Kukla's Korner Hockey
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?
from Mike Prisula of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
They’re headed back to the Stanley Cup final, but this time they won’t arrive wide-eyed.
This time, the Penguins will be bringing with them the mindset of a defending champion.
No, the Penguins didn’t win the Cup a year ago.
But since losing it, they’ve done what turned out to be the next best thing.
They’ve adopted the philosophy of the NHL’s reigning champions, the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s a philosophy shared by Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who not long ago shared a coach-player relationship in Anaheim.
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks could not beat a Detroit team that again played without Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and MVP candidate Pavel Datsyuk.
The Hawks, of course, were missing No. 1 goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and sniper Martin Havlat, who led the team in scoring in the regular season and playoffs. But injuries happen in the playoffs. Tough noogies. Play through it. Depth matters. Guys like Darren Helm score series winners.
The Hawks also were missing experience. Oh, they looked experienced for most of the spring. They displayed character beyond. But the Wings had more. The Wings had more of everything.
So, we have a barometer on these young, dynamic Hawks. They are ready to play with the best in the NHL. They just are not ready to beat them.
After all of the offseason departures and signings, plus over eight months of hockey action, it has come back to this — the Detroit Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
It will be the first rematch in the Stanley Cup final since the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers battled in 1983 and ‘84.
Will the Penguins be able to emulate the Oilers, who learned a lesson and came back to avenge their defeat against the Islanders? Or will Detroit become the first to team to repeat as champions since, um, Detroit in 1998?
from Jacques Demers at USA TODAY,
Former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien and I talk a lot. We have one important thing in common. I named a young Steve Yzerman captain of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1980s. He named a young Sidney Crosby captain of the Penguins.
There are a lot of comparisons between the players. Just look at the unselfish play that Crosby made at the end of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals when he passed up an opportunity to score into an open net and gave the puck to Craig Adams instead. He’s showing a lot of leadership, as Yzerman did. Both players also have exceptional offensive talent.
Nobody could stop Yzerman and no one can seem to stop Crosby when he’s at his best, which he is at right now. But Yzerman at the time didn’t have an Evgeni Malkin to complement him.
2009 Stanley Cup Final—Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Date Match-up Time (ET) National TV
Saturday, May 30 Pittsburgh at Detroit 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 31 Pittsburgh at Detroit TBD evening NBC, CBC, RDS
Tuesday, June 2 Detroit at Pittsburgh 8 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Thursday, June 4 Detroit at Pittsburgh 8 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
* Saturday, June 6 Pittsburgh at Detroit 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
* Tuesday, June 9 Detroit at Pittsburgh 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
* Friday, June 12 Pittsburgh at Detroit 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
* if necessary
added 11:11pm, The post game press conference is over, but they may loop the video overnight, so you can watch that after the jump.
I have also added the great penalty-kill by Helm below…
Now, the first video is game highlights via Versus.
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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