Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Pavel Datsyuk’s return from a foot injury was just the tonic the Detroit Red Wings needed as they scored three power-play goals in the second period and five different Wings scored overall in a 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 that puts Detroit one game away from winning the Stanley Cup….
His return seemed to infuse the Red Wings with plenty of confidence and verve and put a deeper, more talented team on the ice for Detroit. Datsyuk is a finalist for NHL MVP honors.
added 11:18pm, from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun via the National Post,
Hands up, anyone outside the 313 area code who thought there was a snowball’s hope in Hockeytown of those tired, old Detroit Red Wings running the surging Pittsburgh Penguins out of Joe Louis Arena in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.
Nobody? Didn’t think so.
Wings played their best game of the series and it coincides with the return of Pavel Datsyuk.
Elimination game now stares the Penguins in the face on Tuesday night.
added 10:48pm, from Doug Guthrie of the Detroit News,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans were heading for the exits at Joe Louis Arena before the start of the third period Saturday night.
Trailing 5-0 after a four-goal blitz in the second period, they’d seen enough of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
“A game like this shouldn’t be decided by power plays,” said Brad Smith, an Atlanta, Ga., veterinary technician wearing a Sidney Crosby jersey. Smith also was in Detroit for Game 1 and 2.
“This is a great building to watch a game, but it’s unfortunate that we didn’t have a better start to our season so we could have home ice,” he added. “A Game 7here is what we are going to need and that’s not going to be easy.”
added 11:03pm, Watch live press conference streaming below…
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
The cowboys who own the Tampa Bay Lightning told us last year they were hockey guys who would rebuild the franchise into a power once again. They would wheel, they would deal, they would spend whatever it took and we would all have a ball watching it come together.
Well, they wheeled all right - right into the ditch, cartwheeling several times along the path before bursting into flames. They made deals, spent lots of cash, and it really was entertaining as long as you didn’t actually have to watch too many games. They created a mess that had no chance to succeed under leadership that was doomed to fail….
mean, remember this quote to The Tampa Tribune from co-owner Len Barrie last July:
“You can hear from me first, our defense is better than people think. That’s why we are loading up on forwards because I really, really like our young defense,” he said.
He also predicted a division title to another media outlet.
Q. Can you compare what you sensed from your team in terms of what it’s thinking about right now, and the one you played for in Anaheim going into that Game 5?
COACH BYLSMA: I wasn’t ready for that one (laughing). You know, I think you know you have to win one on the road as the road team. In both the situations, you feel like you miss those opportunities in Game 1, you had to really fight back to get back to even. And this is a game where we think we’re going to have to play our best.
We think they’re going to come out really hard, and we think they’re going to play a very good game after having regrouped and coming home with their fans here. And this is going to be, in my estimation, probably the hardest fought game will be here tonight. To this point.
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Dan Cleary’s status for Game 5 tonight will be determined after the pregame warmups. Cleary, who didn’t skate this morning, said he sustained a “lower-body’’ injury in Game 4. Cleary was vague, as you would expect this time of year. Asked if it was a new injury or something that had been bothering him, he said, “a little of both.’’ He also said he had tests done but has not gotten the results back yet. He said it’s nothing that would require a pain-killing shot.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
...And, no matter how rattled Detroit looked the other night, it would be a terrible mistake to assume Pittsburgh’s coronation. Truth is, the Penguins need Game 5 more than the Wings do.
“I expect Pittsburgh will be really fired up Saturday night,” said one NHL coach. “If they win, they have the chance to win the Stanley Cup on home ice. If they lose, then they know they have to win it on the road. The chance to win it at home is a huge motivator.”
Who would you bet on in a Game 7 at Joe Louis?
The schedule, which favoured the Penguins early in the series, helps Detroit at the end.
Battered and bruised much worse than they’re letting on, the Wings would be hugely helped by the two days off before Games 6 and 7.
from Ken Peters of the Hamilton Spectator,
The Toronto Maple Leafs have threatened to sue the National Hockey League if a franchise is located in Hamilton, the lawyer for Jim Balsillie has advised.
In a brief to a Arizona bankruptcy court Richard Rodier said the Maple Leafs believe they have power under the NHL constitution to veto another southern Ontario franchise.
Indeed Rodier said the Leafs received a $150,000 payment from Hamilton sports promoter Russ Boychuk in 2006 to allow a exhibition game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“I have been advised and it has been reported in Canadian news media that the Maple Leafs have threatened to sue the league and its constituent members is a team is located in Hamilton,” Rodier’s brief states.
Q. I’m under the impression you may be unveiling once again the lucky McGill tie tonight? I’m wondering if that’s accurate? And I understand you even have some former teammates and alumni in town, talk about that?
COACH BABCOCK: Well, I’m getting a lot of pressure to do that, I can tell you. I got so many emails, there’s like 34 of them. I’ve already talked to security. I said to the security I don’t want them to do anything that could be embarrassing. I like them to have as much fun as they want, but keep them confined to a reasonable amount of consumption and carrying on (smiling).
So I haven’t decided on the McGill tie. I actually bought a tie to wear today, and it wasn’t the McGill tie, but I am getting some pressure. But we’ll decide, I’ve got a little bit of time.
Q. Game time decision.
COACH BABCOCK: There’s a lot of that going on (laughing).
via Bruce MacLeod’s Twitter this morning,
Datsyuk is practicing on the left wing of Zetterberg’s line with Franzen on teh right side. Filppula centering second line.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
In every great hockey coach, there are elements of tactician, bench manager, student of the human condition and snake-oil salesman — the latter coming in particularly handy just now for Mike Babcock.
His Detroit Red Wings have just finished letting the Pittsburgh Penguins up off the mat in this Stanley Cup final, having looked at times mentally tired and at other times physically whipped while doing so — and the same team that left Joe Louis Arena Sunday night up 2-0 with ideas of putting a hasty end to the Penguins are now, by all appearances, hanging on the ropes for dear life.
Babcock’s mission Friday — and how successfully he managed it may show itself Saturday in Game 5 — was to make a strong public affirmation of his faith in the embattled defending champs, while perhaps encouraging an “us against the world” frown to begin forming upon their knitted brows.
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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