Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Three reasons Detroit will win
The wildcard, Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk skated Tuesday morning and Babcock said Detroit’s injured Hart Trophy candidate could be ready for Thursday’s Game 4. His return would tilt a tightly contested series in Detroit’s favor.
Three reasons Pittsburgh will win
Crosby’s quiet determination. He might not be piling up points, but the Penguins feed off Crosby’s drive to win his first Stanley Cup. “He’s an on-ice leader,” teammate Jordan Staal said. “He doesn’t say a whole lot, but when he does everyone is listening.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Colorado Avalanche completed a major organizational shuffle on Wednesday. The team parted ways with six parted members of the franchise’s hockey operations staff including head coach Tony Granato.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the team has made Greg Sherman the new General Manager. Sherman has been assistant general manager of the Avs for the last seven years; he has been in the organization for the last 13 years.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the organization has relieved six members of its hockey operations staff from their respective duties.
The list includes head coach Tony Granato, assistant coaches Jacques Cloutier and Dave Barr, goaltending coach Jeff Hackett, Assistant to the General Manager Michel Goulet and video coordinator PJ DeLuca.
The Avalanche will make an announcement regarding its new management structure later today.
added 11:17am, DENVER – Colorado Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix announced today a new management structure for the organization, effective immediately
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,
In Detroit, the referees favoured the Red Wings with a few crucial calls. But in the NHL, turnabout is fairplay and it’s expected. Pittsburgh would get its turn.
You see, there was no conspiracy at the NHL head office to favour the Red Wings. No, all there was at play was the very real human emotions of NHL referees, not wanting to incite the wrath of the most rabid of all fans, hometown fans during a Stanley Cup final….
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Pittsburgh Penguins got away with a few in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win.
Most outrageous was a late elbow by agitator Matt Cooke to the head of Red Wings hustler Darren Helm. It was a typical Matt Cooke nasty, sneaky late hit special, the kind of late hit that the NHL should outlaw.
Right now, of course, the lateness of this hit wouldn’t get Cooke a penalty, though that elbow certainly should have.
read on with picture evidence of the Cooke hit…
Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside discuss game 3.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Edmonton Sun,
• No matter what the Lightning says, Vincent Lecavalier is available. The talk among NHL executives is that Tampa’s ownership group has told GM Brian Lawton to deal Lecavalier and his massive contract, which is $10-million US next season….
While all the talk regarding a deal involving the star centre was focused on the Canadiens, it appears the Kings are serious suitors as well….
Sources say the Oilers also made a pitch for Lecavalier last season and remain interested.
Lawton vehemently denied having trade talks with anyone.
“There isn’t one single thing going on with (Lecavalier) ... not one,” Lawton told Sun Media. “And I continue to read it everywhere. It’s a farce. I haven’t talked to one single person about it. As they say, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
• Another GM getting a lot of attention is San Jose’s Doug Wilson. Sources say he has gotten numerous calls about captain Patrick Marleau and centre Joe Thornton after a first-round exit from the playoffs, thanks to the Ducks.
Wilson insisted he isn’t going to move either player, but he wants to make moves.
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Detroit Red Wings, who had spent Games 1 and 2 on the sunny side of random events, suddenly found the forces at work in the old Uptown barn considerably more ominous. Perhaps it was the lighting.
How else could four on-ice officials allow six Penguins skaters on the pond simultaneously for 21 seconds in the first period, unless someone figured that if the Red Wings could have two goalies, the Penguins could have six skaters?
Detroit had gotten away with Henrik Zetterberg covering the puck in the crease when goaltender Chris Osgood could not in each of the first two games, but the Red Wings were catching no breaks in Game 3.
“I know that, from the bench, you don’t want to yell,” said Penguins forward Matt Cooke about the too-many-Penguins incident. “So I was kind of whispering [to Mark Eaton], ‘Eats, Eats, Eats,’ and then he nodded at me and started counting: one, two, three, four, five, and, uh-oh.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
As talented and deep as the Detroit Red Wings are, sooner or later the absence of a superb talent like Pavel Datsyuk was going to begin to take a toll.
It didn’t decide last night’s result, with the Pittsburgh Penguins getting their first victory of the 2009 Stanley Cup final largely on the basis of a strong third period and getting an interference call on Wings blueliner Jonathan Ericsson that was deserved, but curious given that it was a type of infraction that the officials had been ignoring for the first eight periods of the series.
But not having Datsyuk, a Hart Trophy finalist, is making an impact in two ways. First, the Wings, second in team offence only to Pittsburgh during the regular season, haven’t been able to pot more than three in a game and misfired on countless chances last night when the opportunity to blow out the Penguins presented itself in the second period.
Sergei Gonchar with the game winner on the PP midway through the 3rd period.
added 11:09pm, from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Here are some quick notes from the Penguins’ 4-2 Game 3 victory over the Red Wings at Mellon Arena on Tuesday night.
• At the 9:06 mark of the third period, Wings talented freshman defenseman Jonathan Ericsson made a rookie mistake (we haven’t seen too many out of him) when he took an unnecessary interference penalty, blocking out Penguins left winger Matt Cooke. Pittsburgh took full advantage of the opportunity. The Pens’ power-play unit kept the puck in the Wings’ zone for 1:23 before defenseman Sergei Gonchar ripped a blast over the glove of a screened Chris Osgood….
• Down 2-1 with about 6:30 left in the first period, the Penguins dodged a bullet when all four officials failed to recognize they had six skaters on the ice for approximately 25 seconds….
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
NHL presidents and general managers spent the day huddling in meetings on the eve of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, covering off what one president described as a fairly thin agenda. Typically, one of the few team presidents to stop and chat and actually have something interesting to say was the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Oren Koules. Koules mentioned that the Lightning will fly the three top prospects for the NHL entry draft – John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchene – to Tampa tomorrow, to talk to them as a group and see how they interact with one another in that setting.
“We’re going to take them to dinner; hang out with them a bit; show them around; and introduce them to the media,” said Koules. “We’re excited. Any one of those three kids will improve our team drastically. They’re all great kids and we’re excited to show them around Tampa.”
There is much speculation that Tampa will be active between now and the draft.
TEAMS WINNING GAMES 1 AND 2 IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL
Of the 32 home clubs who won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, 31 went on to win the series. The only club to win the Stanley Cup after dropping the first two Final games on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.
OSGOOD HOLDS TOP WINNING PERCENTAGE IN STANLEY CUP FINAL HISTORY
Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood enters Game 3 with a 10-2 record, 1.47 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 13 Stanley Cup Final games. Osgood’s winning percentage of .833 is the best in Stanley Cup Final history among goaltenders with at least 10 decisions, ahead of former Montreal Canadiens great Ken Dryden (24-8, .750).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org