Kukla's Korner Hockey
from The Spin, a blog by Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Pronger’s hit was to the head, it was from behind, it drew blood and it had fans in Anaheim baying for more blood given that the Ducks had got Holmstrom, probably the most troublesome Detroit player in the series so far.
Understand this. The NHL adores mayhem. It likes blood. It wants to see players like Holmstrom have their heads split open and bleeding, and to have those “highlights” shown on television throughout Canada and the U.S. It wants hockey to be seen as a sport in which Wes Craven would feel welcome.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
The referees stopped play to mete out punishment — surprisingly, Niedermayer received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, even though it seemed Pronger had more to do with Holmstrom’s face being bloodied — but the cheering continued, unfortunately.
It’s OK to applaud a big hit by the home team, but it’s not all right to keep cheering lustily when an injured opponent lies motionless on the ice, bleeding from the forehead, as Holmstrom was after being sandwiched by Niedermayer and Pronger.
Too bad the penalty box wasn’t large enough to accommodate all of the spectators who were guilty of poor sportsmanship on this night.
more on the game…
from the Detroit Free Press,
It’s a Swedish world the Wings inhabit, what with Swedes up front and Swedes on the back end, a Swede here, a Swede there. It’s a sweet series those Swedes have now helped set up for the Wings, scoring two key goals in the first period Tuesday to start a surge that left the Wings with a 5-0 success over the Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
“Definitely, they make an impact out there,” Hasek said after the victory at Honda Center. “They are fun guys to play with and practice with. I really enjoy to be with them.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
To suspend or not to suspend.
If Pronger is suspended, for no more than one game, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The score of the game and the fact it was an elbow from behind doing some damage to Holmstrom’s head and that it was also perceived as payback for earlier events will work against Pronger and the Ducks.
If Pronger isn’t suspended, well, that won’t be a huge shock either. Holmstrom apparently did not suffer serious injury on the play, it’s the Western Conference final and there have been hits like this one that have in the past gone unpunished.
The big thing, though, is that the Niedermayer-Pronger-Holmstrom convergence partially obscures the real story here – Detroit totally handing Anaheim its lunch on Duck ice in what should have been a statement game for the Ducks.
added 8:06am, from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Wings take it to the Ducks, win 5-0, go up 2-1 and get back home ice advantage.
Watch the post game interviews.- Link will become active shortly after the game is over.
Rob Niedermayer and Chris Pronger decided to plant Holmstrom’s head against the glass.
Niedermayer received a five minute major.
added 11:06pm, Holmstrom on the ice for the 3rd.
from the NHL Fanhouse,
I decided to call Babcock’s alma mater, McGill University in Montreal, to figure out what advantage - if any - a background in sports psychology could give a National Hockey League coach. Gordon A. Bloom is a faculty member of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE) at McGill, where Babcock studied as an undergrad and graduate student while also playing for the McGill men’s hockey team.
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
On a team with elegant Swedes such as Holmstrom’s linemate Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, Holmstrom is a Norse of a different color. “He can’t skate,” general manager Ken Holland says. “If you have him race most NHL players over 30 feet, he’d lose. But put a puck four feet away, tell him to get there first, and Homer”—Holmstrom’s nickname—“will win that race. And when he sets up shop at the front of the net, they can’t twist him or turn him.”
from Red Wings Corner,
Forgive me, for I am a stranger in a strange land. But in Orange County I’m not seeing the signs of hockey culture. (An oxymoron, I know.)
I have not seen any kids play hockey on a driveway or move nets to the curb when someone shouts, “Car!” I have not heard any locals dissect the local NHL team. And I do not see anyone outside of the Ducks’ arena wear anything with the word Ducks, colors of the Ducks or anything resembling a cartoon Duck not named Daffy in these parts.
So forgive me if it surprises me that this is the place from which Detroit was attacked as not being the hockey town that it once was.
One day before the start of the Western Conference final between the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings the Los Angeles Times printed a column by Helene Elliott that assailed Detroit as having lost its status as Hockeytown because the Red Wings have not been able to sell out a single playoff game this spring.
Let’s get the terminology straight first. There’s a difference between the upper-case Hockeytown and a lower-case hockey town.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
“Dom’s different. I talked to Ritch Winter (Hasek’s agent) and he said Dom wants to finish his career on the ice,” Holland said. “That was really important to him, finishing on his terms.”
The terms in this series have confounded the opposition Ducks. They have outplayed and out-chanced the Wings through the first two games in Detroit but have shot wide or high often on quality scoring opportunities, the ones Hasek hasn’t stopped.
“That’s what Dom does to people,” said Chris Chelios, another Red Wing veteran playing on the cheap. “He intimidates the other team. He gets in their head. Then they starting thinking they have to be perfect. Once he gets them thinking, he’s got them.”
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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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