Kukla's Korner Hockey
To call Pittsburgh’s top regular-season scorer a non-factor so far in the Stanley Cup final may be generous. Malkin’s penalty minutes (four) easily exceed his number of shots on goal (one), and his minus-3 rating reflects the defensive contribution he made as the Penguins were manhandled by a combined 7-0 in the opening two games in Detroit.
Malkin often found himself bothered by Niklas Kronwall and the other bone rattlers on the Red Wings’ defence corps, something the Russian acknowledged in his halting English before a 3-0 loss in Game 2.
“Detroit have a good defenceman. Kronwall,” Malkin said. “I need to be more physical play. Have to pressure defenceman. Hit. Yeah, hit.”
more on Malkin and possible new pairings
from Spector’s Hockey,
Could Brian Campbell sign with Ottawa or Chicago? Are Pascal Leclaire’s contract talks stalled? Could the Wings retain Brad Stuart?
read on for Spector’s view on the above topics…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
On the overseas flight to the Stanley Cup final, Hakan Andersson pulled out his NHL guide and began to play a game.
The scout wanted to see if any player drafted in 1999 turned out better than Henrik Zetterberg.
He looked at Martin Havlat, first-round choice. He looked at the Sedin Twins, early first-round choices. He settled on his pick, Zetterberg, chosen 210th nine years ago.
“If you were to do the draft over again, I think he’s the first pick,” said Andersson.
Empty Netters is in a bind. They enjoy posting Penguins goal calls from Mike Lange, so far zero, nada.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
“You feel like you’re chasing the puck all night. That’s really what it’s felt like for us, chasing the puck all night,” Roberts said of Game 2, which was identical to Game 1. “You use up so much energy trying to find the puck, that by the time you get it you’re exhausted.
“We’ve played good hockey. We’re just up against a better team, and we’ve got to find a way to get a little more jump in our step, and play with that confidence that we’ve played with.”
By “better team” Roberts of course meant, better than any of their previous playoff opponents. Not better than the Penguins.
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Chris Osgood doesn’t like to talk about himself.
And he’ll be the first to tell you that.
“I’m just a quiet guy. I don’t like bragging about myself. Save that for another day,” said the Detroit goaltender, who, if he keeps making all the saves, won’t have a lot more days to wait this postseason.
From the Canadian Press via NHL.com:
“The fans love it. [Theo Fleury’s] going to be out here Thursday night throwing the first pitch,” said an unashamed Peter Young, president of the Calgary Vipers. “The league has said any time we want to use him we can and not go against our roster.
“He’s a pro athlete and he’s not likely to make a fool of himself. It’s not like Billy Crystal standing out there who has played in a couple of celebrity games in his life. This guy played professional sports.”
The announcement came on the same day the team announced it had traded a player to another squad for 10 baseball bats.
Fleury, wearing the Viper’s uniform with his trademark Number 14, appeared to be taking the whole hitting practice seriously although a slight paunch drummed up memories of Babe Ruth in his latter years.
Update 10:00am ET: The Canadian Press provides video of Fleury hitting some balls and talking to the media.
Tonight will be a limited posting night on KK. We need to re-charge our batteries a bit and have a little down time.
Therefore, this post is yours. Feel free to comment on the SCF, the upcoming draft, UFA period or anything hockey related.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
It would be more appropriate to call the Red Wings the Red Army. Expressionless, machinelike, almost joyless, Detroit is marching through the Stanley Cup finals the way the Soviet Union marched through the early portion of the 1980 Winter Olympics….
So, Detroit leads the series 2-0, which will give Wednesday’s Game 3 in Pittsburgh a Game 7-type atmosphere. We all know the Penguins have to win Games 3 and 4 to have a chance. The Penguins improved in Game 2 and should play even better in Game 3. The Penguins are 8-0 at Mellon Arena in the postseason and have a 16-game home winning streak dating back to Feb. 24.
With that expected improvement and incredible atmosphere, I’ve decided to hit the road and take in Game 3 in person. Of course, I will sit among the people to let the passion, love and desperation wash over me like a cold shower after 18 holes at Oakmont Country Club. I will write about the experience in this space as well.
Q. Was last night close to a perfect hockey game for your team in the sense that you didn’t allow a shot on goal until the 12-minute mark. You didn’t allow a five-on-five shot on goal until five minutes and change in the second period?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: It was a real good start for us. Obviously you want to get off to a good start. After winning Game 1, you’re always doing everything obviously to prepare for the next game. I thought we got off to a good start. I thought when we went up 2-0 they had a push there. We got cautious for a period of time. Other than that, we played a pretty good hockey game.
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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