Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins have a huge act to follow today after a host of Red Wings legends stole the show at the Stanley Cup Final Sunday.
The NHL has embarked on a new tradition of honoring the game’s greats during the Stanley Cup Final. Last year, an array of Montreal Canadiens luminaries were honored in Ottawa and their reminiscences were priceless. Sunday night at the Marriott Detroit at Renaissance Center, Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Marcel Pronovost, Alex Delvecchio, Marty Pavelich and Red Kelly proved equally eloquent about the Red Wings’ dynasty that won the Stanley Cup in 1950, ‘52, ‘54 and ‘55.
Update 7:22pm ET: Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun relates the evening a to be a grand success, remarking that “every now and then, Gary Bettman’s league gets something absolutely, spot-on perfect.”
From Canwest News via the Leader Post,
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment might be zeroing in on a third-tier British soccer side as the Toronto-based sports conglomerate looks to expand internationally.
The owners of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA’s Toronto Raptors, Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC and the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies are in talks about purchasing Leeds United, according to a report in the Sunday Mirror, a British newspaper. The newspaper cited unnamed sources close to MLSE.
*The original report can be read in the UK paper, Sunday Mirror.
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Sources tell TSN the Toronto Maple Leafs have been shutdown by yet another team in their quest to rebuild management.
Maple Leafs interim general manager Cliff Fletcher asked the Florida Panthers for permission to speak with Joe Nieuwendyk last week and the Panthers declined.
Toronto must wait until July 1 when Nieuwendyk’s contract with the Panthers expires before they can officially approach him.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Holland was talking about a time, back at the 1999 NHL trading deadline, when he and his assistant, Jim Nill “blew out all those draft picks” in deals to acquire, among others, Wendel Clark and Chris Chelios in a bid to win another Stanley Cup. That didn’t work out.
That night, sitting in a sports bar near his house, seeing his picture on every TV screen, Holland said he turned to Nill and said from then on: “we’ve got to draft defencemen because eventually, when (Steve) Yzerman’s too old and (Brendan) Shanahan’s too old and (Sergei) Fedorov’s gone, how do you stay competitive? If you’re in the top five in goals-against in the league every year, you’ve going to be competitive. You have to be, even if you don’t score a lot. So if you look at our drafts the last six or seven years, all we draft are defencemen. We’ve got lots of kids that we think our close to playing.”
Q&A with Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien.
Q. What does Malkin have to do to re-establish himself as a dominant player in this series?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: First of all, we still have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a world-class player. He needs to stay focused. He needs to stay on top of his game. He needs to skate. He needs to battle. And if he’s doing those things, good things can happen to him.
Q. I was wondering if you could describe your philosophy when it comes to developing a strong puck possession team and how far this team has come along since you’ve come aboard?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don’t have a philosophy, actually. This puck possession is an interesting thing to me. The more skill you have on your team, the more you have the puck, and you play a puck possession game and everyone calls it that. But I think we’re like most teams, we forecheck real hard and we back check hard, and we try to be in good spots defensively so we can have the puck.
Get the latest on Jaromir Jagr, Jeff Carter,Corey Perry, Maxim Afinogenov, Andrei Kostitsyn, Brooks Orpik, Sean Avery, Mat Sundin,Mike Green and more.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
If the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to win the Stanley Cup, then somebody had better put in a wakeup call to Evgeni Malkin.
The Hart Trophy finalist has been in a funk since midway through the third round against Philadelphia and unless he gets it in gear, the Penguins are going to be hard-pressed to defeat the Red Wings.
continued and other SCF game 1 bits…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
It was expected to be a clash of young versus old, of the geezer Detroit Red Wings, including several players who won the Cup wearing the winged wheel in 1997, 1998 and 2002, wheezing and trembling as the young Penguins tried to defeat them with doses of phenomenal skill, dazzling speed and who knows what heights of brilliance.
So much for soothsayers.
Crosby, poked and prodded and bashed from his first shift—mostly courtesy of Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall—was held to three harmless shots.
added 11:31am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For his first act as a participant in the Stanley Cup final, Sidney Crosby disappeared. Actually, the Detroit Red Wings made him vanish.
Evgeni Malkin, too, and the absence of the two Pittsburgh Penguins stars from the scoresheet and, to a great degree, from the action, was a big part of how the Wings humbled the Pens to open the best-of-seven series last night.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
The Penguins’ lack of experience on hockey’s grandest stage could not have been better illustrated than Marc-Andre Fleury’s tumble as he led his team onto the ice Saturday night for Stanley Cup finals opener.
The anxious Fleury, 23, ran down the Joe Louis Arena tunnel and splat. He tripped on the last step and fell headlong into the rink. Fleury is lucky his teammates didn’t topple like dominoes behind him. The Penguins real stumbling block, of course, was the Detroit Red Wings.
Watch the Fleury trip below with some ‘creative’ music…
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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