Kukla's Korner Hockey
Crosby’s like a shark - he smells bloods, he tastes it out there, he’s like a predator, and now that he’s got that first goal of the series, all bets are off.
-Bob McKenzie of TSN. More on Sidney from McKenzie…
Q. Two questions on Marian Hossa. How do you feel about where he’s at in terms of level of his play and what he’s doing? And secondly, is there something that you’ve seen that maybe explains why his point production is different last year during the playoffs than this year?
COACH BABCOCK: Well, you know, I think for starters, him and Pav got off to a tough start in the playoffs and it didn’t go good. And then that guy named Pav isn’t here. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that. So that affects lots of things. It affects lots of people. And it’s been harder for him.
Saying all that, though, here we are. We’re in the best of three with two games at home, and we’re pretty excited about our opportunity. So I think it’s always good to evaluate these things at the end and see how they actually went (smiling).
Q. Can you talk about Pavel’s availability for Game 5 and if you expect him to play?
COACH BABCOCK: He’ll play.
Q. Can you talk about the energy or level of freshness that your team has right now after playing four games in six nights?
COACH BYLSMA: If Geno could have scored that goal at the end of the second, I would have liked to see them keep the roof on this place, because it was hopping in the second period, and that was a big part of our energy.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
And the solution to what ails the Wings is not exactly rocket science either: Simplify, simplify, simplify.
“We have to continue to get the puck in deep,” continued Lidstrom. “We were trying to make that extra pass – or that sideways pass in the neutral zone – and they’re back-checking real hard, so we’re passing it right back into their players.”
On Friday, the obvious story line relating to the Wings revolved around the state of Pavel Datsyuk’s health – and the possibility that he’ll be back in time for Saturday’s game. Out since the Chicago series with a foot/ankle injury that is preventing him from making any hard, fast turns, Datsyuk’s return – at 100 per cent – would be the ideal tonic for what ails the Red Wings now.
more plus other NHL topics…
Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside recap game 4.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Memo to Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk: Take a shot in that broken foot and get your fanny on the Joe Louis Arena ice tomorrow night. Your team needs you.
If one thing became clear last night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, it’s that the Red Wings can’t match the Penguins’ high-end talent—OK, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby—without Datsyuk, their Hart Trophy candidate as NHL MVP.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Despite all the denials coming out of the Sunshine State, the Tampa Bay Lightning is trying to deal C Vinny Lecavalier. A league source told Sun Media yesterday the Bolts have informed the NHL they intend to spend at the salary floor of approximately $40.5 million next season….
A proposal deal to send Lecavalier to the Kings for D Jack Johnson is still on the table. Sources say Johnson, who is coming off an entry-level contract, is seeking a four-year deal worth $5.5 million per season….
There is talk the Rangers might waive D Wade Redden at the start of next season and send him to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack to get his $6.5-million salary off the books
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
It was something he has seldom seen from Detroit Red Wings players, and Brooks Orpik is getting to know them pretty well. On their way to a series squaring 4-2 win, the Penguins took a one-goal lead when Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the Stanley Cup finals.
Fellow defenseman Mark Eaton nudged Orpik and told him to check out Detroit’s bench after Crosby’s goal.
The players were slumped over. Exhausted. Nothing close to the dominant, immovable force the Penguins saw last year….
Even worse, Orpik said he noticed Red Wings players getting on each other.
“Which you never see out of those guys,” he said. “It’s something you don’t expect from them or see too often. I guess, a good sign for us.”
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
Evgeni Malkin, the New M, is like Tom Brady and Randy Moss all at the same time.
One minutes he’s throwing the long bomb, the next minute he’s catching it.
In Thursday’s game, a dominating 4-2 win by the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Detroit Red Wings, Malkin was in the middle of as many excellent scoring chances in both the first and the second periods as the Detroit Red Wings had all game.
Malkin had a goal and an assist for the game, but the damage could have been much worse, as he and fellow dynamo Sidney Crosby started to dominate, just as the sly, talented and seemingly tireless Henrik Zetterberg appeared to start to wear down.
For the fourth game in a row, Pittsburgh had more scoring chances than Detroit, but this time the margin was overwhelming. The Penguins had 28 scoring chances to 15 for the Wings.
When it came to Grade “A” chances, hard shots from the slot, Pittsburgh had 17 while the Red Wings had just four, by my count.
from Jamie’s Hockey Blog at About.com,
We’ve seen that when the Red Wings are on their game, they will beat Pittsburgh.
Getting them on their game is where the coach comes in, and doing it under less than ideal circumstances should be what sets elite coaches above the pack.
The NHL season is down to a best-of-three. The Stanley Cup is on the line.
So is Mike Babcock’s reputation.
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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