Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
A declaration in this space two weeks ago that the Ducks would defeat the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals — and that Detroit could no longer call itself Hockeytown because games at Joe Louis Arena weren’t selling out — generated hundreds of impassioned responses.
Some were even free of obscenities….
The Ducks eliminated the Red Wings in six games and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, but the idea here isn’t to gloat.
It’s to suggest that the unprecedented torrents of anger sent this way are better aimed at Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings’ owner, and the club executives who set playoff ticket prices too high for an area that has been gut-punched by the auto industry’s decline, the departure of Comerica Bank’s headquarters for Texas and growing unemployment.
read on (reg. req.)
from TBM at NBC Sports,
And more importantly, how much longer can the Wings rely on a core of players who are living monuments to the league’s history? Chris Chelios is 45, Dominik Hasek 42, and Nicklas Lidstrom and Schneider are 37. Chelios, Hasek and Schneider are all unrestricted free agents this summer, and you can bet all three will be back next season.
How much longer will the Red Wings keep trotting out these old warhorses? As long as they a) produce and b) work relatively cheap. Hasek and Chelios both make less than $1 million a year, which makes them cap friendly. If the NHL’s salary cap does approach the $50 million mark, look for Detroit to be active in the free agent market, pursuing players like Ryan Smyth and Chris Drury.
That would be just like the good old days for Detroit. And who knows about old times better than the Red Wings?
from the OC Register,
Hasek, 42, acknowledged he might not get many more chances at the Stanley Cup.
“It’s very possible it’s my last game,” Hasek said.
Hasek was brought to Detroit by General Manager Ken Holland, who signed him to a one-year, $750,000 deal. The six-time Vezina Trophy winner would have made $1.1million for winning the Stanley Cup this year.
And in the early going, it appeared he might carry the Red Wings back to Detroit for a Game 7.
from the Detroit News,
If goalie Dominik Hasek wants to play next season, the Red Wings are all for it.
Hasek didn’t commit one way or another to playing another season after Tuesday’s series-ending 4-3 loss to Anaheim. But coach Mike Babcock and Hasek’s teammates believe Hasek can still play next season if he so desires.
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.”
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