Kukla's Korner Hockey
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….”
from the Detroit News,
The Red Wings likely will begin the playoffs Thursday against Calgary without forward Todd Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi, who suffered a concussion in the next-to-last game of the regular season against Chicago, wasn’t on the ice for the second consecutive day Tuesday, and coach Mike Babcock didn’t sound encouraged about Bertuzzi playing in Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena.
“In my mind, he’s not available at this point,” Babcock said after Tuesday’s practice.
via the Pittsburgh Channel,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans are invited to gather downtown for a playoff rally at noon Wednesday in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and county Chief Executive Dan Onorato are hosting the rally. There will be free food and music.
Onorato’s office said students are encouraged to bring signs and banners to decorate the courthouse and the City-County Building. The signs can either be brought to the rally or dropped off at the guard station adjacent to the Forbes Avenue entrance of the courtyard.
via the Detroit News,
Come back to detnews.com after 1 p.m. today for a story and photo of the unveiling in Detroit of the statue of former Red Wings great Gordie Howe.
The Wings plan to unveil the statue at 1 p.m. at the Gordie Howe Entrance of the Joe Louis Arena. Howe, the Wings’ all-time leading scorer, is expected to attend the ceremony, which is closed to the public.
from the Calgary Flames,
And now it is playoff time. We are playing the Detroit Red Wings, my former team.
I would have to say that the leader of that team is the guy nobody mentions, Niklas Lidstrom. He is the calming influence on that team. The emotional leader is Kris Draper.
They have skill in players like Pavel Datsyuk and they have Tomas Holstrom who is tough to play against. You add Todd Bertuzzi to that line, too. I think he is the wild card for them. We all know how well he can play.
from the Windsor Star,
Barring a last-second setback, Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg declared himself ready to play in Thursday’s opening game of the Western Conference quarter-final against the Calgary Flames.
Zetterberg, who hasn’t played since Feb. 24 because of an inflamed disc in his back, participated in a full practice for the first time Monday at Joe Louis Arena.
“I feel better than I did last week,” Zetterberg said….
Babcock said Todd Bertuzzi, who was diagnosed with a mild concussion after colliding with goalie Chris Osgood in a game last Thursday, will be re-examined by doctors later this week before he’s cleared to play.
“I think he will (play), but I don’t know for sure,” Babcock said.
from Dave Dye of the Detroit News,
According to a report Saturday on CBC-TV’s Hockey Night in Canada, around 2,500 Wings season-ticket holders declined to buy playoff tickets.
“I couldn’t tell you either way,” Hahn said when asked about the report. “I don’t know who they got that number from.”
As for an estimate on the number of tickets available, Hahn said, “I don’t have a specific count.
“But there’s less available for Game 1 than Game 2 and 5 and 7, and there’s more for Round 2 than in Round 1.”
added 6:54am, Make sure to read IwoCPO’s take on this at A2Y.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
According to Regehr, Datsyuk can present “a lot of challenges sometimes. He’s an extremely good one-on-one player. He’s probably top-10 in the NHL in that department. If you get caught watching the puck on him, you’re in a lot of trouble.
“There’s also his passing — he’s a very good set-up man. It depends upon who Detroit has playing with him, but if those guys get open, he’s extremely talented and able to find them with good passes, so you’ve got to make sure you’re on him all the time quickly and be very physical on him to try and take away those options.”
All this presupposes that Regehr will be available for the opener. He injured his leg in the first period of last Thursday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks and hasn’t played since.
From the Detroit Free Press,
Every issue that bothered the Wings last season has been addressed. In goal, they went from untested Manny Legace to proven Dominik Hasek. Up front, they added grit and size by trading for Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder. Leadership-wise, Lidstrom took over the captaincy with expected fluidity. "We're a better team than we were last year, even though we don't have as many points," forward Dan Cleary said. "I like our team. I just feel that, top to bottom, we can skate and we're a lot more physical. I think we're more gritty as a team. I believe we're more playoff-ready."More
From the Calgary Sun,
Despite a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers last night in their regular-season home finale, the Flames had their playoff ticket punched for them. They clinched the spot thanks to the Nashville Predators, who beat the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the night. Still, nobody cared about backing into the playoffs. "We put ourselves in this situation and deserve to be where we are," said centre Matthew Lombardi. "We worked hard all season. "We came out strong, guys had good energy and we were excited in the room. We played well the first half of the game, we'll take that out of it and we'll move on to the next game."Read more
With Anaheim losing in a shootout tonight, the Wings are guaranteed the #1 seed in the West.
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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