Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via TSN,
Next time he’s in the Stanley Cup final, here’s betting Sidney Crosby will be able to better fill out his playoff beard.
He’ll certainly have more experience under his belt. The 20-year-old superstar centre and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the best player on his team in this year’s NHL playoffs. Especially in the Cup final when a few of his teammates looked in awe of being on the game’s biggest stage.
Crosby put up 27 points (6-21) in 20 playoff games, tied for the playoff lead with Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg.
From Bob Duff at Canwest News via the National Post,
Wednesday was that day. The Red Wings’ day to lift the Stanley Cup. Finally, Babcock’s chance to embrace hockey’s ultimate reward.
He savoured every minute of it.
Not just Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena that sealed Detroit’s title with a 4-2 decision in the best-of-seven series, but every step along the way.
“I think what I’ve gained out of that experience and what I’ve tried to do through the whole playoffs is understand that it’s the best time you could ever be having in your life, besides family things,” Babcock said. “So enjoy every single minute you get to be in the playoffs and enjoy the process of preparing and working and going through match-ups and the highs and the lows and then come in here tomorrow and enjoy that again. And play the best we can possibly play, be as good as we can be, and ideally, that will be good enough.”
And a great series, Penguins! Post-game video at NHL Network Online.
More to come…
In 1991, the Giants won the Super Bowl
In 1991, there was a Bush in the White house
In 1991, there was a Clinton running for President
In 1991, there was a war in Iraq
In 1991, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup
In 2008, the Giants won the Super Bowl
In 2008, there is a Bush in the White House
In 2008, there is a Clinton running for President
In 2008, there is a war in Iraq
In 2008, the Penguins?
source: The Pittsburgh Channel.com
from the CP,
The NHL should probably send a note of thanks to everyone involved with the Red Wings and Penguins after the series they’ve put on.
It was a dream matchup that was in danger of turning into a dud after two easy wins by Detroit to open the series. However, it got dramatic after that and the six-period marathon the teams played in Game 5 essentially ensured that this Stanley Cup final will go down as a classic.
There will be a lot of people who remember it, too, because it was the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in six years.
That’s only part of the evidence that the quality of this series might be helping sell the sport to some Americans. Rich Baker lives a couple hours away in Cleveland but was hanging around Mellon Arena on Wednesday afternoon and doing something totally unfamiliar - talking hockey.
From Mike Heika at the Stars blog at the Dallas Morning News:
A report in Canada’s National Post says that the Stars are one of eight teams who have been in contact with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who is trying to buy a team and move it to Hamilton, Ont.
So I called Tom Hicks to ask about it.
Hicks said there is no truth to the report, and that the team is not for sale. He said he has no idea how the Stars were linked to this.
Note: The report in question mentioned earlier today.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A proper analysis of these Red Wings would indicate they are the better team, the deeper team, the more experienced team and the better coached team.
It’s time for them to prove it and Babcock will have to play his part.
He’s on record as saying he’s over the loss on Monday and that his focus is on winning the game tonight.
Of that there is no doubt. What he needs to do, however, is get his team to think and act the same way.
It’s the only way they’ll see the Cup out of the hallway and in their hands.
From Mike Brophy in The Hockey News,
NHL referees are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. While they don’t like the idea of calling goalie interference in overtime, let alone twice in extra time, they also don’t relish the idea of a goalie being hit by an opponent and the winning goal being scored while the fallen goaltender is unable to do his job. It is a discretionary call.
“We don’t want the Stanley Cup-winning goal being scored with the goalie on his back after being crashed into,” said NHL executive Kris King.
The Red Wings were rightfully ticked off about the two calls against them, but you just know if the skate was on the other foot and Chris Osgood had been bumped rather than Marc-Andre Fleury, resulting in a goal by the Penguins, Detroit would be screaming bloody murder.
and more on various topics
Note: More on the issue of the refs at MLive, with links to what the Detroit pundits have to say on the matter.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
“Anyone else in this room would be doing the same thing,” [Ryan] Malone said. “I’m definitely thankful. A broken nose, swollen lip and some chipped teeth are a pretty good scenario for a puck in the face. I look at it as you never know when you’re going to be back in the Stanley Cup final, so you have to do everything you can to help out.”
Actually, Malone’s nose was already broken before Gill’s shot hit him. Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall did that in the first game when he flattened Malone with a bone-rattling body check. When Gill’s shot broke it again, it was practically old hat.
“Yeah, you can get drilled a lot,” Malone said. “You’re standing in front of the net. That’s my job. On the power play, I’ll be back there again.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, with Game 6 set for tonight and a host of potential heroes waiting in the wings, here are our picks for players who could steal the limelight from the big guns.
Word has it that Cleary had a host of friends, family and dignitaries into Detroit from his native Newfoundland for Game 5 on Monday night. That didn’t quite work out as Talbot and Sykora soured the Stanley Cup celebration plans; but Cleary has the skills needed to put his hometown of Carbonear on the Stanley Cup map and set up a date for a summer visit with the big mug.
more picks from both teams…
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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