Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Spector at Fox Sports,
The Western Conference finals pit a Red Wings team that finished first overall during the regular season and cruised past Nashville and Colorado in the first two rounds against a Stars club that finished fifth overall in the conference and nearly 20 points back of the Wings.
It’s the “Battle of Pennsylvania” in the Eastern Conference, featuring a Penguins team that finished second overall and quickly dispatched of the Senators and Rangers against a hardworking Flyers team that required a strong finish in the regular season to clinch sixth overall.
While the regular season stats favor the Red Wings and Penguins, both clubs must be wary of their upstart opponents. The Stars advanced to the conference finals by knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Pacific Division champion San Jose Sharks, while the Flyers bounced the Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals and the conference-leading Montreal Canadiens.
via the LA Times,
According to theSpread.com’s betting chart, Detroit had received 75% of the bets to win Game 1 and at Wagerline.com, the Red Wings had received 71.10% (844-343) of the picks as of Wednesday afternoon.
At Bodoglife.com, Detroit is listed at 6-1 to win the series in four games; at 3-1 to win in five games; at 7-2 to win in six games, and at 7-2 to win in seven games.
The Stars are listed at 30-1 to sweep the series in four games; at 15-1 to win in five games; at 7-1 to win in six games; and at 8-1 to win in seven games.
From some short Q&A time with the media on Wednesday, below are transcripts from interviews with these Dallas Stars players and management:
- Marty Turco
- Brad Richards
- Mike Modano
- Brett Hull
via Larry Lage of the AP,
“Bring it on,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “If we’re going to go up the food chain, might as well eat the best.”
more on the Wings/Stars series…
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Who the heck are these guys, you ask?
Fistric was the Stars’ first pick, 28th overall, in the 2004 entry draft. In 37 games with the Stars in the regular season - his first taste of big league play - Fistric had two assists. So you know he wasn’t brought to town to add offense.
Grossman was chosen the same year – 56th overall – and has a similar offensive upside to Fistric, which is to say hardly any at all. In 70 NHL games prior to this year’s playoffs, he had seven assists.
Daley, meanwhile, is a scoring defenseman, but like the other two, it was his stellar defensive play in Game 6 that was most notable.
from the CP,
Two powerhouses meet in the West. Two teams on the rise in the East. Two toss-ups.
The NHL’s conference finals could be long ones. A look at both series with predictions: Eastern Conference final - Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins.
Many believed the Flyers would lose to Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the first round. Almost everybody was sure Philadelphia would be taken down by Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens in the second round.
Now comes Sidney Crosby and his high-flying Penguins.
A short Q&A session with the media, talking with Detroit Red Wings players Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Chris Osgood.
Q. Chris, 6?0 an incredible run here in the playoffs. Where do you point the finger? Why have you had such success?
CHRIS OSGOOD: In two parts I’ll answer. Personally, just doing the right things in practice with Jim Bedard and staying ready. Even when I wasn’t playing, I felt confident, even before I went in that I could do the job. Just being ready so I wasn’t standing there doubting myself whatsoever.
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?
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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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