Kukla's Korner Hockey
A short Q&A session with the media, talking with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland.
Q. What sort of lessons do you take from being at this point last season as you enter this series?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I think the big thing is I’ve been really fortunate to be here. This is my third time in five years, and it’s the best time of year. It’s a lot of fun. You want to prepare as hard as you can and get your team ready to go.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
...That’s why I’m going with them in the East, despite Sidney (Whiner-Diver) Crosby, Evgeni (Let’s See How He Handles The Flyers Toughies) Malkin and Marian (I Finally Woke Up) Hossa.
As for Dallas-Detroit, I’m going with the Bigger D, as in DALLAS on the basis of Marty Turco over Chris Osgood—or Dom Hasek—and their phenomenal motivation.
Yet another NHL teleconference today featured Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco, who has posted and 8-4 record with a sparkling .173 goals-against average, and Dallas captain Brenden Morrow, who has recorded seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 12 games, including two overtime game winners in the series win over San Jose last round.
Here is the transcript of their Q&A.
Q. Marty, you’re just fresh off winning two incredible series and beating two fellow great goalies. I see right off the bat that people are already asking you about your record at Joe Louis. There’s no time to breathe. What do you make of that? Does it mean anything?
Today the NHL hosted more teleconferences, featuring coaches Dave Tippett and Mike Babcock, of the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings.
Both transcripts from these Q&A’s are below.
Today, the NHL hosted a NHL conference call making Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg available for questions. In ten post-season games Henrik has recorded seven goals and six assists for 13 points, scored two game-winners and leads the league with a plus 10 plus/minus rating.
Transcript from the Q&A is below.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the chemistry between you and Datsyuk specifically, but also with Homer as well. A lot of good players have difficulty playing with each other, but you have had a chemistry almost from the beginning. Talk about what each of you does that sort of makes this line work very well.
From Paul Kukla at his NHL.com blog:
Goaltending is always under the microscope during the playoffs and holds especially true in the Wings-Stars series. Chris Osgood must be steady and avoid the “how did that one get by him” question, while Marty Turco must continue to be outstanding. You can be sure both teams will be trying to get to the opposing goalie and rattle their cages a bit. Whichever keeper maintains his focus the most should win this series.
more… on each series
Plus more from Paul at Hockey.com:
Never have I done something like this — as a matter of fact, I despise the prediction side of this business. But this time, I feel it in my bones, in my head and in my heart.
Pens/Wings will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.
from the Dallas Morning News,
We may never know how many people really eyeballed Brenden Morrow’s series-clinching goal at 1:24 a.m. Monday. But we do know how many Dallas-Fort Worth homes were tuned into the game on Fox Sports Net Southwest from 1:15 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The television rating for that quarter hour was a 3.9 with an 18 share. The rating translates into 94,988 homes, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 18 share means that 18 percent of all homes with televisions in use were tuned to the final minutes of the Stars’ 2-1, four-overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Overall, the game scored a Stars playoff-high 4.4 average rating (107,166 homes), with an 11 share from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. It peaked in the third period from 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. with a 6.0 rating (146,136 homes).
more TV talk…
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down both the East and the West Conference Finals…
The Flyers, who won five of eight matchups against Pittsburgh during the regular season, will try to establish a physical tone with the skilled Penguins, who have shown a surprising level of grit of their own. Both teams have displayed timely, balanced scoring, superb defensive play and stellar goaltending. Oh, and did we mention they can’t stand each other? Stay tuned.
The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, struggled midway through their opening-round series against Nashville but took advantage of woeful netminding by Jose Theodore and cruised to a four-game sweep of the Colorado Avalanche in the West semis. The Stars, who have terrific depth down the middle, now have an identity they lacked the past three or four postseasons. Marty Turco, fresh off a 61-save effort, will represent a much sterner test than the Avs, or he should.
Still, the Red Wings seem to be firing on all cylinders and will be very difficult to knock out.
Here are the final confirmed times and dates of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.
Below, a couple updated brackets people might find useful.
The Conference Finals Previews from The Hockey News:
What’s old is new again in the West with two perennial superpowers butting heads, while in the East two young teams that both spent time in the NHL’s basement are rising to the challenge of establishing themselves as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.
It’s amazing that since the 1996-97 season the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings won four Stanley Cups between them, but only faced off against each other once, when 10 years ago the Wings downed the Stars 4-2 in the Western final.
Meanwhile, the Eastern final has become the battle of Pennsylvania, where the gradually maturing and shifty young Penguin stars will battle the sudden revival of the big, bad, banging Flyers.
However the series play out, the Stanley Cup final will be the showdown of old and new, experience and youth, persistence and patience.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com