Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
But they barely survived by a margin as thin as Crosby’s unfortunately wispy beard, and weren’t even the best team on the ice.
In what was the most physically intense and entertaining game of the three played so far, the series began to live up to its hype and promise.
Crosby, freed from having to play against five-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom on every shift, was the first of the many stars on either club to actually play like a star.
But while the Penguins showed desperation in winning their 17th straight home game, the Wings were still superior, outshooting the home side 16-5 in the final period as Michel Therrien’s team frantically tried to hang on to victory.
Don and Barry liked the play of Pitsburgh last night.
Watch below and note, the video is a bit choppy at times…
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Blackhawks are expected to play the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in January in the NHL’s Winter Classic, Comcast SportsNet reported Wednesday night, with an official announcement perhaps coming this week.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Will Mats Sundin commit the ultimate act of betrayal in the eyes of Toronto Maple Leafs fans and bolt as a free agent this summer, possibly to the Montreal Canadiens?
KK will not become the Mats Sundin network. As many of you know, this type of story will continue to grow and grow until Mats make his decision. We will pick and choose carefully when pointing to Sundin stories.
Update 12:12pm ET: (alanah) To hear Sundin’s comments for yourself, they’re on video from the Canadian Press.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
“I see the train a comin’. It’s rolling down the track. It’s the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hopes on Sidney Crosby’s back.”
OK, sorry, a little too much lyrical license there, but you get the point. In the most pressure packed moments of his still young NHL career, Crosby answered the call, shouldered the load, took his game to the next level or any other cliché you want to apply.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
The Pittsburgh Penguins deserve plenty of credit for the gutsy, gritty, inspired performance that produced Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Mellon Arena.
That’s the good news for Pittsburgh.
The bad news is the Penguins must duplicate that effort three more times in order to wrest the Stanley Cup away from Detroit.
While the Red Wings dominated and won the opening two games of the series in Detroit handily, Pittsburgh’s narrow triumph came in a game that easily could have gone either way.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
The biggest difference for the Penguins in Game 3 compared to the first two contests was their ability to get the puck deep in Detroit’s zone and keep it there. At the morning skate, a number of Pens said their goal was to generate scoring chances off the down low cycle and that is exactly what they did.
In fact, Pittsburgh’s constant pressure caused the Red Wings to make to make several bad passes up the middle, many of which were intercepted and allowed the Penguins to re-establish pressure in the Detroit end.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Turns out the Detroit Red Wings might not be a team for the ages. Might not be just about flawless in every phase of the game. Might not be coached by the greatest tactician and motivator in NHL history.
It probably came as a surprise to some, particularly those in Michigan, but the Red Wings will not win the Stanley Cup in four games. In fact, they might not win it at all.
Transcript from the post-game Q&A with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock after game #3.
Q. You outshot them by a pretty big margin early on. I think it was 9‑1, or 9‑2. How much of a role did that play in tonight’s outcome? Do you think things would have ended differently if you got one early?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I think tonight we got off to a pretty good start on the road. I thought we were under control. Then I thought they had a pretty good push after a timeout, scored a goal. And I thought they controlled the next, I don’t know, 20 minutes of the game.
And then I thought we battled back pretty good. The third goal was a tough one for us to give up, just because it makes it hard to come back. But I thought we had a good push at the end.
The other thing, I didn’t think we used our bench good enough tonight. I thought the specialty teams were early. I don’t know if we used enough guys.
The transcript of the Q&A for Penguins coach Michel Therrien after game three.
Q. I’d like to start by just asking you, I saw you, at one point during the second period, you were having a chat with Sidney on the bench. How would you describe the game your captain played tonight?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: On a big challenge like tonight, we approached our team, that was a huge challenge for us. It wasn’t any different than Game 5 we played at home against the Rangers and Game 5 we played at home against the Flyers. We approach it like a challenge. And there’s no doubt that we’re looking for your best player to bring an A‑game.
And certainly Sid did that tonight.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org