Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
For a hockey fan, Game 7 is the apex of the sport, a crashing final chord after a long crescendo. But even for someone who doesn’t follow hockey but was born with the sports gene, there is nothing more satisfying than this game. To borrow from the NBA, basically Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final is the last two minutes. There is no need to have invested emotionally in the NHL.
To enjoy this match, you don’t have to know about the sudden celebrity of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin’s parents in Pittsburgh—they are called the Genos because of their boy’s nickname—or that Detroit star Henrik Zetterberg is engaged to Swedish pop star and TV personality Emma Andersson. You just have to give up three hours on a Friday evening in mid-June, a relative bargain given the possible wonders in store.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Two league executives confirmed to Sun Media yesterday that if the high-scoring winger isn’t dealt by July 1, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will be on the hook to pay Heatley a whopping $4-million bonus (all terms US), even if he doesn’t play for Ottawa next season.
Coupled with the $10 million Heatley received as part of the terms of the six-year, $45-million contract extension he signed in October 2007, Melnyk will have shelled out a total of $14 million over the past year to Heatley, who had only 39 goals and 33 assists for 72 points last season.
Not only is the bonus costly for the Senators, both executives indicated it could “seriously hamper” GM Bryan Murray’s ability to move Heatley before the NHL draft June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Instead of putting up a poll asking you who wins, why not kill two birds with one stone and ask you this- Who gets the game winning goal tonight?
The ESPN crew is in Detroit…
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
A man of few comments throughout the Stanley Cup Final, Penguins center Evgeni Malkin acknowledged Thursday that one picture would be worth a thousand words.
“I think about it a lot, especially these last (two) weeks,” he said, smiling before finishing the sentence. “It’s my dream. Me and Sid, just like that.”...
He has rarely spoken to North American media. Teammates insist he is more intense than they can recall from any point in his career, talking constantly of ways for the Penguins to improve.
“Yeah, I’m trying to concentrate on the games,” Malkin said yesterday. “The Cup is all I want. I will give 120 percent. I will give everything.
“One win. The Cup. After that I will talk. I will do anything. One win first.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Now, with Game 7 on tap tonight at The Joe, the pressure is suddenly all on the Red Wings.
The Pens would never say it, of course, but they’ve already accomplished a great deal just by getting to the seventh game.
They can just grip ‘em and rip ‘em tonight. While the game will be closely scrutinized and analyzed, Pittsburgh should be as relaxed as any team can possibly be and thus be able to play to its maximum capability.
If the Penguins lose, well, it will only be said that perhaps they should have started the series better and that they almost pulled off a terrific comeback.
Detroit, however, is facing a less-generous reaction should it be unable to lift the Cup on home ice.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Hockeytown … ghost town.
Without one, Jimmy Devellano says, you’d have the other.
These are not good times for Detroit, where tonight the 2009 Stanley Cup will be handed either to Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby or, once again, to Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
There will be more than 20,000 fans in the Joe Louis Arena, only 7,000 more than the number of homeless local charities say will bed down in city streets tonight.
One in four in this city is said to be out of work, exactly the ratio that was unemployed in North America during the height, or should we say depths, of the Great Depression.
Just like certain teams in the NHL – the Calgary Flames come to mind this year – the Big Three of the auto industry went in the wrong direction, choosing size over sensibility.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
It’s the game they played on rutted roads while the light faded and their toes grew numb, the scenario they imagined as kids in Slovakia, Sweden, Saskatchewan, Syosset, N.Y., Sverdlovsk, Russia and Sault Ste. Marie, Canada.
Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, tonight at Joe Louis Arena, between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s a shot at hockey immortality, to have your name inscribed on the Cup to be traced by envious eyes and timid fingertips.
“This is why I play hockey,” Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart said Thursday. “That’s what it’s all about.”
That, and more.
from Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal,
As the ailing Motor City rallies around the Detroit Red Wings, who face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, there is one tiny bit of irony: Michigan’s top team is powered more than ever by European imports.
Less than half the Red Wings’ roster comes from North America. The rest, and most of the team’s top talent, hail from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia and Finland. In all, five players are from the U.S.
Swedes Henrik Zetterberg, left, and Nicklas Lidstrom, center, and Pavel Datsyuk of Russia are the team’s three captains.
Years ago, when the Big Three auto makers were allowing overseas competitors to pull ahead, the world was getting flat inside Joe Louis Arena. Starting in the 1980s, the Red Wings began building a dynasty by recruiting talent from Russia and adopting a new, European style of hockey.
continue the in-depth look at the Wings…
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
The official announcement from 2K Sports is due on Friday, but here it is: Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, your NHL 2K10 cover boy. Will virtual Don Cherry criticize his video game box celebration?
read on for a picture of the cover and some commentary…
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com