Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Brian Cazeneuve at Sports Illustrated,
This six-game series didn’t fully convey how well the Wings have been playing. They have now allowed two goals or fewer in eight straight playoff games, and have been remarkably resilient. This was only the first game during the series with San Jose in which Detroit never trailed….
The series was a case of a better team being led by veteran players and a captain, who made a timely game-changing play, something the Wings have been used to for years. They’ll need a lot more of that kind of leadership and heroics against the Ducks.
more and thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down the WCF,
Many preseason prognosticators believed this was the Ducks’ season. For those who like their foul West Coast style, Anaheim has done nothing to disappoint. The team is 8-2 through the first two rounds and hit the Western Conference finals for the second straight season, well-rested and hungry to take that next step to the Stanley Cup finals.
Now onto the ECF,
At the start of the playoffs, this looked like an absolutely perfect matchup for the right to go to the Stanley Cup finals. And now that it’s here, there’s nothing to suggest this won’t be anything but a terrific showdown between the two best teams in the conference.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
The Red Wings were clearly the hungrier team in this series. They refused to let injuries get them down and they pressed on offense. Game 6 was not one for the ages; in fact, it was a bit of a yawner. But the defensive tone was pure Mike Babcock, a coach who leans on his players to get the job done in their own end. Now we will see if Detroit’s weakened defense and so-so offense can contend with the Anaheim Ducks.
more on last night’s game…
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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