Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
“One of the best all-around players you’ll find. He scores beautiful goals. He’s going to be a Selke Trophy candidate for years to come. You saw the other night. He backchecks Iginla. He forechecks Phaneuf. He can be a pain in the butt, or he can be a Lecavalier or a Jagr.
“But because we haven’t had a lot of playoff success since he got here—losing out in the second round against Calgary three years ago, then the lockout year, and the one round against Edmonton last season—a lot of fans, especially in Canada, haven’t really seen that much of him. So he kind of flies under the radar.’‘
from George Johnson at ESPN,
For those convinced the softie-toffee Detroiters might shrivel up into the fetal position in the face of a withering Calgary assault—reconsider. These Wings will compete. They will not back off. They will even initiate. This is a far different proposition than the upset-minded Flames pummeled into submission in six games three years ago.
Younger. Stronger. Hungrier. No Hullie or Shanny or Stevie Y. Great players all, no argument. But there’s a lift in the legs and in the attitude of this group. If the Flames are waiting for the Detroiters to automatically run down like a $5 knockoff Gucci watch bought off a blanket on a street corner, they could be out of this thing faster than Pavel Datsyuk speeding down the boards with a half-step on a defenseman.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun informs his readers to catch a hockey game in Detroit on Sunday, tickets are still available.
But that is not the story, it is what Joe said about Detroit…
And Detroit is an up and coming city for sure. I was down there last week for the Blue Jays home opener and was blown away with what they have done with that downtown. It has been cleaned up nicely, with lots of pubs and restaurants and all sorts of character. I didn’t run into one homeless person, the parking is $10 and it’s right across from Windsor.
Thanks Joe, the folks from the Detroit area needed that right about now… read the rest of the story...
from the AP via Yahoo,
But a big part of what has made Hasek an all-time great—an insatiable appetite to compete—brought him back to Detroit at age 42 with a bargain-basement, incentive-laden contract.
He made $750,000 during the regular season.
If Hasek helps Detroit get past the Calgary Flames in the first round, he’ll earn a $450,000 bonus; another $450,000 if the Red Wings advance to the conference finals; and $200,000 more if he hoists his second Stanley Cup and the 11th in franchise history.
“I didn’t come back to play and to make money,” Hasek said. “I came back because I want to compete for the Stanley Cup, and to win the Stanley Cup.
Wings announced after practice that Bertuzzi is cleared to play.
Now the question is- will he dress for Sunday?
added 2:05pm, from he AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
“He’s been cleared medically,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “Now, he has to get cleared by our therapy people as far as being ready to play.
“If he’s ready to go, he’ll be in.”
Bertuzzi skated briefly on his own Thursday and took part in an optional practice Friday.
“It felt pretty good,” he said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow after another hard skate.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
So, imagine what was running through the mind of the Calgary GM as he watched the likes of finesse players Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg knocking his Flames off the puck in the game’s early going.
Or, as he saw Red Wings pest Tomas Holmstrom annoy Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for much of the game without fear of retribution.
An interesting stat at Red Wings Corner,
The Red Wings had 37 hits in their Game 1 win over the Calgary Flames, Thursday. It was the highest hit total this season for the Red Wings and just the 15th time in 83 games that Detroit has had as many as 20 hits in a game.
from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,
The problem is, they argued, too many other things have—including, most notably, the names on the back of the jerseys. No longer are the Wings dotted with Hall of Fame-caliber players who spent the better part of their careers in Detroit….
Holland notices the competition in the way his team is covered. Fewer front pages. Fewer lead spots in sports telecasts. Less time on talk radio.
“That’s where I’ve really noticed it,” he said.
The Wings simply aren’t the topic of conversation that they once were.
What Holland says is so true, and the Wings must realize the have an untapped source that they have failed to utilize- The web and the many Wings bloggers. They need to follow the example of many NHL teams and begin to recognize the Wings bloggers existence.
Oh, I see those Calgary Sun writers are laying odds,
- Most likely Red Wings occurrence:
2-1—Tomas Holmstrom sets up outside crease.
3-1—Hasek stutters during interview.
4-1—Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby yap at Iginla.
5-1—Mike Babcock scowls after game.
- The longshots:
40-1—Kristian Huselius pitchforks a defender.
60-1—Henrik Zetterberg finds a corner.
70-1—Henrik Zetterberg finds a barber.
80-1—Robert Lang backchecks.
from George Johnson at ESPN writing about the Wings/Flames series…
Among those who believe Hasek may be vulnerable is left winger Kristian Huselius, a revelation this season after piling up 34 goals and 77 points. After all, The Dominator, for all his brilliance, has a reputation for being, uh, somewhat erratic.
“He didn’t face a lot of shots this season,” Huselius said. “We’ve got to change that. We’ve got to get in his face, throw a lot of traffic in front, screen him. He won’t like it. We want to upset him. Make him work. Wear him down.
“He’s a great goalie. He’s won a Stanley Cup. But he’s old.” Huselius smiled. “And maybe when, as you get older, it’s easier to get p—-ed off.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So why, apart from their recent pattern of stumbling in the early playoff rounds, is there so little love for the Red Wings?
Kirk Maltby, who has played for Detroit since 1996, doesn’t know for sure, but he’s heard the doom-and-gloom naysayers.
“It’s funny, we were talking about this a couple of weeks ago,” Maltby said.
“I have XM radio in my truck and I listen to it all the time. At the beginning of the year, you had all these people calling in, trying to make predictions. People were saying we would be sixth or eighth — make the playoffs, but just slide in and then don’t do too much damage at all.
“I was kind of shaking my head….”
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