Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Kuc of hte Chicago Tribune,
“The biggest thing is knowing in the first four games we’ve yet to play a good game,” forward Adam Burish said. “If we win a game here, things can turn. The fact it’s an elimination game and that there’s no more pressure because nobody’s giving us a chance anymore, that may give us a little bit of a lift.
“Everybody’s aware they’ve kind of written us off. You saw the way [the Wings] skated around during the end of [Game 4], kind of laughing at us and joking around. You saw the fans leaving early. It’s like, here’s a chance for us to prove some people wrong and try to climb back into this.”
more on the Blackhawks…
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Troy Brouwer has a very good idea of the player he’d like to become.
In the last four games, the Chicago Blackhawks right winger has had a first-hand view.
It’s Johan Franzen, Detroit’s scoring machine.
“He’s a big power-forward who gets in the corners, grinds it out, has the scoring abilities and is one of the go-to guys,” Brouwer said. “That’s what I’m going for. I’ve got the big part. Now, I just need the scoring part. Hopefully, within the next season or two, I can find my scoring touch again.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Going into the playoffs, it looked like the Hurricanes would try to re-sign Cole, Tuomo Ruutu and Babchuk and allow Chad LaRose and Dennis Seidenberg to leave.
Now, no one would hold it against the Hurricanes if they decided the money pigeonholed for Cole, who has now gone 31 playoff games without a goal, was better spent keepingLaRose and Jokinen. (Ruuturemains a no-brainer.)
Deciding what to do about a player after a poor postseason is better than no postseason at all.
And then there’s the issue of who coaches this team next season, Maurice or Ron Francis.
The ultra-superstitious Crosby and his teammates surprised a lot of people by handling the Prince of Wales Trophy after NHL executive Bill Daly presented it to them following their victory in Game 4.
Crosby made the decision to not only have his photo taken with the trophy, but to lift it, after a brief post-game consultation with veteran Bill Guerin.
“We didn’t touch the trophy last year, and obviously we didn’t have the result we wanted,” Crosby said. “We figured we’d touch it this year although we haven’t accomplished exactly what we want, we still accomplished something here. You know, we can still enjoy it.
“It doesn’t mean that we think we’re finished, by any means, but we can still enjoy it. You know, we just wanted to change things up, and we didn’t touch it last year. Might as well grab it and get a picture with it and move on and go after the one we really want.”
more on the game…
added 7:39am, from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Well, thank goodness for Sidney Crosby.
The Kid ended (hopefully) one of the truly moronic semi-traditions in hockey Tuesday night after the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Eastern Conference crown by sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes.
In recent years, team after team had declined even to touch the trophies for winning the Eastern or Western Conference, with the silly excuse being “that wasn’t the trophy they wanted” in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
from Samara Sodos at the Tampa Tribune,
Cops say they have plenty of evidence that Richard Thomas and his wife Sandra were big-time steroid dealers. At a Tuesday night press conference announcing the arrest of the pair, Polk County Sheriff’s officials were surrounded by thousands of doses of anabolic steroids.
What investigators aren’t sure of is whether Richard Thomas, 35, is telling the truth when he says he is the biggest steroid provider in Central Florida and that he sold mostly to professional athletes, including those on the Washington Capitals hockey team and Washington Nationals baseball team.
Marc-Andre Fleury was very solid in goal, Penguins scored a late empty-netter to put a lid on the series.
Fluttering puck from Maxime Talbot of the Penguins gets behind Canes goaltender Cam Ward late in the first period.
The goal put the Penguins up 2-1 and they now lead 3-1 going into the 3rd period.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
But head coaching experience in the NHL isn’t necessary, Fletcher said, and he has ties to two successful assistants, Todd Richards in San Jose and Detroit’s Paul MacLean. Richards, who is from Crystal, was hired by Fletcher to coach Pittsburgh’s American Hockey League team in Wilkes-Barre in 2006. MacLean was an assistant to Mike Babcock in Anaheim when Fletcher was the assistant GM there.
Asked if he would wait until the Stanley Cup Finals are over to start interviews, Fletcher said, “I don’t want to speculate, and because there are only a couple of teams in the Final, people will start to speculate on specific names.”
Former NHL player Peter Zezel passed away at a Toronto hospital on Tuesday, after a long battle with a blood disorder.
Zezel, 44, spent the last 10 years being treated for haemolytic anaemia, a rare disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them.
His family released the following statement:
“Peter will forever be remembered as a great teammate and a wonderful individual, who touched the lives of many both on and off the ice. In his typical character of generosity, Peter has donated his organs through the Trillium Gift of Life Network. We would like to thank all of Peter’s friends and family for their support and we ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
Q. Will Marty and Nik be game-day decisions?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: They’re day-to-day. They’re both coming on the trip. We’ll get a better assessment tomorrow’s skate.
Q. How do you personally approach this game tomorrow night? We’ve heard the players say you can only win one game at a time. After what happened Sunday, how do you approach it?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think our focus is that we have to play our best game going forward. There are some areas as we progress in the series where we’ve had good stretches against them.
But at the start of the series, we’re talking about we have to play perfect hockey. We have to be at our best. All elements of our game have to be in order and effective. We’re looking at it as small picture, shift to shift. Only the one game is our approach. I just think that for the last game, it’s easy to get excited about the next game because not much happened that was good in our favor.
I just think that we had a couple of strong games in Detroit where we were close and we know we got to be better. So I think there’s a little bit of excitement going in there tomorrow. But we’re only looking at the small picture.
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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