Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
A source told Booth Newspapers on Monday that Lidstrom has decided to return for another season. The club is expected to finalize a one-year contract extension this week with the six-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s top defenseman.
added 10:30am, from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,
Wings officials will announce later today Lidstrom has agreed to a one-year deal. The exact amount was unknown, but it is believed to be near $6 million.
In case you missed Coach’s Corner last night.
Also, Ron MacLean picked his highlight of the night…
via Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
In Marc Antoine Godin’s La Presse story (translated) on the scout sackings, a source speculates that the Canadiens will cut costs by using video instead of human beings freezing in junior and college rinks.
The Canadiens now employ nine scouts, some of whom probably are waiting for the other show to drop.
The Leafs have 24 scouts, including four pro scouts (the Canadiens have one, Doug Gibson) and five in Europe (Canadiens have one, Hannu Laine, based in Finland).
We’ll know more today if Pierre Gauthier meets the media at development camp in Brossard.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
In that first period, Carcillo was on the ice more than Gagne, the Flyers’ best goal scorer; more than surprise-of-the-playoffs Ville Leino , more than Arron Asham . The Flyers managed an absurd three shots on goal. Chicago had nine.
So the intention, clearly, was to make the Blackhawks pay a higher physical toll, especially early. And that might have been effective except that the Blackhawks delivered more punishing hits than the Flyers did. The stat showed 20 first-period hits for Chicago, including a game-high four by the bus called Byfuglien, and 13 for the Flyers….
It turns out the Blackhawks can play the Flyers’ game better than the Flyers can play the Hawks’ game. Game 1, with its scoreboard-taxing 11 combined goals, showed what happens when the Flyers forget to play sound defense. Game 2, scoreless until that stunning half-minute late in the second period, showed what happens when the Flyers forget to play offense.
Playing time returned to normal after that first period and, surprise, the Flyers outplayed the Blackhawks for long stretches. Gagne was on the ice about twice as much in the second period as the first. So was Leino. The Flyers outshot Chicago, 15-13, in the period.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Blame the ice at the United Center if you want. It’s awful, and a muggy, rainy day in the Windy City on Memorial Day didn’t help the conditions.
But the hockey so far has been mediocre at best. A sloppily played Game 1, with 11 goals scored, was followed up by low-scoring but nonetheless sloppily played Game 2.
Maybe the shift to Pennsylvania for Games 3 and 4 will alter the dynamics of what we’ve seen so far. Otherwise, it appears Chicago’s “C” game is going to be enough to beat the Flyers.
The Hawks are getting better goaltending, with Antti Niemi coming up with 33 saves in Game 2, including 16 stops in the third period, and unlikely scoring heroics from non-star players.
Scott Burnside and Pieree LeBrun of ESPN discuss game 2 and questioned the conservative play of the Flyers.
Two losses for the Flyers, two pucks for Pronger.
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
He hadn’t scored a goal since Game 3 of the conference semifinals against the Canucks, and it was his first goal in the Stanley Cup final since he scored for the Penguins in Game 6 of 2008.
Yeah, it felt pretty good to get that one.
“A relief, definitely,” Hossa said of the goal that led to Chicago’s 2-1 win. “I was looking for some ugly goal like that to get the offense going.”
And to him, it had to be the prettiest ugly goal he’ll ever score. It’s one thing to join a Stanley Cup-contending team and try to hitch a ride to a championship. It’s quite another to carry it. Right now, that’s what Hossa is doing.
Now the Flyers will have last change and have to find a way to get Richards and Carter on the score sheet.
Even though Kane and Toews have been kept quiet on the Chicago side, I think in order for Philadelphia to make this a series, their top line has to start scoring.
We will find out Wednesday night.
added 11:26pm, from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Two games in and the Flyers are surrounded by more questions that wins. Goalie Michael Leighton was better than he was in Game 1, but he was far from perfect. They’re down two games largely because he can be beaten high, especially to the glove, while his counterpart in the Chicago net continues to make money saves. But the other question surrounding the Flyers is the insertion of agitator Daniel Carcillo. He was supposed to give them a more physical presence. Instead, he seemed more yappy than anything. He took an unsportsmanlike penalty. He was more distraction that addition. He didn’t really hurt, but he didn’t help either.
It may simply be that Hossa simply wants the Stanley Cup more than anybody.
After two years of being on the losing end of the Stanley Cup — in 2008 with Pittsburgh and 2009 with Detroit — Hossa signed with the Blackhawks this season.
Too bad Dan Carcillo hit his own teammate, Jeff Carter.
Watch the CBC feed of the hit.
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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