Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jacques Demers in USA Today,
Four numbers stuck with me after watching the Detroit Red Wings take a 3-1 series lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night:
•Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, the 38-year-old captain of the Red Wings, played more than 28 minutes, skating 37 shifts, an average ice time of 44 seconds.
•Pavel Datsyuk played 19 minutes, averaging 39 seconds.
•Henrik Zetterberg played close to 23 minutes, averaging 43 seconds.
•Johan Franzen averaged 42 seconds.
Press Release from the Pittsburgh Penguins:
Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman Alex Goligoski from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
From the CP via TSN,
A small-town New Brunswick arena was transformed into a makeshift chapel on Sunday as thousands paid their respects to Luc Bourdon, a 21-year-old rising National Hockey League star killed in a motorcycle crash on Thursday.
Mourners filed past Bourdon’s coffin in the middle of the rink where he once played hockey as a boy and offered their condolences to Bourdon’s family.
“It’s just right now really, really quiet,” said Gilles Cormier from inside the arena during Sunday’s visitation. “Everybody is stunned.”
Kris Letang also flew in from Pittsburgh to attend, and more NHLers are expected to attend the funeral on Monday.
Update 8:48pm ET: More from Jason Botchford via the National Post:
They came by the thousands to an arena in Shippagan, a small fishing village in remote New Brunswick, and waited in line for hours to pay tribute to Luc Bourdon, the area’s fallen star.
They left wrecked with emotion.
From Jeremy Sandler at the National Post,
Originally the itinerary included golf and sightseeing, but finding pubs or Internet cafes with access to hockey broadcasts got added to the agenda once the Pittsburgh Penguins qualified to battle for the NHL’s ultimate prize.
It is safe to say that among people not directly connected to the Penguins, the 62-year-old [Craig] Patrick has a greater rooting interest in the final than most.
As the Penguins general manager for 17 years, he assembled about half of the players who tonight will try and even the finals at two games apiece.
more on Patrick extensive history with the Penguins
If the Penguins are planning to rescue themselves from the State of Oblivion, Crosby might find it necessary to get Malkin and Petr Sykora alone in a room and bang their heads together a few times; followed by a simple, declarative sentence: “I WANT YOU GUYS TO PLAY AS HARD AS I AM, AND BROOKS ORPIK IS.”
and more thoughts from Stan Fischler at Game On
Update 8:16pm ET: At ESPN, Scott Burnside takes a more tempered look at Malkin’s performance woes.
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf contributes his thoughts on game #4 and the series in the LA Times:
Being in a similar situation that we faced with Ottawa when we were going home, Detroit gets to go back home and they’re going to be comfortable. The biggest thing is for them to take advantage of the situation they put themselves in. They can’t let it slip. If you let it slip, if you give Pittsburgh any kind of breathing room, you never know what might happen.
Pittsburgh has got to play with its back against the wall. It’s a big task. No one is going to kid themselves. They’ve got to take it one game at a time. That’s the truth. If you have to win three games, you’ve got to get one first.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
The way Marc-André Fleury sees it, the path to success for the Pittsburgh Penguins is simple: “If I can stop more pucks and we score more goals, we’ll be all right.”
But those few words mask a world of hurt for the Penguins, who need to win Monday to prevent the Detroit Red Wings from winning their first Stanley Cup since 2002. The Red Wings have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NHL championship series thanks to their efficient 2-1 win over the Penguins on Saturday night.
Actually, Fleury could have left himself out of the above equation. His work in the Penguins goal in the last two games was above reproach. It is the work of their offence in all four games so far that is wanting.
*Fleury highlights can be seen at the NHL Network Online.
From the AP via NHL.com,
Mike Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings expect to complete a new deal shortly after the season to keep the coach under contract next season and beyond.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Babcock said Sunday, a day before he and the Red Wings had their first of three chances to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Stanley Cup. “We just have a couple details to fix.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Question: Who, among these Red Wings’ players, is truly the most valuable? At the start of the round, the local newspaper polled four of its writers and got four different answers. It could be Henrik Zetterberg, their leading scorer; or Pavel Datsyuk, the runner-up. Even though he missed six games as a result of injury, it’s hard to overlook Johan Franzen, who continues to lead the playoffs in goals. Defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is drawing attention, as he closes in on being the first European-born, European-trained captain of a Stanley Cup championship team. He was the MVP choice the last time the Red Wings won it all.
Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford analyzes the SCF for NHL.com:
In fact, Crawford sees the penalty killing by both the Red Wings and the Penguins as underrated in this series, and gives his thoughts as to why they’ve each been so dominant.
“It’s been very tactically and technically a very sound, sound penalty-killing series,” he said. “And you have to make great plays to score.”
Saturday night, it was the Red Wings who made just one extra “great play,” and they came away with a very crucial victory.
The full article is here and at the bottom of the page are two links to Crawford’s podcasts on the series
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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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