Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
When someone tells you all four Detroit lines are getting the job done defensively, don’t believe them.
Yes, Henrik Zetterberg’s group is trading chances and fighting Sidney Crosby’s line to a draw, while Detroit’s third and fourth lines, led by the feisty Darren Helm, are beating up on their Penguin counterparts.
But one Pittsburgh line is rocking the rink. Evgeni Malkin’s unit is dominating the unit of Valtteri Filppula, Tomas Holmstrom and Marian Hossa, even if it hasn’t always played out that way on the scoreboard. Not yet anyway.
The Red Wings shouldn’t be complacent about this. Malkin, the New M, is putting his playoff failure of last season against Detroit behind him.
In the two games, he has been a major contributor on nine excellent scoring chances at even strength, by far the most of any player in the series.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
For such a quiet player, Henrik Zetterberg sure seems to irritate the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In last year’s Stanley Cup final, Zetterberg drove Sidney Crosby into a screaming rage by the end of Game 4.
In this year’s final, it took Evgeni Malkin only a couple of games to drop his gloves and fight the Red Wings’ centre with 18 seconds left in Game 2.
Zetterberg was all smiles Monday when discussing the Penguins’ emotional eruptions.
“What I don’t understand about being in management here in Minnesota is that you’ve got really good Americans, not just in Minnesota, but in Michigan and other colleges, and everybody else is using them. I’m not trying to cut up Risebrough and Lemaire, but my point is that I don’t think they had the best interest in this area as far as American and Minnesota players.
“Nobody wants to say it; everybody’s scared.”
-Former NHLer Reed Larson on the Minnesota Wild. More from Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press including a mention of the Wings.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Hall of Fame manager Bill Torrey will select Jacques Martin’s successor, but Torrey, who turns 75 this month, insists he won’t choose the man he sees in the mirror every morning to be the next general manager of the Florida Panthers.
Torrey, the architect of the New York Islanders’ early 1980s dynasty and the 1996 Panthers, who won the Eastern Conference title, won’t be coming out of retirement.
“I think I have served my time as a general manager and I know where I am in this world and in this life,” Torrey, the Panthers’ alternate governor, said a conference call Monday. “My heart is with this franchise and I want to see a good choice come along.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette via Canada.com,
Most of you can recall goals for the ages scored during the regular season and the playoffs. Goals from Alex Ovechkin. Sidney Crosby. Evgeni Malkin. No surprises there.
However, my choice for the best industry dedicated to winning I’ve seen this year, goes to a Detroit rookie named Darren Helm, who has yet to score a goal in the regular season. No goal in 16 games last season. None in seven regular- season games this season.
It happened in the Detroit-Chicago series. Helm was on the ice killing a penalty. For 20 seconds, he was behind the Blackhawks net flitting back and forth like a firefly, through and around Chicago players while they desperately tried to separate him from the puck. It was only when Helm, 22, somehow managed to shake off his pursuers, skated to the side of the net and almost scored, that play went the other way.
Visitors to this resort who aren’t hockey fans will see this sharp-dressed man walking the grounds and have no clue that he won two Stanley Cups….
His involvement with the resort coincides with his passion for golf. “Golf is just a good game,” he said….
While he is busy with the resort and being with his family, which includes four children, he’s still involved in hockey. He helps coach his children’s teams and is also Tampa Bay’s special assistant to the executive vice president of hockey operations….
They way Osgood has played, we’re not sure how Red Wings executive and Team Canada Olympic boss Steve Yzerman doesn’t hand him an invite to the team’s summer camp in August. If four or five goalies get invites, how does Osgood not get one?
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. More on Osgood vs. Fleury from Pierre…
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
The good news is the Pittsburgh Penguins found a way to score in Games 1 and 2. They didn’t score until Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final last season.
The bad news is, it doesn’t matter. They still need to win four of the next five games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and frankly, I like my odds of winning Lotto 6/49 than the Penguins odds of pulling that off. I can see the Penguins storming back in Game 3 at home, but beat Detroit in four out of five? Dream on.
From Dmitry Chesnokov at Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy:
Q. Sergei, can you compare tonight’s game with last night’s?
GONCHAR: In my opinion we did not play bad. Look at the statistics in the regular season and the playoffs. What other team managed to outshoot the Red Wings in a game? We did it yesterday and today. We constantly created scoring chances. It is a different matter that we did not convert. But this is Detroit. You also need luck in addition to playing well against them.
What in your opinion is the main reason for the loss? Just no luck? Or you couldn’t cope with the system Detroit was playing?
Not really, you can play against their system and win. The most important is to finish your chances with goals. It’s not enough just to create opportunities. But I will repeat myself, today they had a little bit more luck than us.
more from Sergei Gonchar plus a couple questions for Evgeni Malkin
From today’s press conference with Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock. Transcript provided courtesy of the NHL.
Q. These teams each have a Hart Trophy finalist, and obviously yours has not been able to play. Two parts, the first part, is it right to rescind the automatic suspension on Malkin? And the second part, are we overlooking the fact that you guys have won two games without your Hart Trophy finalist?
COACH BABCOCK: You have to decide that part. Obviously we’re a much better team to have him playing because he has the puck so much. In my opinion, he’s one of the most dominant players in the game.
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