Kukla's Korner Hockey
If there were any question about Zdeno Chara’s toughness, this should settle it: The towering defenseman considered not having anesthesia when undergoing recent shoulder surgery to repair a torn left labrum. “True story,” said his agent, Matt Keator. “That’s Z, right there. He cares about his body, like no one I know, and he doesn’t want to do anything that could compromise it. He asked if he could go without it, and he would have done it, but the doctors convinced him it was better to have it.
more NHL bits from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe…
via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“Those players have made a commitment on both sides of the puck that leads to success,” Lamoriello said. “If you watch what they’ve done and have followed them during the year, you shouldn’t be surprised. It’s only been a surprise if you try to bring the past into the present, and the present is what you look at.”
more on the Penguins…
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers said the keys to winning are doing what they did in Game 4: strong forechecking and getting quality shots on goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
“The first couple of games, I think we let him off the hook,” Richards said of Fleury. “Not going to the net and trying to pass around him too much. . . . But when you get pucks to the net and he’s having trouble seeing them, there are going to be rebounds.”
The Flyers also need to move the puck easily out of their zone, keep possession enough to score, and reduce the Penguins’ chances.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
In the final moments of today’s playoff game between the Penguins and the Flyers, a pile of “if-when” contracts could be triggered.
If Pittsburgh clinches, thousands of Eastern Conference championship T-shirts and hats will be rushed into production and shipped to stores. If Philadelphia wins, those contracts sit in limbo for whenever the series comes to a decisive conclusion.
This is the “chase business,” said John Horan, publisher of trade publication, Sporting Goods Intelligence. Even as Sidney Crosby and Scottie Upshall chase pucks around the ice, vendors and retailers are poised to chase the sales that victory brings. Blink and the business opportunity might go flying by.
Barry breaks down game 5 and also says pressure now on Detroit.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“They need somebody that’s firm but fair and a good communicator with the media,” said TSN analyst Pierre McGuire, a former NHL coach, scout and player personnel director. “Somebody who is going to be a cut above.
“They’re going to come in there and know that it’s not a popularity contest. It’s about holding players accountable. It’s about making players better and it’s about making the finished product better.
“You want to make sure that you have the highest standards possible. A perfect example of a team that does that is Detroit. Mike Babcock holds his players accountable, communicates with the players and the media and works in an organization where the standards are so high that the players know if they don’t get to those standards, they won’t play. That’s what Ottawa needs: Somebody who can instil those standards.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Slap Shots has learned that Jagr’s agent and Sather are expected to commence negotiations this week after preliminary discussions in which both sides exchanged words of love, if not vows of ‘til death do they part, at least not yet.
“Jags would like to stay, he doesn’t want to leave New York, and Slats has told me that he feels the same way,” Pat Brisson, who with J.P. Barry represents Jagr, said by phone on Friday night. “We’re going to begin to talk about a contract in the next week or so.
“Jags feels good about himself as a player and about what he and the Rangers can accomplish together.”
From Steve Simmons via the Winnipeg Sun,
Should it happen that the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup, and that’s at least a 50-50 bet, then Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will be accomplishing something that has never happened in an expanded hockey world.
For Crosby, this is only season No. 3 in the National Hockey League, all of it post-lockout, all of it intended to save the Pittsburgh franchise. For Malkin, this is only his sophomore year: Whatever and whenever this team was supposed to find itself in contention, all this has happened faster than ever before.
Wayne Gretzky was in his sixth NHL season and seventh pro season when the Edmonton Oilers won their first Cup in 1984. Mario Lemieux was in Year 7 in Pittsburgh when the Penguins won their first of two Cups.
continued… and more NHL notes
froom Rory Boylen at the Hockey News,
There goes another monkey off the back of Marty Turco.
Despite being one of the world’s best players at his position, Turco is consistently one of the most underappreciated as well.
People always want more from the unpredictable tender. A year ago he posted three shutouts in the first round, but because Dallas lost, Turco, still, wasn’t a “playoff goalie.”
Dave Tippett, Mike Modano, Brenden Morrow, Marty Turco, Mike Ribero, Trevor Daley and Steve Ott answeer a few questions…
Q. Talk about Marty. Obviously we’ve talked incessantly about him up here. Talk about how critical he was.
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: Well, there’s been a lot documented about his struggles up here. I don’t look at it as his struggles. I look at it as our team struggles up here. For us to be successful, he has to be very good. That’s what you saw from him tonight.
I thought there was so much battle in him. Our team, one of our themes all year is find a way to win and have the will to win. I think Marty exemplified that tonight. He wasn’t going to be denied in this game. He made enough saves in this game for us to get us the win.
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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