Kukla's Korner Hockey
An open post today, asking your views on the game tonight.
Also interested in any superstitions you will bring out tonight to guarantee a victory, for either team!
added 11:10am, We Just Want One Bounce, my NHL.com blog today…
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
The difference in this series is 3-2, but it’s closer than that. The glare of a shiny Cup is adding to the distemper.
“We believe we’re in control,” said Babcock, arching his back from the wall. “It’s time to put our best foot forward. We’re not going away easily. Actually, we’re not going away.”
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Ducks players were shrugging off comments Hull, now a hockey analyst with NBC, made during Anaheim’s 2-1 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings Sunday. The Ducks lead the Western Conference final 3-2 and can advance to the Stanley Cup final by beating the Red Wings in Tuesday’s Game 6 (CBC, 9 p.m.) in Anaheim.
“If I was Detroit, I would not be worried about being down 3-2, because they dominated,” Hull said on air after the game. “They can go in and win (Game 6) and come home and win Game 7.”
Anaheim defenceman Chris Pronger, who also isn’t shy about speaking his mind to the media, shook his head when asked about Hull’s prediction.
Q. Coach, was there any question in your mind about when to pull Giguere at the end of the game?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I guess there’s always a question of when. We just felt that with the face-off and a power play and almost a full two minutes to utilize, it would be the best time to do it.
And as I stated last night, if it works it’s a good move. If it doesn’t work, then you’re open for criticism. But that holds true with a lot of decisions you make as a coach. And that’s just part of the job. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Last night it did.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Everyone loves to hate a villain, and in the NHL, the Ducks are exhibit A—as in Anaheim. Even their makeover from the cartoonish Mighty Ducks to their more Dark Wing inspired motif fits. They fought more than any team during the regular season, and they continue to win in the playoffs despite taking penalties at an alarming rate. It’s part of playing a relentless forechecking style and banging bodies at every opportunity.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The best team in the Western Conference final is not winning the Western Conference final.
The deeper and stronger team on the ice is not leading 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
When summer hits, and the Wings have not been part of any kind of parade, they may well look back at yesterday’s game at Joe Louis Arena, and at Game 4 in Anaheim, both of them one-sided, and tear themselves apart wondering how they let this opportunity pass.
from the LA Times,
“It’s huge,” Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. “To come up in this building and steal a game tonight and battle back the way we did, to stay focused and stay on the job at hand, it’s good for our group.
“We’ve just got to continue on, and hopefully we can get it done at home.”
Game 5 had been the Red Wings’ domain in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs — they won it in the first two rounds against Calgary and San Jose to help them close out those series in six games.
more (reg. req.)
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
It wasn’t just the Datsyuk call that bordered on the ridiculous. The Wings got a power-play opportunity in overtime that was unwarranted when Travis Moen was nailed for hooking Danny Markov that challenged the Datsyuk penalty in lameness.
You don’t want special teams deciding special games such as these, but the NHL can’t see beyond its tunnel vision. But doesn’t the league see the headlights of the approaching train?
How stupid is this league?
It changes the rules to promote more offensive creativity with the hope of attracting more television viewers, then it lets NBC hijack the overtime period for what proved to be the decisive game in the Eastern Conference finals Saturday for 30 minutes of Preakness prerace coverage.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
Put it this way: I lost count of the number of times Brett Hull used the word “terrible” to describe the Ducks and Game 5 hero Teemu Selanne, during Sunday’s NBC telecast.
Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but Hull, a former Red Wing who was on Detroit’s 2002 Stanley Cup championship team, sounded like a man who lost a bet on Game 5.
This is what Hull thought of the Ducks’ performance after they pulled out an improbable 2-1 overtime victory at Joe Louis Arena to seize a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference finals heading back to Anaheim for Game 6:
“They were terrible with the puck, they were terrible on the puck, they were terrible (on) positioning ... they were just terrible.”
Q. Obviously you talked about the last play, how did you see it develop and did you believe the puck was suddenly there in front of you?
EEMU SELANNE: I just tried to do some forechecking job, obviously made an unbelievable play as well. I was obviously surprised to get that puck so open.
But it was good bounce and it’s great to see that go in.
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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