Kukla's Korner Hockey
Q. When you make a decision about which line to match up against which, last night most of the time you had Draper’s line against the kids, is that kind of normal that you play No. 1 against No. 1?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: That’s what we’ve done all year long. Most teams play the guys they think are going to generate the most offense the most minutes. So we always play our guys against them. We think it’s been obviously positive for us.
Seeing that Anaheim’s really set on playing Pahlsson against Zetterberg, that’s fine for us. They’re going to have to do calisthenics like they did last night. When you win faceoffs like they did last night, you can get your match-up any time you want because you just get people on and off the ice.
You know, I thought they did a real good job of that. They’ll continue to if we don’t do a better job in the faceoff circle. If you win faceoffs and get on top of them, obviously you can’t be playing out there with two defensemen and six guys changing, three coming on and three coming off.
from the Detroit News,
People just don’t have the money to spend.
“The number one reason is the economy here in Detroit—the layoffs and business closings here in the region,” said John Hahn, Red Wings senior director of communication. “These are the people that come to the games.”
The competition for the Metro Detroit disposable income dollar is particularly intense this spring. The Pistons are poised to oust the Bulls in the second round of the NBA playoffs. And it’s the first time in a long time that fans in the month of May expect the Tigers to win a plethora of games.
read on... last night’s announced attendance was 19,939.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Like their many fans squeezed by the slump in the local auto industry, the Detroit Red Wings are trying to make less resources go further.
In these playoffs, particularly their past two games, that means making the most of a goal or two, stretching around 20 shots into big wins.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
And so a lesson in playoff hockey was administered by the Red Wings to a Ducks team that had steamrolled through the first two rounds, going 8-2.
For the first time in these playoffs, the Ducks trail a series. They do so after playing the physical game they wanted, taking control of the second half of Game 1 and yet allowing a patient, talented Detroit team just enough of an opening to squeeze through.
“From our standpoint, we did a lot of the things that we tried to do in the hockey game. We set a game plan out and we came out on the short end of a hockey game that was highly competitive,” Carlyle said.
from Mike Brophy at the Hockey News,
Unlike the Eastern final between Ottawa and Buffalo, where the two teams actually try to score goals, the Western finale will be a battle of wills – which team can prevent the other team from scoring instead of which team can score more often. Yuk!
Regardless, the best team on the night won. Detroit continues to plow ahead regardless of the fact it has lost two of its three best defensemen, Mathieu Schneider and Niklas Kronwall.
Post game Q & A with Babcock, Zetterberg and Homstrom…
Q. Sure you’re not looking for style points on goals; you’ll take them any way you can get them?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No, I mean, it’s the goal. We got the puck in the net on the power play. We had traffic. It was a good goal. We missed a layup. Samuelsson and Zetterberg should have had three power?play goals tonight when you look at it that way. He missed a wide?open net. He had all day. I don’t know if he just let up on whatever.
It was good to see our power?play work. It’s important in this series just because of the fact they’re way more prone to taking penalties than we are. Normally that straightens out as the series goes on. That will be advantage to us then.
Hasek stopped 31 of 32 shots from the Ducks, many of the scoring chance variety.
Game 1 goes to the Wings 2-1.
Ducks won’t change a thing for game 2, Wings need to create more offense.
added 10:24pm, Watch the post game reaction from the coaches & players.
Mike Babcock and Randy Carlyle met with the media today…
Q. Tell me what Dan Cleary has meant to your team in these playoffs?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: He’s a great person, a good, good player. He’s worked hard enough over the last while in his career to get his game back. He’s a physical guy for us. He played on our puck-control unit there with Draper and Maltby. He’s good on the power play, real good on the penalty kill. He plays hard.
He was a child phenom. It got away from him. Through maturity and work ethic, he turned out to be the real good player in the league that he is.
Paul Kukla and I had a chance to speak briefly with Kelly Hrudey of Hockey Night in Canada. From his CBC television bio:
Hrudey became a full-time hockey analyst during the 1998/99 NHL season, after providing stellar commentary during the previous four playoff seasons alongside Ron MacLean. And during the 1999 NHL playoffs, Hrudey’s segment Behind the Mask became a regular feature on Hockey Night in Canada.
During his 15-year NHL career with the Islanders (six years), Kings (seven years) and Sharks (two years), the former Medicine Hat Tiger compiled a record of 271-265-88, with a goals against average of 3.43, with 16 shutouts.
The conversation can be downloaded here, or listened to on the player below. Our sincere appreciation to Mr. Hrudey for taking the time to chat with us about the Conference Finals now underway.
I had a chance today to speak with L.A. Times sports columnist, Helene Elliott. Ms. Elliott is veteran hockey writer who also happens to be the first female journalist to be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame of any major professional sport. From Legends of Hockey:
“Helene Elliott is a pioneer among female sports journalists,” said Kevin Allen, president, Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. “But she has truly been a role model for sportswriters of both genders. Her ethics are unquestionable. Her reporting is beyond reproach. Her prose is lively. Her professionalism is of the highest order. There is no one in this business any more respected than Helene.”
Our conversation can be downloaded here, or listened to on the player below. My sincere thanks to Ms. Elliott for taking the time to speak to me on a busy game day.
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