Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jerry Green at the Detroit News,
Afterwards, Barry Melrose, once a bright young NHL coach and currently an ESPN wizard, castigated the Ducks for their lack of discipline. Melrose maintained the Ducks had stolen the victory.
“They should all leave the rink wearing masks,” Melrose told his ESPN audience in the quote of the night.
The Ducks have played without much discipline—or subtlety—throughout this series, headed to Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena Sunday afternoon.
They have become my choice for the new dumbest team in sports.
read on... some great old-school stories…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The fifth game of the Western Conference finals will be the one in which they stop taking the careless penalties that have sapped their energy and fueled the Red Wings’ offense, or it will be another showcase for their lack of discipline.
It will be the day they realize that mental toughness is more important than sheer brawn, or another occasion on which they let their emotions overrule their heads.
It’s their choice.
They can use their abundant talent to its fullest, or they can be drawn into tripping and hooking and holding and continue to tax their overworked defense and disrupt the flow of their offense.
They say they have chosen how they want to be known.
more (reg. req.)
from The Milford Daily News,
But any fan of hockey - traditional, old-school hockey as it was meant to be played - should have their eyes glued to the ongoing Western Conference Finals between Anaheim and Detroit.
The series might be the last chance for traditionalists to save the game.
If hockey general managers have proven anything over the years, it’s that they’re not the most creative bunch. The NHL is a copycat league; when one system or approach proves successful, you can be sure a good chunk of the league will try to do the same thing.
That means the winner of this series, which is tied at two games apiece heading into this afternoon’s Game 5 in Detroit (NBC, 3 p.m.), could provide the blueprint for many other franchises, especially if the winner goes on to take the Stanley Cup.
Anaheim and Detroit couldn’t approach the game any differently. And ironically, the roles are opposite what you would expect from the respective cities they call home.
By George James Malik
Chris Pronger needs to take his nose out of Playboy (audio interview, go to 24:28 mark and listen thru to 36:30 mark) and open up a physics book.
Physics does not explain why a 6’6” player is allowed to hit a shorter player in the head simply because he is taller than the shorter player. That’s a cop-out and rationalization of Burkeian proportions.
Does the “law of physics” state that, because players like Bertuzzi and myself are so massive (245 pounds), we’re allowed to shrug our shoulders when we take runs at players, and those players are injured?
When people like us play contact sports, we hurt people, and we don’t even mean to do it, because Newtonian physics state that momentum is conserved in collisions (barring factors such as friction and metabolism [body heat] dissipating some energy into the surrounding environment), or, in other words, when I hit somebody who’s lighter than me, they have to accelerate faster than I do, or absorb more force (force [in Newtons] = mass x acceleration).
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).
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.
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 OC Register,
“What I want to say and what I actually say are two different things,” Pronger said. “No matter what I say, it’s not going to matter.”
Pronger and teammate Rob Niedermayer sandwiched Holmstrom against the boards, with Holmstrom’s helmet popping off and him suffering two cuts that required 13 stitches when his forehead hit the glass.
“I’m going in for the hit, and I don’t see Robbie coming in as I’m hitting him,” Pronger said. “It’s a nothing play if Robbie doesn’t hit him. Just the sheer force of him coming back at me, of course I’m going to hit him in the head as he’s coming back to me. He’s quite a bit shorter. It’s just the law of physics.”
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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