Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Puck The Media,
NBC’s coverage of Game 1 of the Detroit/Chicago series drew a 2.0/5 on Sunday. That rating marks the best ever rating for an NHL On NBC broadcast, excluding obviously the Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Classic.
Steve at PTM hopes to have local numbers later today, so check back for those.
added 1:18pm, The local numbers are in for Chicago and Detroit. People were watching in Detroit and Chicago. See the numbers by clicking the above link.
“They got a nice hockey club and, as we sit here and watch them, we’re watching them grow. We can’t wait for them to get into cap trouble, to tell you the truth. When you’re young like (the Blackhawks), and players are playing for cheap, you can have an abundance. But pretty soon, they’re not playing for cheap, and then, that’ll help us out.”
Wings Coach Mike Babcock on WDFN this morning. Listen to the interview at Mlive.
from Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Because it’s Chicago and Detroit, it’s hard not to think about a young Bulls team led by Michael Jordan needing to conquer Isiah Thomas and the NBA champion Pistons before winning championships. Those Bulls had to be frustrated by Detroit before maturing into winners, and these Hawks probably need more time, too.
The problem is, now that they have handled Calgary and Vancouver, it’s only natural to want more. It’s easy for hungry fans to rip into Kane, who followed up his hat trick against the Canucks on Monday with a dud at Joe Louis Arena. Nobody could make Kane feel any worse than he already felt, though.
‘‘We tried to make a statement,’’ the boyish Kane said glumly. ‘‘This was a big game for us. We had the start we wanted. We got off to a 1-0 lead. But they took it to us the second half of the game.’‘
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
• The Red Wings are not unbeatable; it’s just that it’s hard to catch them.
• I’d like to see what would happen if Chris Osgood REALLY was tested in the Detroit goal.
• If Nik Lidstrom got any better he’d be Zdeno Chara.
• I’m very interested in seeing how Sid (Days Of Whine and Roses) Crosby plays against team that can spell D-E-F-E-N-S-E; otherwise known as Carolina.
more bullet points…
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
Still searching for an explanation for the Game 1 disappointment? Maybe the Hawks were simply overmatched.
“I don’t think we looked overmatched at all,” Seabrook said. “I think they’re a great team, and they come with a lot of speed. We had our chances too.”
Speed is supposed to be the Hawks’ advantage, and we’ll take it on faith that it eventually will show itself in this series. But speed doesn’t mean anything if you cough up the puck.
The Red Wings looked tired in Game 7 of their conference semifinal against Anaheim. But on Sunday, as Seabrook put it, “they kept coming, they kept coming and kept coming.”
They did indeed, and let it be a lesson to these baby-faced Hawks that the great teams know how and when to turn it on.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Game 1 of the Western Conference finals looked awfully familiar.
It reminded us of the first two games the young Pittsburgh Penguins played in Detroit last June in the Stanley Cup finals. The Pens never touched the puck and wondered what had just hit them. By the time they recovered in the series, it was too little, too late.
The Detroit Red Wings delivered that same lesson Sunday, controlling large stretches of the afternoon in a dominating 5-2 victory over the young Chicago Blackhawks.
The class in question Sunday was Puck Possession 101, a course the Red Wings have taught many times to the rest of the league.
“Welcome to the Western Conference finals, kids,” the Wings seemingly said loud and clear Sunday. “Did we tell you this was our eighth trip here in 14 seasons and third in a row?
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Adam Burish knew immediately there was a problem.
“I saw his skate come right up my throat, and right away I grabbed my neck and said there’s something coming out here,” Burish said. “There were a couple drips, so I was pretty darn lucky.”
It was the second period, and Burish and linemate Ben Eager were forechecking in the Detroit zone when Eager and a Detroit player got tied up. Eager lost his balance and his skate flew up and clipped Burish in the throat.
It was a play reminiscent to the scary Richard Zednik incident last season, when Olli Jokinen’s skate blade sliced Zednik’s jugular vein.
But Burish was more fortunate; he skated away from Eager’s out-of-control skate knowing he was a lucky man.
“I don’t know how I’m so darn lucky,” Burish said. “It was centimeters, millimeters away from slicing (his throat).”
added 8:27pm, Video of the incident is included in the game hightlights from NBC via ESPN below. The skate to throat incident starts at the 45 second mark…
added 9:45pm, A 2nd video of the incident has been added below…
Q. Talk about the job that Dan did today.
MIKE BABCOCK: You know, obviously he’s playing with real good players, playing on a good line. They’re playing against important people in the game.
I thought we were in trouble really off the start of the game, whether it was engagement, whether it was coming off a big series, whether it was not as much time, whatever, we weren’t very good, and they were taking it to us. They were up 1?0. He made a real good shot. Then I thought we settled in and got playing real well after that point. Any time you’re driving into the net, get your stick on a puck, that’s just a good hockey goal, a good playoff goal.
Q. Surprised at all at the quality of chances those guys were able to generate against Seabrook and Keith?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think both teams had a number of chances, high quality chances. We’ve got to be way better than that today. I didn’t like our game. We have to be - we got to play perfect hockey. Today we certainly, even though we were at 2-2 in the third, even though we probably would love to be there at that stage of the game, we’ve got to be better.
Q. Your best penalty killer needs to be your goalie. Can you talk about Nikolai’s play tonight.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think our best penalty killing is going to be staying out of the box. They’re dangerous. He had a couple key saves there in the second, held us in the game.
But I think their power play has so many looks and weapons on it that trying to stay out of the box, but certainly we’re going to need our goaltender to make some key saves, and he did there today.
Wings defeat the Blackhawks 5-2 as Cleary, Franzen and Zetterberg dominate.
added 5:52pm, Post-game… Chris, how did you guys shutdown Toews? Ozzie: Uh, that was Nick.
added 6:23pm, Video hightlights of game 1 below…
added 6:45pm, from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
Move over Sid vs. Ovie, we may just have a new best playoff series of 2009.
The anticipation for the Detroit-Chicago Western Conference final was offense-on-offense; the No. 1 goal-scoring team in the regular season (Wings) against the No. 4 (Chicago).
Toss in Detroit’s 19th-ranked defense and a Chicago goalie in Nikolai Khabibulin who sported an .897 save percentage in this year’s playoffs, and the expectation was a smorgasbord of excitement.
And despite the teams combining for a relatively tame seven tallies (it could have easily been double), that’s exactly what we got.
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