Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Sun,
Let’s face it: in the Canucks, Anaheim had to worry about two-thirds of one forward line, a banged-up defence and a great goaltender, and still were a bounce here or there from losing four games.
It would have been a grave miscarriage of justice, but the scores (if not the games) were really that close.
But now, they’ve drawn the Nucks Deluxe.
Like Vancouver, Detroit has a potential series-stealer in goal with Hasek. Like the Canucks, the Wings can play a team defence so confounding, it gets in their opponents’ heads. Like Vancouver, Detroit hangs around, and often finds a way to make something out of nothing at the end.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
Detroit has 42-year-old goaltender Dominik Hasek. Detroit has 45-year-old defenseman Chris Chelios.
Hasek is 20 years older than Ryan Getzlaf, who marks his 22nd birthday today.
Chelios came into the NHL when there were just 21 teams. Heck, his first fight was with Joe Louis.
This is why the Western Conference finals will be such a different series from the first two.
Not because the Ducks won’t beat Detroit, because they should.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Hasek’s style of goaltending is difficult to define. He suggests no word for it himself. He uses the butterfly leg spread that long ago became the rage, and he also flops around as if he’s trying to make snow angles on the ice.
“I do anything to stop the puck,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how I am described.
“I like to always be in the right position. Unfortunately, there are times you are not in the right position and you have to jump and do whatever you have to do to reach the puck. I don’t care how my style is described as long as I stop the puck.”
Well, this morning I took a quick look at the Wings ticket situation for game 1. I could have purchased a block of 16 tickets in the upper bowl, row 24 at $99 a piece or a block of 20 standing room only tickets for $108 a pop.
Can you imagine if the opposing team was a little closer than Anaheim? The Joe would have a well represented presence from the visiting team.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
I asked Schneider: Did he believe there was justice in professional sport? He had a big smile on his face, when he answered in four precise words: No, I do not. But he knew where I was going – that even if the Sharks were only a minute away from assuming a 3-1 series lead, Detroit was the better team by far that night and deserved to win in overtime.
So when Schneider broke his wrist in the next game – proving his point, there was no justice in pro sport – I almost felt as if I’d jinxed him with the question. Superstition shows no bounds, presumably.
read on and Eric reverses the curse, picking the Wings in six.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The Buffalo Sabres finished No. 1 overall during the regular season with inoa franchise-high 113 points. The Detroit Red Wings matched them. Anaheim, with 110 points, led the Pacific Division. Ottawa, after a terrible first half, finished with 105 points, only two behind New Jersey.
Get the picture? No surprises. In a league that almost always delivers upsets during the playoffs, it’s only right that the NHL’s Big Four have made it to the finals in the East and West.
Now the fun really begins.
from Mike Waldner of the Daily Breeze,
All that separated the Ducks from possession of the Stanley Cup was a loss in the seventh game of the Finals.
Mike Babcock was the relatively young 40-year-old rookie NHL coach who molded the Ducks into a formidable team. He was bright, passionate, committed and, so it seemed, settling in for a long run in Anaheim.
You know, you never know.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
Obviously, a one-year offer meant there were some doubts about whether Babcock could be the coach Burke wanted him to be, and Babcock wanted more than that.
“He said, ‘One year is not a lot of security,’” Burke recalled. “So he asked for permission to look around. ... He asked for a window (to negotiate with other teams) and he later asked for an extension to that (negotiating window).”
And a few days later, Babcock accepted a multiyear offer to coach the Red Wings.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
And all we wanted was the Detroit Red Wings to (a) embrace their spineless-ly Poker-ish ways and fold early and (b) realize that two of their key cogs in the bid for a championship were, at one time, deck hands on The Ark. Now you have the Red Wings getting unexpectedly vital contributions from players with names ending in “son”, “ov”, “berg” and “Datsyuk” and they really have this belief that a route to the Cup doesn’t necessarily require taking the Yzerman Parkway.
more on all of the teams in the CF…
via the Detroit Free Press,
This is the scenario: In order for the Florida Panthers to get this year’s first-round pick three things have to happen: 1) The Wings have to be in the final four of the playoffs, 2) Bertuzzi has to play in two-thirds of the playoff games, and 3) Bertuzzi has to be among the top-five scorers.
If the first two happen but Bertuzzi is not a top-five scorer, then it’s a second-round draft pick – unless the Wings go to the Stanley Cup finals, in which case it reverts back to a first-round pick. If Bertuzzi re-signs with the Wings, the Panthers get a second pick in 2008.
Many Wings fans know Hasek has been bothered by a left hand problem.
Our Detroit media types don’t keep us posted on some of the possible injuries players may have… But TSN does…
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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