Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
Detroit is still favoured to win the series and not just because the Wings have home-ice advantage in what’s become a best-of-three series against a Calgary team that can’t seem to win on the road.
Since the 2000 playoffs, 15 series have followed the route taken by the Flames and Wings, with one team rebounding from a two-game deficit to even the set at 2-2.
Last spring, Edmonton regrouped from losing the first two games to San Jose and won the series—just like Carolina did to Montreal in the opening round, en route to the Stanley Cup.
But instances like those are the exceptions, not the rules.
from the AP via The Hockey News,
Babcock hopes the Red Wings are resisting here-we-go-again thoughts. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2002, they’ve had two first-round exits and one in the second.
“One of the key things for me is, this isn’t last year’s team - (and) this isn’t ‘04,” he said. “Don’t carry that baggage around.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Do I like what happened? No,” said Babcock.
“Could he have handled it differently? Sure. I coach the team so I’m a little biased but I saw (Iginla’s) elbow hit (Hasek) in the forehead and thought at least it should have been a penalty both ways.”
Iginla didn’t see it that way.
“That ice is just as much ours as it is his and, to be honest, I thought he came into me and I didn’t think it was much contact at all,” said Iginla.
“I was surprised he got so upset on that play. At that point in the game, it’s obviously a good thing to get the powerplay and if he’s not happy and we’re playing within the rules, that’s obviously a good thing too.”
Reading the different forums and blogs on the Wings/Flames series, it has been a panic theme after every game.
Just remember what I said after the Wings went up 2-0, it is not a series until a road team wins. Still hasn’t happened and it may not.
The home ice may actually come in play for this series.
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail,
Osgood, however, wasn’t sure what he was in for when he rejoined the Red Wings last season only to see Hasek return a year later. Osgood had heard the stories of how the goalie once hailed as the Dominator was . . . different. “Not weird,” Osgood said. “Different.”
Of course, anyone who has followed the National Hockey League the past 10 years knows exactly how different Hasek can be. He used to flop to the ice if even the breeze from a passing forward so much as ruffled him.
Always trying to further my education about the madness of hockey fans and playoff season, Joe Pelletier reminded me of this story today:
Have you ever wondered how the Detroit tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice ever started?
The octopus first made its appearance on April 15, 1952, during the Red Wings’ Stanley Cup playoff run.
Two Detroit brothers, Pete and Jerry Cusimano, threw the eight-legged creature on the ice at old Olympia Stadium. The thinking was each leg of the octopus was symbolic of the 8 playoff wins then-necessary to win the Stanley Cup. Back in the Original Six days there was two best-of-seven series to decide who would win the Stanley Cup. Since the Red Wings swept each series that year, winning 8 games, the Octopus has come to be the good luck charm ever since.
From Monroe News.com,
Pennsylvania officials secure funding for new hockey arena in Pittsburgh.
Detroit Red Wing fans lose sleep.
How are those two statements related?
Had plans fallen through for the new $290 million arena in Pittsburgh and the Penguins had moved to Kansas City as had been rumored, the Red Wings likely would have jumped to the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
And if that had happened, the Wings would not have as many games starting after 10 p.m.
From Helene St. James at Detroit Free Press,
As the Red Wings prepared to play tonight’s Game 4 of their first-round series with the Flames, establishing success on special teams was at the forefront.
While the power-play struggles can hardly be surprising giving its ineffectiveness throughout the regular season, the penalty killing’s vulnerability has been far more noticeable. The Wings have allowed four power-play goals in three games, and their 75% success rate ranks 14th among the 16 NHL playoff teams.
Plus: St. James questions if Bertuzzi could boost the Wings’ 2nd line.
From Randy Sportak at the Calgary Sun,
Down the road, Jarome Iginla can tell the tale of when he pulled a Babe Ruth—calling his shot and delivering at the biggest moment.
For now, though, the Calgary Flames captain just wants to chalk it up to a good break coming at the right time.
Yesterday morning, Iginla proclaimed he was on the verge of snapping a personal drought against the Wings.
Hours later, he scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period in a 3-2 victory over Detroit.
From Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press,
Pavel Datsyuk doesn’t use hair-care products, a teammate pointed out, while Henrik Zetterberg has rock star hair.
The two young Red Wings have markedly different personalities, and there are those around them who wonder at times how they communicate so well. Their chemistry, though, is indisputable: They became fast friends four years ago, have played well with one another, and now they’re as dominant a pairing as can be found in the NHL.
from the Calgary Sun,
No idea where the Wings got the idea but their playoff marketing push encourages fans to wear red to home games. “Who is the marketing genius that came up with ‘Join the Red Wave’ yet they hand out white towels?” laughed Detroit’s resident comedian and all-round good guy Chris Osgood…
read on for more Wings bits…
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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