Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Against Calgary and then San Jose, the Wings found themselves tied at 2 heading into home dates in Game 5. In both cases, they dominated the games en route to Game 6 series-clinching victories.
The Anaheim Ducks, however, are in uncharted territory. They dispatched Minnesota and Vancouver with relative ease in five games and now face their first must-win contest of the postseason.
Must win? History shows that when a series is tied at 2, the team that wins the fifth game has gone on to win 157 of 195 series (80 percent).
from the New York Times,
Sobotka remained a little-known player in the Red Wings’ organization until the early 1990s, when he unwittingly began what is perhaps the most wacky ritual in all of sports: the octopus twirl.
During a home playoff game in 1991, a fan tossed an octopus onto the ice after a Red Wings goal, a tradition that dates to 1952, when it took eight postseason victories to win the Stanley Cup.
As he had done for years, Sobotka quickly corralled the octopus with his bare hands. This time, however, Sobotka took a moment to greet the crowd, with eight tentacles.
“I just gave that octopus a little twirl over my head,” he recalled. “The place went nuts.”
Q. Chris Pronger was quoted in the radio station back home for you guys saying that the officiating has been an absolute joke. And I wonder what your thoughts are on that, and if it troubles you to hear that your players might be sort of speaking out about the officials like that?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. And in the case of officiating, obviously we think, and every coach does, that at times calls didn’t go your way. And I’m sure Detroit feels that there are some calls that didn’t go their way.
It’s a game of intensity that gets ramped up in the playoffs, as there’s more pressure on players to perform, there’s more pressure on officials to perform.
As far as that, that’s the way I look at it. You can’t, from my standpoint, sit here and criticize. It’s more about playing for the next one. It’s more about giving the respect that’s necessary to the people that are in charge of the hockey game.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Babcock was incredulous to Pronger’s explanation, and turned to the moderator, NHL vice-president Jamey Horan, and said “we have one more question?” When he was told that was it, he walked off.
Pronger is many things: a Norris Trophy winner, a Hart Trophy winner, an Olympic gold medalist, funny, bold, honest and outspoken. He may also prove to be a motivator because his words on Friday appeared to have fired up the Wings. The big defenceman didn’t stop at his physics remark.
He also told the Roggin and Simers Squared radio show:
“The league should make its own calls, not be pressured into anything by the media, and more to the point, the Canadian media,” said Pronger, who was suspended for Game 4 on Thursday, when his teammates scored a 5-3 victory to tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2.
Read the full transcript from today’s Q & A with Babcock…
from Ralph Strangis at the Dallas Stars,
This is Ralph Strangis coming to you somewhere over the Rocky Mountains. Once again this season I’ve been given the task of ice-level reporter for NHL Radio for the Western Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals….
So now we head back to what might be the hardest building in the hardest city in the National Hockey League (Joe Louis Arena). I’ve also discovered there is actually a worse place to work a game than the press box of Joe Louis Arena and it is the bowels of Joe Louis Arena. I’ve been roaming underneath the stands, having beer spilled on me, rat traps are all over the place (and I’m not kidding), and during the overtime of Game Two I was literally under the bleachers right next to Chris Osgood behind the Detroit bench and could not see a thing. But I had to report from ice level like I could see something.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
We start with:
- One large room;
- 17 burn-my-iris-till-it-smokes floodlights;
- One extra long buffet table (remove Have a Happy Life Bob & Sue sign);
- A smattering of cameras;
- Four guys from previous century with notepads;
- One over-sized background façade (logos must be visible from Space Shuttle);
- Some people to man the cameras;
- Some coaches and athletes to field the questions and look pretty.
In prep stage, all media to be dressed inappropriately, unseasonably or in total oblivious violations to all known fashion rules or examples of good judgment.
from the Detroit News,
It takes more than hockey players to put on an NHL playoff game. An entire crew of Joe Louis Arena employees, independent contractors and others works around the clock to make sure the Red Wings game runs smoothly.
For many, including those who handle team equipment, audio/visual needs and concessions, the workday isn’t half done when the first puck hits the ice.
If he’s a difference-maker, now would be a good time to show it.
Up to this point, any comparison of Pronger, a one-time Norris Trophy winner, to the Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom, who has won the award four times, has looked like a media invention for which we should apologize profusely to the elegant, nearly error-proof Lidstrom.
It’s been no-contest.
from the Miami Herald,
Belfour believes he is worth considerably more now that he has proved his durability. He earned a base salary of $750,000 last season as part of an incentive-laden deal.
‘‘My base was low because I had back surgery,’’ Belfour said. ``Throughout my career, my base was a lot higher. . . . I proved that I was durable and I’m not going to play for that kind of money this year, that’s for sure.’‘
via the NY Post,
Lou Lamoriello yesterday told The Post the Devils will pick up the option on Sergei Brylin’s contract, preventing their ace utilityman from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
In addition, Lamoriello said he will tender qualifying offers to all of his big club restricted free agents, all but ensuring Cam Janssen and Johnny Oduya will remain with New Jersey. That announcement also will cover Zach Parise and Paul Martin.
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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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