Igor Larionov to put a familiar, moderate face on the CHL as its first commissioner is a signal of his savvy. He is not the NHL’s worst nightmare, just a friendly competitor. For now.
“Mr. Medvedev obviously has a strong interest in hockey and we thought it might make sense to sit down and get a better understanding of his interest and what he is trying to accomplish,” said Daly.
The answer to that question will be different in a year or two than it is today. The assumption that he wants to hurt the NHL is a pretty easy one to make, but he resents it.
“It’s a very stupid assumption,” said Medvedev. “We don’t want to weaken the NHL. We want to enrich European hockey and the NHL.”
From William Houston at the Globe & Mail,
This will not be announced or acknowledged until well after the fact, but Bob Cole is calling his last Stanley Cup final for the CBC.
The veteran announcer’s future with Hockey Night in Canada is a sensitive subject that management will not discuss.
But sources close to CBC Sports say Cole’s assignments next season will not include the NHL’s championship series, although he will continue to call regular-season games.
continued… with mention that, as expected, Jim Hughson will be in Cole’s seat for the finals in 2009
Another article on Cole was noted on KK earlier today, praising his work in this year’s playoffs.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail hockey blog,
A more intriguing story is what will happen next in the organization if and when the Oren Koules group completes its purchase of the team from Palace Sports & Entertainment. The assumption is that Koules will then ask Feaster to replace his current coach, John Tortorella, with Barry Melrose, the ESPN analyst and coach of the Wayne Gretzky-led Los Angeles Kings team that went to the 1993 Stanley Cup final. Koules is from Chicago; he played junior hockey in the Western League, for a time in Great Falls and then in Medicine Hat. That’s the connection to Melrose - that and the fact that because of his ESPN platform, Melrose may be one of the most recognizable faces in hockey south of the 49th parallel, even if he hasn’t coached in more than a decade and the game has changed in so many dramatic ways since he last worked behind an NHL bench.
If Tampa shows signs of being a gong show, how will Vincent Lecavalier respond to ongoing attempts to sign him to a what could amount to a lifetime contract extension? He might just ask that negotiations be put off until everything settles out between the old and new ownership groups and he can see how the front-office shapes up.
From the LA Times,
The Penguins got a rude awakening at their Detroit-area hotel when a fire alarm went off about 1:30 a.m. Monday.
“It was kind of annoying,” forward Tyler Kennedy said. “I just stayed in bed. Worse comes to worse, I’d just jump out the window.”
Kennedy said hotel employees confirmed that it was a false alarm.
“They came out and said it was just someone fooling around,” he said. “Probably was a Red Wings fan.”
Also a note that Ryan Malone is currently sporting a broken nose, courtesy of Kronwall in Game #1
*hat-tip to Rotowire
From The Pittsburgh Channel.com,
While Pittsburgh’s hockey Penguins chase the Stanley Cup in Detroit, a young counterpart is waiting for them to bring it home so he can swim in it.
Sidney the penguin, named after team captain Sidney Crosby, hatched at the National Aviary on the city’s North Side in February.
“He can eat up to a pound of fish a day by himself,” said Erin Estell, manager of animal programs at the aviary. “He only weighs about five pounds. In the wild, that is a fifth of their body weight that they are eating.” That’s like a person eating 80 double cheeseburgers a day.
Update 6:37pm ET: For more on Sid the Kid Meets Wild Kingdom, Eric McErlain at AOL Fanhouse posted on what amounted to Sidney, The Diarist Turtle a few days ago.
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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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