Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“For us, basically, [Game 4] is a do-or-die game,” [Petr Sykora] said. “We know that if we can come up with a win, there is a lot of pressure on them, going into Game 5 [Monday at Joe Louis Arena].
“Basically, the whole Stanley Cup playoffs is going to [come down to] the game [tonight]. We’ve worked so hard to get to this position. This is a big chance for us, to tie it up, 2-2. You never know what’s going to happen then.”
From Sean Fine at the Globe & Mail,
What happened? Detroit is the highest expression of the game’s new ethos: puck ownership. Not long ago, the idea was to give the other team the puck deep in its zone, and then with brute force take it back. Own the ice, not the puck.
Detroit doesn’t do that. It takes the puck and keeps it. During perhaps 80 per cent of the first two games, Detroit possessed the puck. It often seemed as though Detroit had eight players on the ice, and Pittsburgh three. In those two games, Sidney Crosby was sighted with the puck on his stick for perhaps a dozen seconds — in total.
And that is why this dream matchup in the new open-ice era was so dull in the first two games: Detroit’s offence was in effect a stifling defence. “The puck-possession game is a defensive game in a sense because the other team doesn’t have the puck,” says Mr. Watt. He likens it to shooting pool: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you leave.” Detroit left nothing for Pittsburgh.
from Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Osgood is a relentless challenger of shooters, but on several occasions in Game 3, he appeared to struggle when moving laterally.
So, the question for the Penguins heading into Game 4 has become one involving quantity or quality.
Do they continue to fire away at every opportunity in search of rebounds and “dirty” goals, or do they try to take advantage of Osgood’s aggressiveness or his relative post-to-post issues by making the extra pass?
The answer might be yes to both.
from John Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
So we prepare to bid farewell to “shut yer yap” - to a driven, relentless hockey man who could never play the good corporate soldier. You’d never call Torts a company man and I mean that in a good way.
We’ll remember how he built a team that made a city care, however briefly, about hockey. We’ll remember the seven-game knockout of Philadelphia to go to the Cup finals for the first time. We’ll remember how, down 3-2 and headed to Calgary, where they had the celebration ready, he guaranteed the Bolts would win.
Winning is all he cared about.
From Helene Elliott at the LA Times,
Not having Holmstrom in his face would make it even better for Fleury.
“It’s always tougher as a goalie when you have somebody in front,” said Fleury, who was the first pick in the 2003 entry draft. “At the same time, every playoff, every series, every team, they put that guy in there. We always did a good job with him, and we always came out on top.”
Holmstrom isn’t just any guy. He has four goals and 12 points in the playoffs and is a perfect complement to linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
The Red Wings have no shortage of talent—Johan Franzen has a playoff-high 13 goals, Zetterberg has 12 and Datsyuk nine—but they have no one as effective at going to the net and refusing to budge come high stick or high water.
more… on Holmstrom’s condition and his importance to the Wings
From the AP via NHL.com,
Blocked by the NHL from returning to Detroit during the two-day layoff between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, the Red Wings spent a day of luxury Thursday at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh.
Some players took advantage of the resort’s spas, while others received massages and played informal soccer games. Other activities at the resort included golf at the Mystic Rock course, site of the PGA’s former 84 Lumber Classic, a Hummer off-road trail, fly fishing and shooting.
According to the resort, the men’s spa offers Swedish messages - no doubt an attraction to the Red Wings’ seven Swedish-born players.
*check out the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
From Dan Christensen at the Miami Herald,
If a hurricane destroys the BankAtlantic Center, home of hockey’s Florida Panthers, Broward taxpayers will be on the hook for any damage over $150 million because the arena is underinsured.
The estimated cost to rebuild: upward of $300 million.
Nash was on hand, even as the Stanley Cup Finals are still in progress, because he’s the cover star for 2K Sports’ forthcoming hockey video game, NHL 2K9. And he was here, in this small studio in a non-descript office park for an all-day motion-capture filming session for the game.
The idea is that by filming several dozen of Nash’s moves—shots, skating tricks, dekes and more—with special motion-capture cameras, 2K Sports—a division of Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive—will be able to incorporate some of what it calls Nash’s “signature” moves into the game.
That’s why 2K Sports has set up 56 of the motion-capture cameras all around the studio, on the ceiling and close to the floor: Together, they can take all the data they record and stitch it together into a realistic representation of Nash’s real-life movements.
Q. Will you give us your understanding of Holmstrom’s injury and his chances of playing tomorrow?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: What are the rules? Do we have to talk about the injury or just what part of the body or what do we have to do?
FRANK BROWN: The type.
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I do a lot of stuff with kids cancer, and there’s a thing called HIPAA-compliance where you can never reveal anything about the person, how come we have to do it in the League? (Laughter.)
Oh, anyway, Holmer’s just got - Holmer’s got the back of his leg, the hamstring. He’s got a little problem there. We think he’ll be fine. He’s a tough guy.
From Rich Hofmann at the Philadelphia Daily News,
Johnny Gottselig is the answer to the trivia question. He was the captain of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks in 1938. Though he was raised in Canada and played youth hockey there, he was born in Odessa, Russia. So, literally, Gottselig was the first European captain to win the Cup.
But, well, no. Gottselig left Russia as an infant. He was not trained there and his game was not shaped there. He was not a European in any kind of a hockey sense. He was from Saskatchewan.
Nicklas Lidstrom is not from Saskatchewan.
“It would mean a lot,” Lidstrom acknowledges when the question is asked, the question about what it would mean to be the first European born and trained captain to win the Cup, the first real European captain.
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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