Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“The one thing about Joe is, he makes the players around him that much better,” said Draper. “He has such good vision. He can make those passes, where it doesn’t look as if there’s a lane, but he finds a lane. Even down low, he’s so big and strong and he has that big wingspan he uses to his advantage.
“The best thing to do against a guy like Thornton is to try and make him play in his own end. You want to get some good cycle shifts and some good grind time in the offensive zone. That keeps him 200 feet away from doing something dangerous.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
It’s a well-deserved reputation with as rich a hockey tradition as any Canadian city. It’s the place where Gordie Howe became an icon. They’ve won 10 Stanley Cups here, trailing only Toronto and Montreal in that regard.
But something is changing, and it’s a troubling development for one of the NHL’s oldest franchises: the Red Wings can’t sell out the Joe Louis Arena for playoff hockey.
from the NY Post NHL Blog,
I’ve said before that Hasek is the weakest link for the Red Wings, and I’ll say it again. When Mikkaa Kiprusoff can face more than 250 shots, Hasek faces about 125, and the series still goes six games (and easily could have gone seven had Johan Franzen not been the 2OT hero) ... then Detroit isn’t getting the kind of stellar netminding it needs….
Keep in mind that this is a fan blog, and that my statements on here are in no way meant to reflect “objective journalism” ... I simply don’t like Hasek because of his attitude, whether towards his teammates or opposing players.
from Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News,
San Jose has officially created a new kind of system: the offensive trap. OK, it’s just puck-possession with great forechecking, but Detroit’s hardly getting a sniff of the puck in the final frame, which must be maddening, since they were supposed to be the puck-possession team.
more on both games from last night…
from Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press,
Surely you remember the Red Wings. Hockey team ... perennially in the playoffs ... the guys like to skate around with the Stanley Cup every few years ... does any of this ring a bell?
There were thousands of empty seats at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday. The Wings gave the official attendance as 18,712, but I suspect they meant limbs.
We saw this kind of attendance in the first round, too. I really thought that if the Wings made it past Calgary, they would convert some skeptics, and the atmosphere would change by Round 2.
And the atmosphere did change.
It got worse.
Can you say high ticket prices and the complet lack of any marketing plan by the Wings is to blame. The Wings fans have no connection with this team and that is a huge marketing issue.
added 7:48am, from the Mercury News,
Evgeni Nabokov sure knows how to suck the air out of an arena. So do the rest of the Sharks. After scoring two quick goals in the first period Thursday, they performed an amazing magic trick.
They made Hockeytown disappear before our very eyes.
Honestly. They did. Normally, the Detroit Red Wings and a boisterous Joe Louis Arena go together like, well, the NFL draft and overanalysis. But the atmosphere for Game1 of the Sharks’ second-round series wavered somewhere between lethargic and tepid.
The HD broadcast is nowhere to be found. on VSGLF, the VS dedicated HD channnel, we have golf. On INHD, which is normally the backup channel, we have an NBA game scheduled for 8pm.
So no HD for Wings fans with Comcast in the Detroit area.
If someone finds it, please pass it on.
added 8:16pm, Versus, you have to do a better job of informing your viewers about your HD broadcasts.
from the Detroit Free Press,
This morning, Wings coach Mike Babcock said Holmstrom was day-to-day, and that he hoped Holmstrom would play at some point during the series.
As relayed Wednesday by Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom, Holmstrom said doctors have told him he had to be inactive for several days after Sunday in order to avoid further damage to his eye. Holmstrom was told that if there is any re-bleeding, it would affect his eyesight permanently.
From NHL.com’s Larry Wigge,
Mystery or secret weapon?
Some will say the silky-smooth Pavel Datsyuk is an enigma wrapped in a riddle and, well, a mystery because he came into the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season with zero goals in his last 26 games in the postseason.
By contrast, the numbers he’s put up in the regular season have solidified Datsyuk as a star…
From Helene St. James at the Free Press,
The Wings drew admirers headed into the playoffs because of their depth—but six games in, that has dwindled. Holmstrom is nursing a cut left eyelid, and while he’s officially day-to-day, that can mean anything from a Game 2 return to missing two weeks. Brett Lebda is dealing with a sore right ankle, though he should return during the series. His injury further depletes a defense that saw Niklas Kronwall suffer a fractured sacrum in his pelvis March 30, which will keep him out through mid-May. [...]
The Wings need all four lines to generate offense, but two of those lines aren’t in top shape. Henrik Zetterberg missed practice Wednesday, meaning he won’t have practiced since Sunday’s end of the Calgary series.
Update 11:28am ET:
John Niyo at the Detroit News,
I’ve already gotten a half-dozen emails about the CBC mention on “Ater 40 Minutes” where they just casually threw out that Calder and Samuelsson have broken hands. Wings have denied it up till now. And I don’t expect that to change—this being the playoffs, you’re not going to get a straight answer out of anybody. But everybody saw Calder shaking hands with his left hand after the Calgary series.
*thanks to KK reader Millsz for the pointer!
From John Niyo at The Detroit News,
Nick Lidstrom , with a little backchecking help from his friends, held Calgary’s star forward, Jarome Iginla , largely in check in the first round. But this stacked San Jose lineup presents a more daunting challenge for the Wings defense.
“This is a little different, because Calgary is a one-trick pony, and we’re not,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said Tuesday. “We’ve got a lot of weapons. Our third and fourth lines can be just as dangerous.
“They’ll pick a matchup that they think can help them. But we’ve got four lines we’ll be rolling, and it’ll be hard for them to check all those guys.”
more… *a full scouting report of the series
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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