Kukla's Korner Hockey
What do you chose?
The Wings’ plan must change. Holland has earned the chance to orchestrate that philosophical shift. But that first requires an organizational admission that they can no longer retool while minimizing the pain. Keeping Joe Louis Arena filled while keeping alive a generation-old playoff streak that has lost significance. They thought they could cheat a cap-driven system that usually demands an extended down period, ensuring high draft picks and high-quality prospects.
It also demands Holland become more aggressive on the trade market this summer, even if the purpose is to pare some of the bad contracts from the payroll.
-Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press where you can read more on this topic.
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
The series is only four games old and it feels like it has been going on for a month.
So what's next? What happens now?
Now end it.
Game 5 is Thursday night at Amalie Arena. It should be the last game of the series. For the Lightning, it better be. It needs to be.
"We have a chance to put this away at home," Lightning center Tyler Johnson said. "That's why what we will try to do."
Forget trying. Just do it. Yeah, sure, the fourth win is always the toughest on to win in a series. That's the cliché, right? You'll hear it a thousand times in the next 24 hours.
"The next game," defenseman Braydon Coburn said in a rocking Lightning locker room, "is the biggest game."
You'll also hear how the Red Wings will be desperate. How their season is on the line. How no dog is more dangerous than a cornered wounded dog or some such nonsense.
To heck with all that.
I will be the first to admit I have never trained a wild horse or for that matter, I've never really trained anything wild, but I get the impression the Wings are doing just that with Andreas Athanasiou.
Maybe more specifically, they are training him in the 'Red Wing ways'.
Maybe I am reading too much into it but look at some of the quotes via Brian Savage of Mlive.
"He's one of the guys that doesn't get that much ice time but he really takes care of business when he's out on the ice," said captain Henrik Zetterberg, who scored Detroit's other goal. "He almost had an unbelievable goal there in the first. Then he finished a nice pass from Andy."
Good goal but don't forget others were involved.
"He came here and wasn't an elite player yet in the American League and we can't expect him to put the team on his shoulders and be an elite player here in the NHL," said Blashill, who coached Athanasiou in Grand Rapids last season. "It doesn't work that way.
"What we did do was pull him up for the specific purpose that he's got great speed ... and he's a guy who seems to be able to handle less minutes and still have an impact. Most players can't do that. He's good defensively. It's really just about his overall impact on the game.
"Can he have a great impact? When he wants to own the moment, he's great. He did a great job with the role that he was given and I expect him to continue to do a great job with the role he's given."
Play within the parameters we have set for you.
"The spin move was nice, real nice," Blashill said with a grin. "If that would have went in ..."
It's not all about how it looks.
more on Athanasiou...
If you missed the spin move, watch a GIF of it below...
from Travis Yost of TSN,
You can start to see why Philadelphia’s racking up the points of late. It’s a combination of definitively improved play (their shot and scoring-chance differentials have both increased of late), and a drastic reduction in penalty kill goals against. Combine that with a little bit of shooting luck of late and you have the right ingredients for a team racking up points and pushing toward the postseason.
On the other hand, Detroit is pretty much in the same boat as their year-to-date numbers – the team is skating really well and really competitively at even strength, but at least recently, goaltending has submarined most of their efforts. And as for Boston, well, they’ve cooled off at the wrong time. Their goal rates are right near break-even, mostly by way of strong goaltending. As a team, they’re not really skating as strongly as they were in the first part of the year.
All this to say: I don’t know if any team is specifically more deserving than another, but there’s real truth to the following things: the Flyers are playing well enough to be worthy of an eight seed, the Red Wings might miss the cut despite actually playing reasonably well down the stretch, and the Bruins have no one to blame but themselves if they end up missing the cut. For a team with playoff-or-bust expectations, Boston just hasn’t been good enough to hold off the rest of the pack, and it’s put them in the very real position of missing the postseason in 2015-16.
more including two graphs to explain the point...
You don’t do what Detroit has done for the past 24 years without being a model of consistency, and discipline. Not all those Detroit teams played the same way, but, in large part, they always made the playoffs because they seldom beat themselves. They are doing too much of that under rookie coach Jeff Blashill.
I guess it should be “thumbs up” to Philadelphia or anybody else that manages to dislodge Detroit, but lately, it’s “thumbs down” to the Red Wings for what they’ve done to put the streak on the endangered list.
-Dave Hodge of TSN where you can read more on the Wings.
I received an email last night from a hockey fan regarding Dylan Larkin breaking Mike Gartner's record in the fastest skating challenge.
The sender said it was ok to post the email and I made a few minor spelling corrections but otherwise it is untouched.
How could they immediately commentate and post Dylan Larkin's time for speed skating beating Mike Gartner when it is completely controversial. You can't say he beat Gartner when they used to start from a stop position at the line. Now they all start way back and are at full speed when the time starts at the line.
It is ridiculous to take away somebody's record when it's not the same rules. For any type of race, you start at the line from a full stop.
I can't stand hearing over and over that Dylan Larkin broke the record for the overall best time. How can these commentators be so stupid as to not notice the huge advantage from a running start and the time starting at the line when the skater is already at full speed.
I think a huge apology is owed to Gartner from all the commentator's that jump all over it announcing it over and over and from the NHL who change the rules year and year. If the rules are different, a record can't be broken. It can only be a new record for a running start for lack of a better word.
This is more than just my opinion and I hope it gets rectified publicly.
Thank you for allowing me to rant, but I hope it goes further than just you reading it.
In the comment section of a The Malik Report post, there is some discussion on it too.
Below, videos of Mike Gartner's performance back in 1996 and then Larkin's performance last night is posted twhich does include parts of Gartner's skate.
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The play was reviewed but the league apparently didn't have a conclusive replay to overturn the call on the ice of no goal. However, an overhead replay from Fox Sports Detroit showed the puck sailing just under the crossbar.
"I just saw it kind of went up in the air," Sheahan said. "I saw it hit off something and went up. I figured it wasn't in. Our guys in the locker room looking at video saw something different."
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill wasn't sure what to make of it.
"It was weird from the bench; it looked like 'how did it not go in?' " Blashill said. "We couldn't tell where the puck went and then our guys in the back thought it went in based on what they saw. I looked at it between periods, didn't see a definitive view. Somebody told me they thought it was in but I haven't seen that yet."
Below, in the extended highlights of the Wings win, scroll to the 1:00 mark to watch the play, it should have been a goal but video evidence at the time was inconclusive. Then scroll to the 2:30 mark for additional replays, the puck did go in the net.
Oh the on-ice microphone picks up everything.
I try to avoid posting about the Wings in the KK Hockey section, but this goal from Dylan Larkin shows his talent level.
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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