Kukla's Korner Hockey
Pre-game Q & A with Babcock and Carlyle…
Q. Do you try to do anything to exploit the fact that Pronger is not there or could you just play your game?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: You always know who’s on the ice, who you’re playing against. We’ll do the same as always. What I found in this playoffs, if you go through our group, you know, we’re missing lots of people. I’d say we’re missing two of the top three on our team.
To me, they’re going to use that as a rallying thing. We’re going to use it as it doesn’t make any difference, we got to keep playing, playing hard, playing intelligent, keep our composure, get after them.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
It is almost sacrilege to suggest, but it is nonetheless patently clear that this Detroit Red Wings team is far better team now that icons and legends Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan are gone.
This is not to diminish in any way the contributions both these players made to the Red Wings. Both are Hall of Fame material—Yzerman a first-ballot Hall of Famer to be sure. Both were crucial elements of three Stanley Cup teams between 1997 and 2002. Yzerman was the playoff MVP in 1998.
Each was, in their own way, a significant part of the team’s identity through the 1990s, a time when the Red Wings were the toast of the Motor City and the envy of other NHL franchises.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It’s the kind of decision that could easily cost the Ducks Game 4 on Thursday. And if it costs them Game 4 it will give Detroit a 3-1 series lead and hence almost certainly cost the Ducks the series. And by extension, a loss to Detroit Thursday will likely cost the Ducks a trip to the Stanley Cup and the Cup itself.
If there has been a suspension handed down to a more high profile player than Pronger, a former Hart Trophy winner and nominated once again this year for the Norris Trophy, at a more crucial time of the season in recent memory, we couldn’t recall it.
But that’s the point of the matter, isn’t it?
read on, including Brian Burke comments…
added 8:37pm, more on this from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail…
from Scott Morrison at CBC,
What to do with Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger, that is the question being pondered today?
It says here Pronger should be suspended for at least one game, maybe two.
Pronger is a great player to be sure, but he made a mistake Tuesday night, and it could have been a great big mistake, when he drove Tomas Holmstrom’s head into the glass in the second period of an eventual 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the Ducks trailing by four at the time.
added 12:07pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of Niedermayer and Pronger: both deserve at least a one-game suspension for their tag-team assault on Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom. But I won’t be surprised if neither player receives supplementary discipline, mainly because Daniel Alfredsson got away with a similar cheapshot on Henrik Tallinder in Game 2 of the Sabres-Sens series.
from Mike Brophy at the Hockey News,
Since the game started at 6 p.m. Anaheim time, the seats were quite empty at the start of the contest as fans battled awful traffic trying to make it to the Honda Center. However, of those who made it in time for the game, many chanted “Red Wings Suck! Red Wings suck!” repeatedly a minute into game. Not exactly what I’d call classy.
more on the game…
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.
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 email@example.com