Kukla's Korner Hockey
Q. Someone comes up to you two months from now and says “how do you remember this season?” what will you say to them?
COACH STEVENS: I just told the guys that I have been in the game a long time. Working with this group has been one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had in pro hockey. It really has been. We’ve made tremendous strides this year, and we’ve come an awful long way.
And if you look back, we played the one, two, three season in the East in the playoffs and I thought we did a remarkable job. You give Pittsburgh credit. To me they were the number one seed in the East in terms of what I’ve seen.
And they’re very deserving of moving on.
Penguins defeat the Flyers 6-0 to advance to the SCF.
This game was over midway through the second period. Flyers gave it their all, but the talented Penguins were just too much for them.
Dave Tippett, Mike Modano, Brenden Morrow and Marty Turco talk today…
Q. Defensively what has been the biggest thing for you guys the last couple games?
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: Well, I don’t know. We talk about we have to defend as a group. Marty is certainly a big part of that. I think the Toby Petersen line came in and gave us strong minutes in a checking role.
Like I said, from the start, we look at one of our strengths of our team is how well we check as a group and we expect everybody to do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s top offensive players or other players, that’s their main role is to check.
Marty has been very good. But our group as a whole has worked harder at the checking part of the game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Blue Jackets will be one of the busiest teams during the off-season. I’d long speculated they could go the offer sheet route if they fail to land the help they need via the UFA market, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they go hard for Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter or Anaheim’s Corey Perry or Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester if those three are still unsigned by July 1st by their respective teams.
much more UFA and trade talk at Spector’s Trade Rumors…
If there were any question about Zdeno Chara’s toughness, this should settle it: The towering defenseman considered not having anesthesia when undergoing recent shoulder surgery to repair a torn left labrum. “True story,” said his agent, Matt Keator. “That’s Z, right there. He cares about his body, like no one I know, and he doesn’t want to do anything that could compromise it. He asked if he could go without it, and he would have done it, but the doctors convinced him it was better to have it.
more NHL bits from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe…
via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“Those players have made a commitment on both sides of the puck that leads to success,” Lamoriello said. “If you watch what they’ve done and have followed them during the year, you shouldn’t be surprised. It’s only been a surprise if you try to bring the past into the present, and the present is what you look at.”
more on the Penguins…
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers said the keys to winning are doing what they did in Game 4: strong forechecking and getting quality shots on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
“The first couple of games, I think we let him off the hook,” Richards said of Fleury. “Not going to the net and trying to pass around him too much. . . . But when you get pucks to the net and he’s having trouble seeing them, there are going to be rebounds.”
The Flyers also need to move the puck easily out of their zone, keep possession enough to score, and reduce the Penguins’ chances.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
In the final moments of today’s playoff game between the Penguins and the Flyers, a pile of “if-when” contracts could be triggered.
If Pittsburgh clinches, thousands of Eastern Conference championship T-shirts and hats will be rushed into production and shipped to stores. If Philadelphia wins, those contracts sit in limbo for whenever the series comes to a decisive conclusion.
This is the “chase business,” said John Horan, publisher of trade publication, Sporting Goods Intelligence. Even as Sidney Crosby and Scottie Upshall chase pucks around the ice, vendors and retailers are poised to chase the sales that victory brings. Blink and the business opportunity might go flying by.
Barry breaks down game 5 and also says pressure now on Detroit.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“They need somebody that’s firm but fair and a good communicator with the media,” said TSN analyst Pierre McGuire, a former NHL coach, scout and player personnel director. “Somebody who is going to be a cut above.
“They’re going to come in there and know that it’s not a popularity contest. It’s about holding players accountable. It’s about making players better and it’s about making the finished product better.
“You want to make sure that you have the highest standards possible. A perfect example of a team that does that is Detroit. Mike Babcock holds his players accountable, communicates with the players and the media and works in an organization where the standards are so high that the players know if they don’t get to those standards, they won’t play. That’s what Ottawa needs: Somebody who can instil those standards.”
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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