Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the News & Observer,
Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour said today that he had no plans to retire after 20 years in the NHL and would return next season.
“I made a commitment a while ago to play and I’ve got a contract to play it out,” he said today. “So it’s definitely what the plan is.
“Personally you have to believe in yourself. I would not play the game if I did not think I could still do it. And not just as a fourth-line player. My goal is to get back and contribute with this team as I feel like I can.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
“I’ve had three general managers call in the last day and a half — just starting to feel each other out,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said Thursday.
With the June 26-27 entry draft and the July 1 opening of free-agency season approaching, groundwork is beginning to be laid for personnel moves that will come in late June and early July.
Red Wings will win if... They stick to their system. Detroit is a puck-possession team, and if it can find a way to hang on to the puck—especially at even-strength—it will limit Crosby and Malkin’s opportunities. The stronger the Wings play 5-on-5, the better off they’ll be.
Penguins will win if... They can handle the big stage this time. Several Penguins have admitted to being awed last spring against the Red Wings. By the time the Penguins got comfortable with the high-stakes hockey played in the Final, they were trailing 2-0 in the best-of-7 series—a hole that proved too big to dig out of. This time around, they believe they are more ready…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Even without the Wings’ injuries, this series looked to be tilting in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins given the exceptional play of Crosby and Malkin. But with the Wings banged up and missing key ingredients (or having key ingredients not at their best), the Penguins are suddenly the clear-cut favorites to win their first Cup since 1992. Penguins in six.
much more on the series…
added 12:55pm, from The Hockey News,
There are some parallels between this series and 1984, when the Edmonton Oilers faced the New York Islanders in the final for the second straight spring and won the Stanley Cup. The only difference – and it’s a major one - is the Islanders were a dynasty in demise and the Red Wings are a dynasty that is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, they’re getting better. The reality is this is a pick ‘em series and we’re picking the champs to repeat. In the end, experience, poise and home ice advantage will be the deciding factors in the series. Detroit in seven.
added 12:57pm, from Mark Spector and this from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
With all due respect to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hope they learned a thing or two in losing to the Detroit Red Wings in last year’s Stanley Cup final, the Wings look very much like a team – an organization, for that matter – that will not be denied….
Even with Crosby and Malkin I’d give the nod to the Red Wings depth up front as well as on defence and in net. Seems pretty fundamental to me.
Prediction: Detroit in 6.
via Neil Best of Watchdog at Newsday,
The NHL has not officially announced a game time for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Sunday.
Why? Most likely, it has something (or everything) to do with the NBA’s Western Conference finals, and the desire to avoid too much overlap with a possible Game 7 between the Lakers and Nuggets.
If the Lakers win it in six, figure on an 8 p.m. NHL start time Sunday.
If the Nuggets take the series to a decisive game, figure on a 7 p.m. NHL start time Sunday.
added 12:44pm, Blame Conan O’Brien for no Monday night game…
thanks to a KK reader for the Conan link…
from Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
RDS has interviewed Guy Lafleur, again, and this time, the Habs legend let it be known he thinks the time has come for Saku Koivu to leave the Canadiens family.
Lafleur said it’s time for the Canadiens captain to go play with his brother in Minnesota. He also said that when Réjean Houle was the team’s general manager, he suggested to Houle that he should get rid of Koivu.
And he didn’t stop there. Lafleur, who never minces his words, also weighed in on the rumours that Alex Kovalev had been offered a new contract and the captaincy.
from Jeff Ponder of NHLHockeyOnline,
The truth is that outside of Detroit and Pittsburgh, hockey fans are getting quite tired of the coverage that the Red Wings and Penguins get. At 7 pm EST on a Monday or Tuesday night, the average hockey fan would sit in front of their television set and watch some good ‘ole fashioned hockey. Little did that fan know that 26% of the televised games broadcasted, the Penguins or Red Wings would be entertaining us along with Versus analysts Keith Jones and Brian Engblom. But it did not stop with regular season coverage….
As a fan of the NHL (outside of Pittsburgh), one almost has to root for the Detroit Red Wings to repeat. Think about it hockey fans; how many times are NBC and Versus going to shove Crosby skating around with the Stanley Cup down our faces over the summer and next season? As hated as the Red Wings are, at least the typical hockey fan has gotten used to the images of Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom and Kris Draper skating around with the Cup….
Newsday has an AP story stating John Tonelli smashed his Lexus, left it abandoned and was arrested at his home two hours later.
Tonelli refused comment on the charges.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We asked Lidstrom whether he would play Saturday night, and he said, “We’ll see.”
We asked Hossa, and he smiled and said, “We’ll see.”
Yeesh, this could be tough finals start for Detroit. But, as the Wings showed Wednesday night, don’t count them out no matter who isn’t in the lineup.
“Most teams could deal with injuries to a couple guys like me, but when you’re losing your superstar players, we’re graced with some depth,” said veteran checker Kirk Maltby. “Guys definitely stepped up and did a great job.”
more on the game last night…
from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,
It was one of the most memorable seasons in Blackhawks history. Rest in Peace. It will be remembered more for the stunning, franchise-wide turnaround that spurred a hockey renaissance in Chicago than for the Red Wings celebrating before towel-waving fans.
That’s why if Wednesday night’s loss was a indeed a funeral than it should be New Orleans style, with a brass band and parasols and much singing and dancing.
Seasons that fall short of a Stanley Cup championship won’t always end this way. In fact, the Hawks can assume that no season will end this way in coming years. Winning raises expectations. Won’t anything but a triumph over these Red Wings in next year’s playoffs be a disappointment?
That’s because the team’s youth is no longer a story. The only story line that remains is: Can the Hawks beat Detroit?
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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