Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
“The first time I ever met Lidstrom what I remember is how quiet he was,” said Draper, who has played with him since 1993. “I’ve been very fortunate to see the evolution of Nick Lidstrom first hand.”
Maltby recalls that he was surprised the first time he heard Lidstrom speaking Swedish.
“He doesn’t even really have an accent, so the first time he started speaking Swedish, I said, ‘What the ... Oh, I forgot about that,’. ” Maltby said, laughing. “It was funny. ... You almost took it for granted he was North American. He’s the same way now. He’s quiet and he goes about his business.”
Although he was a coach’s dream as a defender early in his career, his quiet demeanor, coupled with Detroit’s high-profile dressing room, stunted his national attention. “For a while, he was the best-kept secret in the league,” Draper said.
With six Norris trophies, Lidstrom now has the best defensive credentials in the game.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
• Actual quote: Sidney Crosby was asked about his highly publicized slash of Henrik Zetterberg in Game 5.
“I haven’t seen it replayed, but I don’t have any regrets. He cross checked me earlier on. It’s not about getting back at guys at this point. We’ve got to play hockey here and worry about winning a game.”
Translation: I only regret I didn’t do it harder and before they started waxing us. And, as for getting back at someone, I’m working on a play where I bank it in off Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Don Cherry’s left knee for the winner. See you in Detroit on Friday.
• Actual quote: Crosby also was asked about the team’s response to Game 5 and reminded questioners the Pens were in 10th place midway through the season and would gladly take a one-game shot to get to a seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals. “So, we’re keeping things in perspective here knowing what we have to do,” Crosby said.
Translation: If I have to watch Marian Hossa hoist the Stanley Cup on Tuesday night, I might throw up.
from Camwest News Service via the National Post,
Since he played in only 24 regular-season games, Chelios doesn’t qualify for a Stanley Cup inscription. A player must suit up for 41 games or appear in at least one game of the final series to get his name on Lord Stanley’s mug.
There is a second chance, however.
The Wings can, and likely will, petition to have Chelios added to the Stanley Cup list. But that might mean Chelios will require a favour from his old rival, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman.
“I don’t really care what he says anyway,” Chelios said. “If that’s my biggest worry, I’m doing pretty well. If we win it, I’m not too worried about it. My name is already on the Cup.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It has been well documented how Holland and the rest of his front office have excelled like no other NHL club at drafting, developing and assembling championship rosters. But Babcock, perhaps, hasn’t quite got the same amount of credit for his job behind the bench.
“I don’t know if he really does,” San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan told ESPN.com on Monday. “People will say that he has very good players. Well, there’s a lot of teams in the league that have very good players. We’re one of them. We have players that are world-class as well and we’re not playing right now.
“So I think a lot more credit to should go Mike’s way and his staff’s way, as well. They’re well-prepared and they never beat themselves.”
McLellan was an assistant coach here last year, winning a Cup alongside Babcock. He didn’t hesitate one iota when asked to describe him as a coach.
“Two words come to mind: committed and focused,” McLellan said. “He knows exactly what he wants to do as a coach and he knows how he’s going to do it. He has a plan and he knows how he’s going to executive it. That’s a sign of a great leader. The Wings are very fortunate to have him coaching there right now.
Watch game 6, SCF from last year below.
note: Hulu only allows US based IPs to watch…
Q. Can I ask you about home ice advantage in this series? The home team has obviously won all the games. Are match?ups that critical in this series, how big a part of the results that we’ve seen is that?
NICKLAS LIDSTROM: I don’t think match-ups has been the big issue. I think the team that has had home ice advantage has played really well at home. They’ve gained a lot of momentum from the crowd or what not. So I think just that in itself has helped the home team playing on their home ice.
I think match-ups in Games 3 and 4 wasn’t that big of an issue for us. Only a couple of times we didn’t have the match-up that we wanted when we started the shift. But otherwise we did a good job coming on and off the ice.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
The danger, of which Pittsburgh must be aware — even Bylsma, who wasn’t part of last year’s six-game defeat by the same Red Wings — is that the Penguins are approaching another defining moment for their franchise, and if it goes badly, it won’t be the definition they were hoping for.
“I like it being a defining moment,” said Bylsma. “Everyone in that room should be ready to play their best game and make a difference, by doing what we do as a team. Everyone needs to be ready to have the puck on their stick and make the play or make the defensive play or block the shot or make the save. That’s what we need. We need a defining game.”
Because here’s the thing: If not now, when? When does a group of talented kids stop being a sure thing, and start acquiring more baggage than promise?
Probably not yet — their core group of centres is still incredibly young — but before the questions get too onerous, they could use something a lot better in the way of a lasting memory than that 5-0 pratfall in Detroit on Saturday.
Q. Can you just talk a little bit about focus and the idea that this is just one game? You’re coming here for one game. Not thinking about the Cup. You’re thinking about winning one game, and whether or not you actually say to the guys, don’t think about the Cup? To what extent do you just say this is only a game?
COACH BABCOCK: Well, we talk about a lot of things. You know, obviously, focus and preparation is absolutely critical, and being ready on time. We came in here last week or whenever it was, you know, with an opportunity and failed to do anything with that opportunity. Went home with two losses.
So here’s another opportunity for us. Hopefully we’ve learned. We haven’t handled the start of the game very good in here. And in the second game in here, we didn’t handle the end of the game very good.
You know, we’ve been in this exact situation before, and we’re going to do everything to be the best we can possibly be.
Scott Burnside in Pittsburgh and Pierre LeBrun in Detroit file video report on the teams.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Ask Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland about it and you get a terse, “I’m not going there.” Ask Red Wings veteran Kris Draper and you get the death stare.
(Trust me, I got it when I asked him about it.)
But no matter what transpires over the next two games, the Red Wings – once again – will be faced with some difficult decisions over the summer and they know there are players in their dressing room who won’t be with them next season.
And we’re talking about core players here. If the Red Wings are intent on signing Marian Hossa this summer – and every indication is they are – it’s going to mean some very loyal and productive players are going to be leaving Hockeytown this summer.
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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