Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg sees no reason why he and teammate Pavel Datsyuk have suddenly gone stone cold, a big reason why Detroit faces elimination tonight in Game 6 of the Western Conference final.
They’re jitterbugs around Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, creating opportunity after opportunity. They’ve beaten defencemen Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer to pucks, and on dekes, and with passes.
But they haven’t been able to finish. Zetterberg hasn’t scored in four games; Datsyuk in three. Worse, neither has scored on the road in the playoffs.
Q. First off, any lineup changes tonight. Todd Bertuzzi going to play tonight, that kind of thing?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don’t know. Game-time decision. It’s basically can a guy go, can a guy not go.
Q. Anything to get off your chest before tonight?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No, we’re excited. One of the things I find is as the rounds go, and not the Finals, but as the rounds go, I always find there’s a long time between games. It seems like forever. After you’ve flushed it out, lets get going and let’s play the game. We think we’ve been playing well. We’re looking forward to it. Let’s go out there and play.
There’s a big difference between being loose and driving and tight and tentative. So let’s make sure we know what to do.
Wings fans- remember May 29, 2002? Wings down 3-2 in games to Colorado in the WCF…
An open post today, asking your views on the game tonight.
Also interested in any superstitions you will bring out tonight to guarantee a victory, for either team!
added 11:10am, We Just Want One Bounce, my NHL.com blog today…
from the Toronto Star,
It’s a tad too easy for the Red Wings to say “been there, done that.”
But when Daniel Cleary sits on a plane for five hours with the likes of Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Dominik Hasek after a heart-breaking Game 5 overtime loss that has the Wings sitting on the brink of elimination, that’s the heartening message he comes away with.
“From my standpoint, the experience showed yesterday (on the plane),” said Cleary. “The calmness, the belief that we have. We have a good mixture of veterans who have been there before and young guys who haven’t.
“The trickle-down effect is great.”
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
The difference in this series is 3-2, but it’s closer than that. The glare of a shiny Cup is adding to the distemper.
“We believe we’re in control,” said Babcock, arching his back from the wall. “It’s time to put our best foot forward. We’re not going away easily. Actually, we’re not going away.”
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Ducks players were shrugging off comments Hull, now a hockey analyst with NBC, made during Anaheim’s 2-1 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings Sunday. The Ducks lead the Western Conference final 3-2 and can advance to the Stanley Cup final by beating the Red Wings in Tuesday’s Game 6 (CBC, 9 p.m.) in Anaheim.
“If I was Detroit, I would not be worried about being down 3-2, because they dominated,” Hull said on air after the game. “They can go in and win (Game 6) and come home and win Game 7.”
Anaheim defenceman Chris Pronger, who also isn’t shy about speaking his mind to the media, shook his head when asked about Hull’s prediction.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The best team in the Western Conference final is not winning the Western Conference final.
The deeper and stronger team on the ice is not leading 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
When summer hits, and the Wings have not been part of any kind of parade, they may well look back at yesterday’s game at Joe Louis Arena, and at Game 4 in Anaheim, both of them one-sided, and tear themselves apart wondering how they let this opportunity pass.
from the LA Times,
“It’s huge,” Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. “To come up in this building and steal a game tonight and battle back the way we did, to stay focused and stay on the job at hand, it’s good for our group.
“We’ve just got to continue on, and hopefully we can get it done at home.”
Game 5 had been the Red Wings’ domain in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs — they won it in the first two rounds against Calgary and San Jose to help them close out those series in six games.
more (reg. req.)
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
It wasn’t just the Datsyuk call that bordered on the ridiculous. The Wings got a power-play opportunity in overtime that was unwarranted when Travis Moen was nailed for hooking Danny Markov that challenged the Datsyuk penalty in lameness.
You don’t want special teams deciding special games such as these, but the NHL can’t see beyond its tunnel vision. But doesn’t the league see the headlights of the approaching train?
How stupid is this league?
It changes the rules to promote more offensive creativity with the hope of attracting more television viewers, then it lets NBC hijack the overtime period for what proved to be the decisive game in the Eastern Conference finals Saturday for 30 minutes of Preakness prerace coverage.
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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