Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
This is a magical time for the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise.
On the ice, the Penguins are playing some of the most elegant hockey in the league, led by the twin superstar attack of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Is it even fair that the same franchise can ice a team with Crosby and Malkin a decade later after having Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr on the same team?
Off the ice, the business side has never been on more solid ground.
from Michael E. Young of the Dallas Morning News,
To some, Detroit fans are known as the “Red Army.” Others favor the slightly disparaging “U-Haul Army,” for the Detroit diaspora that carried Michiganders east, west and south when troubled times hit the region’s auto manufacturers.
Maybe that scattering is the reason Red Wings fans remain so true to the home team. Only a few groups – like the rabid fans of the New York Yankees and Green Bay Packers – can match this unwavering dedication. Packers fans travel in such numbers that they can make a game at Texas Stadium feel like a trip to the frozen tundra.
thanks to Snapshots for the pointer…
From Bernie Lincicome at the Rocky Mountain News,
Wait. I was only kidding when I suggested Patrick Roy for the coach of the Avalanche. So, I take no credit or blame if Roy gets to stand under his own jersey hanging up there in the Pepsi Center rafters, along with those two Stanley Cup banners he helped win.
My suggestion was in keeping with the Avs’ fondness for leafing backward through their old scrapbooks. Oh, look. There’s Ray Bourque.
Why not him? Or how about Adam Deadmarsh, great name. Chris Drury, old Captain Clutch, still playing, could be a player-coach.
No, it is Roy, the only name that gets the blood up, causes conversation.
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
It’s believed the Wild and Canadiens have held talks with Yashin’s agents.
The 35-year-old Yashin, a former No. 1 pick of the Senators, had 43 points in 56 games this season with Yaroslavl. He returned to his homeland after receiving a $17.6-million US buyout from the Islanders last summer.
“Some teams were asking me about (Yashin) at the under-18 championships in (Kazan, Russia last month),” said agent Todd Diamond. “We had a few teams that were inquiring. He had a great year over there. He was the MVP of the league and he was the leading scorer in the playoffs.”
Don Cherry on ESPN breaks down game 2 ECF and talks Wings/Stars too.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
So is it Fleury or is it the team concept?
“I will say it is a combination of both,” said coach Michel Therrien. “First of all, Marc-Andre, he’s really square to the puck. The game slowed down in front of him. That’s normal. Well, he’s only 23, but he has got a few years of experience and you ask any goalie with time and experience, and the game slows down in front of you so he doesn’t have to make those big saves when he’s out of position.
“And in the meantime, we’ve played a much better defensive game as well. You put those two together, and you get the result that defensively you are better.”
There’s no question Therrien’s coaching style has helped Fleury, just as it would help any goalie.
from Tom Reed at Puck-rakers,
Why are the Penguins 10-1 overall and 7-0 at home in the playoffs? Because they have outrageous depth. Coach Michel Therrien isn’t afraid to play his fourth line in a tie game with less than 12 minutes left.
“That’s huge for us,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “That has been the story for the playoffs so far. Those guys have stepped up. And by “those guys,” I mean, the guys on the third and fourth line have come up with some huge goals, and have played well for us even if they haven’t showed up on the score sheet sometimes. They create a lot of momentum for us. Those guys, they are going to make the difference between winning and losing lots of times.”
from Tom Benjamin’s NHL Weblog,
I don’t think Don Cherry is right when he linked the attendance “problems” in Detroit with their style of play, but I think he does have a point. Despite all the raves about the European style and the “puck possession” game, this group is giving new meaning to the phrase the Dead Wings. The Detroit game is not very entertaining to watch.
from Jamie Fitzpatrick at Jamie’s Hockey Blog,
For all their formidable talent, the Red Wings and Penguins are winning with efficient, well-organized hockey. If they keep it up, we could see an efficient, well-organized Stanley Cup Final. Maybe they’ll serve tea and crumpets.
The first two rounds of these playoffs were fantastic. So what’s the problem?
Are Detroit and Pittsburgh so much better that they can win games at three-quarter speed?
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Single-handedly, shorthandedly, Richards gave his team life. Alone, unassisted, Richards turned a game where his team still wasn’t good enough into a game where his team still had hope.
It is a remarkable quality that some athletes have - rising above the adversity. It is about skill and it is about effort and it is about backbone - and nobody ever doubted Mike Richards in any of those categories, and nobody would think of doubting him now.
He will allow, quietly, “It’s frustrating.” But that is it as far as his obvious public disappointment will go. He is very clinical in his dissection of a hockey game, even a game as big as this one. There is no pretense, no false bravado.
Asked what has to improve for Game 3, he says: “Similar things to what we did tonight. We just need to play better and more consistent throughout the game. We still feel we can play a little bit better and get more consistent.”
from Mike White at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
John Challis yawned.
“Smiling so much makes me tired,” he said.
A Freedom High School athlete dealing with terminal cancer, John couldn’t stop grinning during his experiences last night at Mellon Arena. The Beaver County teenager’s recent successful at-bat in a varsity baseball game has gained national attention, and last night he was a guest of the Penguins for their National Hockey League playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Penguins brought John, his parents and younger sister, Lexie, to the game in a limousine.
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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