Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A proper analysis of these Red Wings would indicate they are the better team, the deeper team, the more experienced team and the better coached team.
It’s time for them to prove it and Babcock will have to play his part.
He’s on record as saying he’s over the loss on Monday and that his focus is on winning the game tonight.
Of that there is no doubt. What he needs to do, however, is get his team to think and act the same way.
It’s the only way they’ll see the Cup out of the hallway and in their hands.
From Mike Brophy in The Hockey News,
NHL referees are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. While they don’t like the idea of calling goalie interference in overtime, let alone twice in extra time, they also don’t relish the idea of a goalie being hit by an opponent and the winning goal being scored while the fallen goaltender is unable to do his job. It is a discretionary call.
“We don’t want the Stanley Cup-winning goal being scored with the goalie on his back after being crashed into,” said NHL executive Kris King.
The Red Wings were rightfully ticked off about the two calls against them, but you just know if the skate was on the other foot and Chris Osgood had been bumped rather than Marc-Andre Fleury, resulting in a goal by the Penguins, Detroit would be screaming bloody murder.
and more on various topics
Note: More on the issue of the refs at MLive, with links to what the Detroit pundits have to say on the matter.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
“Anyone else in this room would be doing the same thing,” [Ryan] Malone said. “I’m definitely thankful. A broken nose, swollen lip and some chipped teeth are a pretty good scenario for a puck in the face. I look at it as you never know when you’re going to be back in the Stanley Cup final, so you have to do everything you can to help out.”
Actually, Malone’s nose was already broken before Gill’s shot hit him. Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall did that in the first game when he flattened Malone with a bone-rattling body check. When Gill’s shot broke it again, it was practically old hat.
“Yeah, you can get drilled a lot,” Malone said. “You’re standing in front of the net. That’s my job. On the power play, I’ll be back there again.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, with Game 6 set for tonight and a host of potential heroes waiting in the wings, here are our picks for players who could steal the limelight from the big guns.
Word has it that Cleary had a host of friends, family and dignitaries into Detroit from his native Newfoundland for Game 5 on Monday night. That didn’t quite work out as Talbot and Sykora soured the Stanley Cup celebration plans; but Cleary has the skills needed to put his hometown of Carbonear on the Stanley Cup map and set up a date for a summer visit with the big mug.
more picks from both teams…
Q. Can you just talk about the atmosphere of the skate this morning? Did you think the guys looked pretty loose?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Yeah, I mean, I thought they were fine. But I haven’t rated that all year, the last three years or any of that, not a big believer that the pregame skate has a whole lot of impact in the outcome of the game.
Q. It’s been clear throughout the year you guys remained level-headed, is that more than anything else the signature of this team, they just never let anything get to them really too much?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I wouldn’t say that at the start of the last game. At the start of the last game we were nervous, no question about it.
From Bucky Gleason at the Buffalo News,
“Everybody is talking about the game everywhere you go,” McGuire said. “I mean, this is amazing theater. . . . The players are the story. It’s been phenomenal to watch. It was one of the better games you’ll ever see in a Stanley Cup final because it had everything.”
On Monday, it was Game Five. By Tuesday, it was The Game.
In an oft-exaggerated sports world, this one can’t be overstated. What a game it was. What a series it has been.
*hat-tip to Sportsnet.ca
The boys at AOL Fanhouse are hosting a live-chat today:
Be sure to stop by at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon as we host another live chat session. I’ll be co-hosting along with Ted Starkey, NHL Editor for AOL Sports as we talk to Bret Hedican, currently a defenseman with the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s sure to be interesting, as Hedican won a Cup himself just two seasons ago with Carolina, and he’s been in the headlines thanks to his wife, Olympic Gold Medal winner Kristi Yamaguchi, the current champion at Dancing With the Stars.
Check it out. It starts right away, at 1pm ET.
Q. Coach, can you talk about how proud you are, as a head coach, of the effort that your guys showed in Game 5, you had guys with broken noses and injuries, and seeing them come back and Max making the goal, is that the most proud you’ve been of a team in your coaching career?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: They showed a lot of character, there’s no doubt about that. And they see the prize. There’s a lot of sacrifice. It’s nice to get the reward, and they deserve it. It was a game that could go to both sides. We capitalized on the power play. And we get a high stick in the face.
But there’s no doubt, this is a team that faced adversity through the course of the season. And it was not any different last game.
from Shawn Roarke of NHL.com,
As a reporter, you know that the playoffs have reached critical mass when you can no longer remember where you are, never mind what day it is.
That day arrived Tuesday for the NHL.com group.
After staying up all night Monday after Game 5 – we left the arena at 3:30 a.m. —to catch a 6 a.m. bus Tuesday to Pittsburgh, the NHL.com crew arrived in the Steel City at noon. As usual, there was work to do so we scattered to all corners.
Some of us went to Pittsburgh availability, others to Red Wing availability. The rest went straight to hotel rooms to maintain the site. Myself and Brad Holland made sure we got the post-game podcast with Kings coach Marc Crawford, an NHL.com exclusive, done.
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News:
I think comedian George Carlin is one of the great minds of our time. And one of my favorite bits of his centers around the needless softening/wimpification of language. That was on display again Tuesday, when the Tampa Bay Lightning sent out an e-mail announcing head coach (and preferred target of this space) John Tortorella “will not return” to the team.
I suppose it was just too hurtful to say the guy was dismissed. Perhaps the next franchise that fires a coach can do the Bolts one better and issue a press release that reads, “Coach X will be coaching the team next season (in spirit only).”
It’s funny that Proteau mentions this. When we first got the press release about the Tortorella story, it did make me pause for a moment.
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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