Kukla's Korner Hockey
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
The way Marc-André Fleury sees it, the path to success for the Pittsburgh Penguins is simple: “If I can stop more pucks and we score more goals, we’ll be all right.”
But those few words mask a world of hurt for the Penguins, who need to win Monday to prevent the Detroit Red Wings from winning their first Stanley Cup since 2002. The Red Wings have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NHL championship series thanks to their efficient 2-1 win over the Penguins on Saturday night.
Actually, Fleury could have left himself out of the above equation. His work in the Penguins goal in the last two games was above reproach. It is the work of their offence in all four games so far that is wanting.
*Fleury highlights can be seen at the NHL Network Online.
From the AP via NHL.com,
Mike Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings expect to complete a new deal shortly after the season to keep the coach under contract next season and beyond.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Babcock said Sunday, a day before he and the Red Wings had their first of three chances to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Stanley Cup. “We just have a couple details to fix.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Question: Who, among these Red Wings’ players, is truly the most valuable? At the start of the round, the local newspaper polled four of its writers and got four different answers. It could be Henrik Zetterberg, their leading scorer; or Pavel Datsyuk, the runner-up. Even though he missed six games as a result of injury, it’s hard to overlook Johan Franzen, who continues to lead the playoffs in goals. Defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is drawing attention, as he closes in on being the first European-born, European-trained captain of a Stanley Cup championship team. He was the MVP choice the last time the Red Wings won it all.
Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford analyzes the SCF for NHL.com:
In fact, Crawford sees the penalty killing by both the Red Wings and the Penguins as underrated in this series, and gives his thoughts as to why they’ve each been so dominant.
“It’s been very tactically and technically a very sound, sound penalty-killing series,” he said. “And you have to make great plays to score.”
Saturday night, it was the Red Wings who made just one extra “great play,” and they came away with a very crucial victory.
The full article is here and at the bottom of the page are two links to Crawford’s podcasts on the series
Q. I guess looking at the ice time last night, [Evgeni] Malkin played more than Sidney [Crosby]. And is that, on your part, an attempt to just get Evgeni Malkin going? Does he warrant more ice time than Sidney? How do you manage ice time between those two?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: How do I manage the ice time? Our offensive players play on a regular shift, and they play on the power play. Obviously, Malkin playing on the power play, it’s a different role than Sid. And we want them to be productive offensively, so they play like every third or fourth shift, five-on-five. They play on the power play. Malkin played a little bit more on the power play. The biggest reason is because he’s playing the point. You don’t have to spend more energy probably than Sid as a forward has to work down low battling, all that type of stuff. So that’s a little bit the difference.
From CBC’s Satellite Hotstove Notebook,
Hollywood is calling Brian Burke. Yes, Hollywood.
On the heels of, or perhaps in-between, the Toronto Maple Leafs twice asking the Anaheim Ducks for permission to speak with their general manager, now comes word that Jerry Bruckheimer, the famous Hollywood television producer has also asked.
And three times the Ducks have said no, still intent on having Burke honour the final year of his contract
What is interesting about the Bruckheimer call, though, is that he doesn’t have a team. Yet.
Q. How valuable is it for you as a coach when one your best offensive players, Hank, is one of your best defensive players? Also, talk about the sequence yesterday where he blocked a shot up top and them came down and knocked Crosby’s stick down?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Him and Pavel and Nick and Rafi and Kronwall, they’re all the same in a way. Franzen as well. Maybe Filppula. They’re all our best offensive people and our best defensive people as well. We’re fortunate. I thought the five‑on‑three, we had to get a stop there. We did. Zetterberg did a great job. Came off the ice. Pavel went out and did a great job. And they called a timeout. So Z was allowed to go back out there again.
I think intelligent players with good hockey sense, you have a structure on your team. But they take the structure to another level, because they know what’s going on. They read plays. They cut off lanes. They know how to be in the right spot.
From Brian Compton at NHL.com,
“Jimmy was just a little bulldog,” Torrey said. “He didn’t work just during the season, but throughout the year. He’s smart, industrious … nothing but hockey 24 hours a day. I put him in charge of our amateur scouting and player development, and then I made him assistant GM. I made him look so damn good, (Red Wings owner) Mike Ilitch called me and stole him to Detroit.”
It certainly was a tremendous opportunity for Devellano to restore pride to the Detroit franchise. With the Joe Louis Arena less than half-full on most nights, it truly would be the biggest challenge of his career.
*A comprehensive article on the history of Detroit Red Wings’ Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor, Jim Devellano.
Q. Has Lidstrom said anything to you guys, either last night or this morning, and if you could just talk about what he’s meant to you during this playoff run?
NIK KRONWALL: I think Nick is one of those guys, when you have a chance to be on a team with a guy like that, it helps you to grow as a hockey player, and as a person as well. We had a little talk this morning and just want to make sure that all the guys knew what was going on and stay focused on what we need to do.
The transcript of a short interview with Marc-Andre Fleury today.
Update 2:58pm ET: Sidney Crosby transcript has been added below
Update 4:48pm ET: Marian Hossa and Jordan Staal have been added below.
Update 4:55pm ET: Darryl Sydor has been added.
Q. Do you expect any nerves? You guys haven’t been in a situation where the Cup is in the building?
MARC‑ANDRE FLEURY: Well, we’ll be pretty excited. It’s a good reason for us to not quit and keep playing hard and trying to have every chance for Pittsburgh.
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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