Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Let’s cut the Stars some slack here. We’re talking about a team that defeated the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round and beat San Jose, a team favoured by many to win it all this season, in the conference semifinals.
The Stars were a tired team in their opener against the Red Wings. Fewer than five minutes into the game, they were short two skaters when Brian Rafalski opened the scoring. Johan Franzen’s 12th goal of the playoffs also was on the power play. So was Tomas Holmstrom’s goal early in the second, a goal that should not have been allowed because he clearly interfered with Turco after establishing squatter’s rights in the crease.
There was nothing complicated or mysterious about the Red Wings taking a 3-0 lead before this game was 27 minutes old: tired teams take penalties.
More importantly, it’s not as if anyone expected a Red Wings team with the NHL’s best regular-season record to roll over for the visiting Stars.
from Neil Stevens of the CP via Yahoo,
Considering that a forward’s average shift is about 40 seconds, it is of tremendous important to get the puck as soon as possible after jumping onto the ice.
“Instead of chasing the puck for 20 seconds, it’s nice to have it right away,” says Henrik Zetterberg, who won 12 faceoffs and lost only five. “Most of the time, if you win a lot of the faceoffs, you take the momentum in games.”
During Wings practices, coaches will work two players at a time through faceoff drills that incite laughter and good-natured teasing.
“You have to have fun out there,” Zetterberg said after practice Friday. “We usually do it at the end of practice.
Transcript from a press conference with Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett:
Q. What’s your off-day skate looking like? A lot of coaching going on there?
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: That’s what happens when we didn’t get a lot of time between the last series and this one. We felt we had a few things we wanted to address out there. Not a strenuous day, but certainly some things we want to look at that we have to be better at.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
So, my guess is these conference finals will be called tightly, and the teams that adjust best will be the teams that benefit. If Dallas can get in hard on the forecheck, force the play into the Detroit end and get to the front of the net, the Stars will get plenty of power play opportunities. But, if they sit back and chase Detroit, they will spend the night on the penalty kill. And once they get on the penalty kill, they will be so intimidated by the refs, that they will not be able to hook, hold or cross-check Franzen or Homstrom out from in front of the net.
Two and a half minutes of Barry Melrose breaking down the Wings/Stars game from last night.
from Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News,
If the Stars, the team that played with bravado and arrogance in the first two rounds of the playoffs don’t show up in a hurry, the Western Conference finals will end in four games.
You know it. I know it. Even the players know it, though they certainly aren’t going to admit it.
Sources tell TSN Fabian Brunnstrom will make his NHL debut next season with the Dallas Stars.
Update 3:56pm ET:More from TSN,
The 23 year old Swedish forward officially made his decision on Thursday with Dallas edging out Montreal, Detroit and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“In the end there was no wrong decision. All of the organizations involved were extremely professional and respectful in their approach and the opportunity was carefully explained. The Dallas option was simply the best one overall for Fabian and he is very comfortable with his decision,” said Brunnstrom’s agent J.P. Barry.
added 7:14pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Ladies and gentlemen, the votes are in and it’s a unanimous decision – this year’s salesman of the year is J.P. Barry. Yes, it’s only May but there is no way anyone can top our man.
That was settled on Thursday when Barry, the Calgary-based agent for Fabian Brunnstrom, announced the Dallas Stars won the bidding war for his client. Barry did such a masterful selling job that at one point, 15 NHL teams were slavering for his services.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Turco’s Stars’ teammate, Steve Ott, is from Windsor, Ont. and naturally, grew up as a Red Wings’ fan. Ott, an agitator along the lines of Sean Avery, another ex-Detroiter, but it wasn’t him, or the Grind Liners that he followed. It was Steve Yzerman.
“Being so close to Detroit and especially in their heyday, when they won three Cups there and became a very successful team, I was a huge fan,” said Ott. “All my friends are still Detroit Red Wings fans to this day, so it’s quite the controversy. My buddies are cheering for us and them at the same time. They were just such a fun team to watch.”
more on the Wings and Stars…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
However, with no championship since 2002, the Red Wings are in a mood to push past the Stars, even if there isn’t the rivalry between the teams that exists, say, in the all-Pennsylvania Eastern Conference final.
The goal, for the Stars tonight, is to do what they did in the previous two rounds — sweep the first two games, on the road, and get the home team back on its heels.
“Every series is different,” said Stars’ captain Brendan Morrow. “Every team is different. We’re just going to try and play to our strengths, get pucks deep, try to finish some checks and see where the chips fall.”
from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,
Guys like him may not walk away. It doesn’t mean they do not think about it, especially when they are 37 going on 38 and being asked to embrace the role of “the old guy.”
“I think about it a lot now lately, certainly when you have gone this deep,” Modano said. “And so you wonder if this will be it.”
If so, if this indeed turns into his final season, then this West Finals against Detroit might well be his last kick at the Cup. Like .001 percent of hockey experts give the Stars a flying Fig Newton of a chance in this series.
They are underestimating this Stars team.
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.
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