Kukla's Korner Hockey
Q. You said your biggest challenge is going to be telling your players it’s possible to come back.
PAUL MAURICE: It will be stronger than yesterday. We have to get these guys back out there, so they can get on the ice. And that’s part of what’s supposed to happen, instead of each mistake being part of what’s supposed to happen. Getting across that mental divide is a challenge.
We’ve done it before. Not in conference finals circumstances this year. But that’s what counts.
Q. Statistically, right now people are making a comparison of Crosby and Malkin To Whitney and Staal. When I asked Eric if that was fair, and maybe he’d say no. He said, ‘yes, I’ve earned that comparison with my work through the years’ and he’s not offended by it. What are your thoughts?
Martin Havlat was out cold for more than a minute with a vacant stare on his face.
Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall had just crushed the Chicago Blackhawks’ leading scorer, and once he regained consciousness, Havlat needed the help of a teammate and trainer to get up and off the ice. He didn’t return. But two days later, the 28-year-old was in the lineup for Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
“I was shocked,” concussion specialist Michael Czarnota told CBCSports.ca.
Czarnota, the neuropsychology consultant for the Canadian Hockey League, wasn’t attending the game and is not treating Havlat. But alarm bells went off when he saw No. 24 return in time for Sunday’s game.
“It’s the NHL, it’s the playoffs, so guys are willing to do a little bit more.… But it sure seemed that two days later was sort of pushing things.”
Video below is the second hit, the one that knocked him out of game 4.
Q. You made some comments last night that were fairly pointed about officiating, how it changed the game. A day later, do you feel any differently?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No. What happened happened. We want to move on. I know that what I said yesterday, it’s over with and done with. We’ll handle what we’re gonna be facing on Wednesday.
Q. There are times when things like that get said in an effort to take the pressure off the team. Was that in any way part of it?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: That’s tough to say. I think after games, sometimes you’re more emotional than other games. We have a young team. We’ve overcome a lot. The nice thing about our group, we seem to just move on and handle the next challenge. We obviously have a huge challenge ahead of us.
Q. Mike, can you give us an update on your injured three.
MIKE BABCOCK: Who are the three? We got like five of ‘em. Pick which ones you want.
Q. Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Draper.
MIKE BABCOCK: Draper won’t be playing. Datsyuk and Lidstrom are day to day. And I don’t have to worry about it today. We don’t practice or play. So, you know, for a couple more days… I’m hopeful to see Pav and Nik very shortly here.
from Al Cimaglia of ESPN,
Quenneville commented after the loss that the refs ruined the game by issuing a penalty to Walker at the end of the opening period. I concur to some degree. At the most they could have called offsetting penalties and let cooler heads prevail during the break.
In my view a major problem for the NHL is that officiating from game to game is too scattered. Many times those in the media or fans can overlook the inconsistent actions of officials because their miscues might not directly affect the final outcome. That shouldn’t be the determining factor in judging the performance of officials. A bad job is a bad job even if the final score was not altered because of officiating mistakes….
Unfortunately the young Blackhawks took the Red Wings’ bait time and time again and were whistled for 16 penalties. Chicago players picked the wrong time to jostle after whistles and run around after the Wings. With every penalty the Hawk frustration grew and the Detroit lead seemed to get larger. The overzealous officiating was bad but the Hawks didn’t do much of anything right to deserve a victory….
Maybe next year the referees as well will benefit from mistakes made in this season’s playoffs. Seemingly it is very difficult for NHL officiating to get the right balance and that should be cause for concern.
more on the Blackhawks…
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
But perhaps the most noteworthy thing he (Crosby) has accomplished in this postseason is to sprout facial hair that is starting to look a little like—well, almost a little like—an actual playoff beard….
“It doesn’t look pretty, but there’s a little more hair,” Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “He’s pretty greasy. Just patches.”
Fleury is something of an authority on that, since he long ago abandoned efforts to grow a beard—“I have like four hairs that grow,” he said. “Then they’re just long hairs, and look kind of dumb.”—and settled for a modest goatee.
Talbot’s description: “It’s like a Zorro-type of moustache.”
An informal survey in the locker room identified Crosby as owner of the worst playoff beard, but there were some dishonorable mentions. Fleury, of course. And winger Ruslan Fedotenko, who attributes his inability to grow a beard to being caught in fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster when he was a boy.
According to a Montreal report, Pierre Lacroix has upped the ante in his pursuit of Patrick Roy to rejoin the Avalanche. Ruefrontenac.com - a website run by locked-out journalists from Le Journal de Montreal - reported Sunday that Avs president Lacroix has offered Roy the jobs of coach and general manager, and that Roy wants to hire Sylvain Lefebvre and Guy Boucher as his assistant coaches.
In the Detroit/Chicago series, I have sat back and watched Chicago with numerous offensive zone turnovers that have turned into goals for the Red Wings.
Instead of busting their butt to get back into the play, the Chicago players look beaten after the turnover.
In the first video, watch Versteeg (#32) when he turns the puck over. Instead of busting back to help out, he decides to give Helm a two-hander instead of actually skating with him..
Another example, this one from the OT goal by Samuelsson in game 2. Watch Patrick Kane (#88) when Brian Campbell turns the puck over at the Detroit blueline. Kane is caught flat footed next to Samuelsson and completely gets lost on the play.
Watch that video below….
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
There are certainly generous upsides to Sutter being dropped back behind the bench against his will. For starters, no additional financial outlay (with Keenan due a reported $1 million NOT to wear his skates out to post-practice media conferences for a year). Then there’s the fact that the handsomely-recompensed hired help would be accountable to their big boss on a daily basis. Sutter won’t accumulate many Mr. Congeniality Awards, isn’t exactly a Spritzer-down-the-baggy-pants kinda guy, but he ain’t the sort to condone slackers or allow strays to go off on their own; wander away from the herd.
He is, in anything, demanding, meticulous and not a man to cross. More than a sampling of those still around from the day rank him in the top cut of coaches they ever played for.
A couple of those trademark bitter beer-faces, simultaneously brimming with disbelief, menace and condescension, might be the most beneficial thing to ever happen to, say, the backpedalling Dion Phaneuf.
from Jeff Gordon of The Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
He coached another promising Flames team to another playoff failure. Regular readers of the Hockey Guy blog were not surprised by this unhappy turn of events.
Keenan was destined to fail. Predictably, he wore down goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
He gave lumbering Todd Bertuzzi a wide berth. He orchestrated the exit of needed skilled players. He didn’t get enough out of Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla, franchise cornerstones, leaders who were supposed to be his type of players.
Keenan has never been a great tactician. He has never been the hardest working coach in the league, either.
His forte was motivation – and his famous intimidation tactics became ineffective once players began earning millions to play their sport.
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.
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