Kukla's Korner Hockey
From John Buccigross at ESPN:
Game 7 equals …
• The bond of father and son, their shared-logo T-shirt and their shared stomach of nerves as the puck is about to be dropped Friday night. Stomachs in Pennsylvania and Michigan will feel as though they just ate five pounds of grapes.
• The pride and passion of two rust-belt cities mortgaging a portion of their summer moods pending the result of a 60-minute hockey game. Whoever wins Friday night, it will matter much to the proud and soulful people of Detroit and Pittsburgh. The Cup will feel warm and welcomed at either victory party.
Q. Win or lose tonight, does it feel weird for you to know that this is all going to be done? Some of the players talk about win or lose, day off tomorrow. Is it weird for you after your whole season the way it’s gone and coming here?
COACH BYLSMA: How do they know I’m going to give them a day off (laughing).
Q. Fair point.
COACH BYLSMA: It does seem weird. You know, you battle and you win to go further and further and further. You know, you go to Game 7 in round two to get to the next round. You seem like you’re playing for your team’s life. Now it will be over after tonight. It’s going to be a good thing for one team. The other team’s going to wish it was a nine?game series.
Q. Any lineup or line changes for tonight?
COACH BABCOCK: No.
Q. This morning when you woke up, did it feel any different?
COACH BABCOCK: Well, I think pretty much I did exactly what I always do. Went for a run. Went through the game. Did all the stuff I’ve always done. I think yesterday for me was different because it’s exciting. I mean, it’s just flat out exciting to be here.
Anywhere you go in this town, people are talking about it, and excited about it. And plan on watching it. It should be good.
Talk about a case of the nerves, I am even questioning my ability to make the 20 minute drive to downtown Detroit. My mind is going in about a hundred different directions right now but I must get focused before I leave.
I will be parking at the media hotel, hop on the media shuttle and enter the Joe for the last time this season.
I am actually looking forward to mingling with fans and other media members, maybe they will have a soothing effect on my, at least I hope so.
In my absence, Alanah will continue to update KK throughout the afternoon and evening.
Have fun everyone and “let’s drop the puck”.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
You get to the end of the trail, when there can’t be any more hockey games after this one, and you sift through the arguments, pro and con.
Who’s tired, who’s hurt, who wants it more, who has more savvy, more scoring depth, more moxie in the clutch? And then you have to choose.
And we choose Detroit. That’s the royal “we,” naturally, which is the columnist’s way of not using the singular personal pronoun.
Doesn’t mean the Pittsburgh Penguins won’t win Game 7 and the Stanley Cup tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The royal “we” has been wrong before.
But a lot is history, and a lot is home ice, and a lot is big-game experience, and then, on top of it all is need.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
For a hockey fan, Game 7 is the apex of the sport, a crashing final chord after a long crescendo. But even for someone who doesn’t follow hockey but was born with the sports gene, there is nothing more satisfying than this game. To borrow from the NBA, basically Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final is the last two minutes. There is no need to have invested emotionally in the NHL.
To enjoy this match, you don’t have to know about the sudden celebrity of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin’s parents in Pittsburgh—they are called the Genos because of their boy’s nickname—or that Detroit star Henrik Zetterberg is engaged to Swedish pop star and TV personality Emma Andersson. You just have to give up three hours on a Friday evening in mid-June, a relative bargain given the possible wonders in store.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Two league executives confirmed to Sun Media yesterday that if the high-scoring winger isn’t dealt by July 1, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will be on the hook to pay Heatley a whopping $4-million bonus (all terms US), even if he doesn’t play for Ottawa next season.
Coupled with the $10 million Heatley received as part of the terms of the six-year, $45-million contract extension he signed in October 2007, Melnyk will have shelled out a total of $14 million over the past year to Heatley, who had only 39 goals and 33 assists for 72 points last season.
Not only is the bonus costly for the Senators, both executives indicated it could “seriously hamper” GM Bryan Murray’s ability to move Heatley before the NHL draft June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Instead of putting up a poll asking you who wins, why not kill two birds with one stone and ask you this- Who gets the game winning goal tonight?
The ESPN crew is in Detroit…
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
A man of few comments throughout the Stanley Cup Final, Penguins center Evgeni Malkin acknowledged Thursday that one picture would be worth a thousand words.
“I think about it a lot, especially these last (two) weeks,” he said, smiling before finishing the sentence. “It’s my dream. Me and Sid, just like that.”...
He has rarely spoken to North American media. Teammates insist he is more intense than they can recall from any point in his career, talking constantly of ways for the Penguins to improve.
“Yeah, I’m trying to concentrate on the games,” Malkin said yesterday. “The Cup is all I want. I will give 120 percent. I will give everything.
“One win. The Cup. After that I will talk. I will do anything. One win first.”
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.
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