Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from the Calgary Sun,
Only, in his case, it’s on purpose. The wily blueliner has perfected the bank shot off the end boards.
“More and more guys do it because guys have gotten so good at blocking shots,” said Schneider, who pinballed a couple of pucks into the slot Sunday afternoon that Minnesota Fats would have appreciated.
“It’s really hard to get shots through, especially five on five.
“So you are looking for ways to create havoc in front of the net and that’s one of the ways that’s developed over the last couple of years.”
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Take a look at the Detroit Red Wings’ Svensk embassy on ice, from venerable defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom to second-year forward Johan Franzen, who stands 6-foot-2, weighs 210 pounds and answers to the nickname Mule.
Every one of the Red Wings’ Swedish players — and there are six of them, not counting injured defenceman Niklas Kronwall — has made a substantial impact in helping Detroit stake a 2-0 lead over the Calgary Flames in their Western Conference quarter-final series.
Lidstrom, of course, has been a premier performer for years. So far, he has scored twice against Calgary while averaging 28 minutes a game. Forward Tomas Holmstrom has been his usual immovable self; a dumpster parked in front of the Calgary net. He’s also a plus three defensively.
from the CP via TSN,
“Obviously I think Jarome has a lot more to give,” Playfair said. “Their top players have outplayed our top players.
“(Tuesday) night is a game we expect that to be improved upon.”
The Flames have to cycle the puck more effectively through the offensive zone and get more shots on Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek, who has seen just 20 and 15 respectively from Calgary.
“Get pucks to Hasek from every possible angle.” Playfair said. “You’re not going to score on Dominik Hasek very often on your first shot.
“It’s going to be second shot, your third shot. Maybe he doesn’t have his stick in his hand by the time you score because you keep pounding away on it.”
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi says he is ready to go, but coach Mike Babcock isn’t convinced.
Babcock said after today’s practice that whether or not Bertuzzi plays in Game 3 will be decided Tuesday.
“He has to convince me,” he is ready, Babcock said.
KK member snafu submitted the following-
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is the country’s public television and radio broadcaster. The CBC is also Canada’s oldest broadcast service. One of the CBC’s crown jewels is Hockey Night in Canada, not only a consistently highly-rated program but the world’s longest running sports-related production. Recently the NHL and CBC announced a new agreement that allows the CBC to continue the HNIC segment (and certain playoff games) through 2014. The NHL will receive $100 million annually from the CBC.
from Terry Foster of the Detroit News,
The Wings are red hot. The fans are not.
It was a shock when the Wings announced that Thursday’s Game 1 was not sold out. The Wings always claimed sellout crowds of 20,066 for regular-season games but had an announced crowd of 19,204 in Game 1. It was the same Sunday as the crowd was announced at 19,751.
You can brush aside empty seats during the regular season and say people bought tickets but did not show up. But it is more difficult to ignore the empty seats during the playoffs.
The Wings are finally playing playoff type hockey, but remember, it isn’t a series until a road team wins.
This series is not over by any means, we will see a different Calgary team at home on Tuesday.
added 4:48pm, Just a little note, but with Lidstrom’s two goals in this series, he ties Larry Murphy for 5th all time for goals scored by a defenseman in the playoffs.
1. P. Coffey: 59
2. D. Potvin: 56
3. R. Bourque: 41
4. A. MacInnis: 39
5t N. Lidstrom 37
5t L. Murphy: 37
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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