Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
At one time, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were known as regular-season performers, meaning they could play out the season but come playoff time, well, they were a different story.
Datsyuk’s postseason stats line once read like this: 42 games, 3 goals, 12 assists and minus-1. Zetterberg’s were similar: 16 games, 3 goals, 2 assists and minus-4. To be fair with Datsyuk, many of those early games saw him on the fourth line and on the second power play unit, so his ice time was very low as compared to the amount of ice he sees now.
Both Datsyuk and Zetterberg were labeled as players who could not get it done during the playoffs. Well, that label is now gone, forever.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
The Stars were so full of life in the first two rounds of the playoffs, taking out the Ducks and Sharks in impressive fashion. Dave Tippett’s team played with so much energy and enthusiasm.
That’s all gone now.
The Red Wings have sucked all the life out of the Stars. That’s what happens when you’re forever chasing your opponent around the ice, unable to pry the puck from their talented clutches.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, these Wings are that good.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
Does the NHL have a mercy rule? Can we apply it now, please?
Show a little compassion, guys. Let our gritty little Dallas Stars limp off to the golf course right now, before somebody really gets hurt.
If you listened closely enough at the AAC last night, you could practically hear the ice beginning to melt.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The lesson on Monday night: It doesn’t take much for Detroit to turn nothing into something. The Red Wings received three goals from the brilliant, mercurial Pavel Datsyuk, along with a back-breaking third-period shorthanded goal from Henrik Zetterberg, to engineer the victory which, once again, came without Johan Franzen, the leading goal-scorer of the 2008 playoffs.
Zetterberg’s goal was particularly significant, in that it came with the Stars down by just a goal and on the power play for the fifth time. But Zetterberg picked off an errant pass deep inside his own zone and went coast-to-coast, eventually turning Richards inside out with a little dipsy-doodle magic, before moving across the crease and burying his shot past Stars’ goaltender Marty Turco.
added 11:29pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Well, we just finished Game 3 of the third-round series between Detroit and Dallas, and while you may not have to hand it to the Wings, I certainly do.
Their 5-2 defeat of the Stars Monday left no more illusions as to which team deserves a shot at the equally imposing Pittsburgh Penguins for this season’s NHL championship, and which team will be contacting the moving van companies with a firm vacating date in hand.
via the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
“When the intensity rises, we like our chances in that regard, too,” Turco said. “We don’t think much of them on a personal, character level. We think that’s to our advantage.”
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com:
Can the Stars make a sudden turnaround and take control of the series? Sure they can, but I don’t see it happening. Led by coach Mike Babcock, the Wings are on a roll and are determined to erase the memories of losing to the Anaheim Ducks in last year’s Western Conference Final.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have showed they can adjust to any style of play their opposition throws at them. The Flyers are trying to be physical with the young Pens, but it hasn’t worked for them to this point. Talent-wise, the Flyers just don’t match up with Pittsburgh and must play perfect games from here on out in order to extend this series past five games.
Once again, the Flyers can make a make a comeback, but I don’t see it happening.
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
This is NHL playoff justice. Anything short of an ax-murder is likely to be ignored. But don’t blame the current dispenser of justice, Colin Campbell. It has always been this way.
There has been the occasional exception. When Gary Bettman was in the first few months of his regime, he didn’t understand hockey tradition very well (insert your own cheap shot here) and seeing Dale Hunter deliver a cross-check to Pierre Turgeon after a goal, decided that Hunter had earned himself a 21-game suspension.
But since then, the NHL has followed a firm policy. First of all, suspensions, when they occur, are much shorter than they would be for a similar incident in the regular season. Secondly, every effort is made to keep the stars in the game.
At one time, the league used to defer playoff suspensions. One of the more notorious examples was the vicious slash that Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall delivered to Edmonton’s Kent Nilsson in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals.
Interview today with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Q I apologize for opening with a Provincial question, but do you have any reaction to what happened to Joel Quenneville at Colorado?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Good for Joel. He’s a hot commodity now, and he’s out in the market. I think he’s a heck of a coach. I think he does a good job. He got his team two of the last three years out of the first round.
An interview today with Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett.
Q. Talk about tonight, going into play and how do you guide your team not to play too desperate because your backs are against the wall?
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: We have to come in, and our focus now is to come play the best game of the series. We thought our team struggled with energy the first game. The second game we thought we did stuff that’s more indicative of how we did in the playoffs so far.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
It was not the start to the conference finals that the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars envisioned, down 2-0 in their respective series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
Both clubs must now find ways to rebound quickly in their next games or face the prospect of facing a deficit in the series too steep to overcome.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org