Kukla's Korner Hockey
If you were asked to name the face of the Detroit Red Wings, who would it be?
Odds are you would think of a player like Pavel Datsyuk, who led the team with 97 points this season, or Nicklas Lidstrom, the veteran defenceman and four-time Stanley Cup champion who has come to represent the unflappable consistency of the fabled organization. Many hockey fans might name Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Hossa or Johan “Mule” Franzen as the core member of a team that is the closest thing the NHL has to a dynasty.
Yet with the exception of one goal from Franzen in Game 1, it has not been the Wings’ biggest names who are putting pucks in the back of the net in this Stanley Cup final.
from Puck The Media,
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals drew a 3.5/6 overnight rating, 5.3 Million viewers, and a 2.2 in the key demo of Adults 18-49. These are all positive gains from Game 1, which drew a 2.6/5 overnight, 4.5 Million viewers and a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo.
added 11:44am, from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Martin, 56, just completed his third season as Florida’s general manager. He coached the team for three seasons before being relieved of that duty last summer. Martin was
asked to stay on as general manager by owner Alan Cohen and Martin agreed, signing a four-year contract.
What sort of compensation the Canadiens would give to the Panthers isn’t clear, and it is not known if Martin would personally have to buy out his own contract to leave.
more on Martin
The Montreal Canadiens will hold a news conference this afternoon at 2pm et when the club will introduce Jacques Martin as their new head coach.
note: original post was 8:56am today…
Sportsnet has learned Jacques Martin has been negotiating a potential buy-out with the Florida Panthers and that the Montreal Canadiens are very interested in hiring him as their next head coach.
Sources say Martin has multiple years left on his contract, but is willing to leave some money on the table to take the Canadiens job.
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star tells us what the Penguins must do…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Maybe the Penguins will return home to Pittsburgh and be rewarded for all of the good work they did in Detroit.
“We played two good games. We [outshot] them in two games,” said Pittsburgh forward Pascal Dupuis, who was reinserted into the lineup for Game 2. “If we keep playing well, the hockey gods are going to be on our side.”
Perhaps. Maybe, though, this is just a matter of the hockey gods getting ready for the same result as a year ago, regardless of the path these two teams take to get there.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Just like last year, the Pens are now looking at having to win four straight or at least four out of five to take the Cup. Only one team, the ‘71 Canadiens, has ever won the title after losing the first two games of the final.
But that’s just the surface story. The reality is this year’s final is very, very different from last year, both in terms of the intensity of the competition and the nature of the two games played so far.
The Wings, battered by injuries, have been outshot in both games and either outplayed or at best fought to a draw.
Yet they lead two games to none.
The reason, aside from the fact Justin Abdelkader is outscoring both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined, is Chris Osgood.
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
If the Red Wings clearly need no help, why are they getting it?
Why, when the puck comes off the end boards behind Fleury, does it wind up in the net twice in 20 minutes in Game 1. Why, when Hossa is battling Pascal Dupuis for the puck along the boards, when Hossa hooks him so effectively that Dupuis’ stick is snapped in half, does play continue with no whistle until Detroit scores a go-ahead goal at 10:29 of the second period. Why does Justin Abdelkader, without an NHL goal to his name, suddenly become The Magical Michigander, swatting rolling pucks past Fleury night after night in this series?
Moreover, why do the Red Wings get to play with two goalies—Chris Osgood and Henrik Zetterberg?
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Here are some quick notes from the Wings’ 3-1 Game 2 victory over the Penguins at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday night:
• Old reliable, Wings rookie Justin Abdelkader, struck again in Game 2. The former Michigan State standout, an unlikely hero in Game 1, scored another huge goal early in the third period to give his team a two-goal lead. In this case, the kid got a lot of help from Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who watched a very stoppable shot from the top of the left-wing circle sail over his glove and into the net….
• At the other end, Detroit stopper Chris Osgood continued to make timely saves for his team. On this night, he also got a lot of help from the goalposts. The Pens rang three shots off different parts of the goal frame. Still, there were several other occasions when Osgood made nice stops….
From John Kreiser at NHL.com:
A few of the pertinent numbers from Detroit’s 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday night.
0—Players on the Red Wings who had a minus rating in Game 2. Fifteen Wings were plus-1, and Pittsburgh’s only goal was scored on the power play. The Penguins had no plus players.
1—Wins by Detroit when trailing after one period. The Wings had lost both games this spring in which they trailed after the opening 20 minutes, but won on Sunday night despite trailing 1-0 after the first period.
2—Goals in the Final by Detroit rookie Justin Abdelkader, who scored the third goal in Games 1 and 2. Abdelkader has yet to score a regular-season goal.
via NBC Sports:
A frustrated Sidney Crosby took a whack at Kirk Maltby’s skate as Game 1 ended, tired of what he called the nonstop chirping by the Red Wings forward. So far, it might be Crosby’s best shot of the Stanley Cup finals.
Blanketed by Henrik Zetterberg whenever he steps on the ice, Crosby has gone from being the best player in the playoffs to being a concern to the Pittsburgh Penguins because of his lack of offense.
He’s not playing badly, but he’s not playing like Sidney Crosby.
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.
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