Kukla's Korner Hockey
Reading the different forums and blogs on the Wings/Flames series, it has been a panic theme after every game.
Just remember what I said after the Wings went up 2-0, it is not a series until a road team wins. Still hasn’t happened and it may not.
The home ice may actually come in play for this series.
From Helene St. James at Detroit Free Press,
As the Red Wings prepared to play tonight’s Game 4 of their first-round series with the Flames, establishing success on special teams was at the forefront.
While the power-play struggles can hardly be surprising giving its ineffectiveness throughout the regular season, the penalty killing’s vulnerability has been far more noticeable. The Wings have allowed four power-play goals in three games, and their 75% success rate ranks 14th among the 16 NHL playoff teams.
Plus: St. James questions if Bertuzzi could boost the Wings’ 2nd line.
From Randy Sportak at the Calgary Sun,
Down the road, Jarome Iginla can tell the tale of when he pulled a Babe Ruth—calling his shot and delivering at the biggest moment.
For now, though, the Calgary Flames captain just wants to chalk it up to a good break coming at the right time.
Yesterday morning, Iginla proclaimed he was on the verge of snapping a personal drought against the Wings.
Hours later, he scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period in a 3-2 victory over Detroit.
From Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press,
Pavel Datsyuk doesn’t use hair-care products, a teammate pointed out, while Henrik Zetterberg has rock star hair.
The two young Red Wings have markedly different personalities, and there are those around them who wonder at times how they communicate so well. Their chemistry, though, is indisputable: They became fast friends four years ago, have played well with one another, and now they’re as dominant a pairing as can be found in the NHL.
from the Globe and Mail,
So the beverage buzz must be true of all other NHL arenas — the so-called “crazy beers” at Rexall Place in Edmonton jumps to mind — but like any good hockey rivalry, nothing quite matches the storied history of Calgary’s heroin beer.
“Maybe we just have a more exciting atmosphere,” Raines added with a laugh. “We certainly work hard to create a more exciting atmosphere.”
As Jason Zimmer and Jody Evans, both in their late 20s, carried cups of beer back to their seats during a recent regular-season home game, they offered their own insight into the phenomenon. There isn’t anything special in the beer, they agreed, but the heroin beer effect is real, they insisted.
from the CP via TSN,
“Obviously I think Jarome has a lot more to give,” Playfair said. “Their top players have outplayed our top players.
“(Tuesday) night is a game we expect that to be improved upon.”
The Flames have to cycle the puck more effectively through the offensive zone and get more shots on Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek, who has seen just 20 and 15 respectively from Calgary.
“Get pucks to Hasek from every possible angle.” Playfair said. “You’re not going to score on Dominik Hasek very often on your first shot.
“It’s going to be second shot, your third shot. Maybe he doesn’t have his stick in his hand by the time you score because you keep pounding away on it.”
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
What we didn’t know, expect or even think we were going to get was a Calgary team that didn’t show up for Games One and Two in Detroit.
Those outings were so pitiful that one well-respected hockey pundit called for the dismissal of head coach Jim Playfair and the return of Darryl Sutter behind the bench.
As if that would make a difference.
With all due respect to those who see the Flames having a hope of a chance to recover in this series via something as radical as a coaching change or even a few wins in the friendly confines of the Saddledome, let’s face facts.
from the Calgary Sun,
In two games, Pavel Datsyuk has potted two goals for the Detroit Red Wings.
His linemate, Henrik Zetterberg, has fired 11 shots on goal and is a plus-3 despite failing to collect any points.
The other linemate, Tomas Holmstrom, has a helper, fired six shots on goal and caused havoc, setting screens in front of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
In comparison, the Calgary Flames’ top line has combined for ... well, not much.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Now let me get two big disclaimers out of the way before I address what’s wrong with the Flames.
First, I am not offering any predictions here or going by any ‘insider information.’ Secondly, I rarely, if ever, want to throw a head coach under the bus. The ultimate responsibility of a team’s performance lies with the players on the ice.
Having said that, if I were general manager Darryl Sutter and the Flames’ ownership, I would look long and hard at replacing Jim Playfair going into Game 3.
Is it dramatic? Absolutely.
more... and I thought the same thing today, but dismissed it because people would have thought I was crazy.
from the Calgary Sun,
After the Flames were handed a 3-1 loss today during the second game in series against the Detroit Red Wings, fans who hit the town to watch the contest at Calgary watering holes described their team’s performance as anywhere from disappointing to shameful.
“It’s very disappointing,” said fan Andrew Potocki.
Potocki said he hopes the Flame’s outstanding home record will lead to wins when the series moves to Calgary but he fears his team is too far behind to mount a viable come-back.
“If we don’t pull off game three on Tuesday, we might as well just pack it in,” he said.
The Wings are finally playing playoff type hockey, but remember, it isn’t a series until a road team wins.
This series is not over by any means, we will see a different Calgary team at home on Tuesday.
added 4:48pm, Just a little note, but with Lidstrom’s two goals in this series, he ties Larry Murphy for 5th all time for goals scored by a defenseman in the playoffs.
1. P. Coffey: 59
2. D. Potvin: 56
3. R. Bourque: 41
4. A. MacInnis: 39
5t N. Lidstrom 37
5t L. Murphy: 37
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