Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,
This is where the slope gets especially slippery for Therrien. An emotional coach who strokes his players with sandpaper, Therrien needs to be careful how he handles himself in the next few days and weeks.
Can anyone forget former Philadelphia Flyers coach Terry Murray being in a similar situation in the 1997 finals? Like the Penguins, his team rolled into the finals as a confident bunch, only to get waxed by the Red Wings in four straight.
Following its Game 3 loss in Detroit, Murray said his team was basically in a “choking situation,” and a few weeks later he was fired. Therrien is in a similarly precarious position right now.
OFFICIALS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME
The referees for tonight’s game are Paul Devorski (#10) and Dan O’Halloran (#13). The linesmen are Shane Heyer (#55) and Jay Sharrers (#57).
TEAMS WINNING GAMES 1 AND 2 IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL
Of the 31 home clubs who won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, 30 went on to win the series. The only club to win the Stanley Cup after dropping the first two Final games on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.
Overall, clubs winning Games 1 and 2 of the Final have won 40 of 43 series.
From the Dallas Stars:
The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed defenseman Trevor Daley to a three-year contract worth $6.9 million (average of $2.3 million per year) through the 2010-2011 season.
“At just 24 years of age, Trevor continues to grow as a hockey player and we are looking for his game to improve over the next three years,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “He is a valuable member of our hockey club and is a key part to our strong nucleus of younger players.”
Can Chris Osgood improve his Stanley Cup Finals record to 7-0?
Can the Penguins extend their home win streak to 17-0 (last loss was in February)?
Will the Wings improve their record to 15-1 in their last 16 SCF games?
Mark-Andre Fleury lost at home in late November, since then he is 18-0. Can he make it 19-0?
*original post-time 8:55am ET
From Mike Toth at Sportsnet.ca,
With their record of sustained excellence over the past 16 years, the Detroit Red Wings definitely qualify as hockey royalty.
And since Detroit Rock City appears to be rolling to another Stanley Cup, it’s time to connect the red and white dots.
So, with apologies to Kevin Bacon, we proudly present Six Degrees of Stanley: The Red Wings Way.
From Stu Hackel at Slap Shot in the NYT:
So we spoke to Pierre McGuire earlier today and asked him what changes he thinks Therrien should make tonight. He phoned The Morning Skate from The Morning Skate at Mellon, or as we like to affectionately continue to call it, the Igloo. Pierre, or as we like to affectionately continue to call him, Pete, will be between the benches again tonight for NBC, doing his usual superlative job of spying on each team’s bench and deciphering what is happening on the ice both before and after the whistles.
“You’ve got to change the schematic of the series real quick,” he said. “Not a lot of adjustments, but simple adjustments.
“You’re not going to be able to carry [the puck into the Wings defensive zone], so you have to have a lot of short side shoot-ins where Osgood can’t get to the puck, And you know the boards here, you’re comfortable playing in this building, because you know the boards. So short side shoot-ins and overload one side and go on attack — not with three guys but two. The third guy stays high all the time, because you can’t give up odd-man rushes. Detroit’s too good.”
There is no relaxing,” Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall told me after this morning’s game-day skate. “We are not about to let them have anything if we can help it.”
more on tonight’s game from Kostya Kennedy at Rink Side Blog at Sports Illustrated…
NEW YORK (May 28, 2008) – Toronto Maple Leafs center Mats Sundin has been named the recipient of the Mark Messier Leadership Award for the 2007-08 season in recognition for his outstanding performance as a player, his leadership skills and his dedicated humanitarian efforts.
“The truest test of leadership comes during periods of adversity,” said Messier. “When presented with difficult times during the season, Mats Sundin remained committed to his teammates, his community and to the game of hockey. I am honored to present the Mark Messier Leadership Award to Mats Sundin. He understands the importance of his status in Toronto and his dedication to his community is unmatched. The strength of his character makes Mats a tremendous role model both on and off the ice.”
Q. Mike, do you expect to be aggressive in trying to maintain the matchup that’s worked for you at home or are you happy to just let your guys go?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Let ‘em go. We’re just going to play. I’m not going to make it as easy as that. But we’re going to get our guys on and off the ice as much as we possibly can. We’re real comfortable with three lines playing against anyone and four “D”.
Q. Could you assess, how do you think Sidney Crosby has performed throughout the playoffs, and what do you think this experience will do for him for the rest of his career?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: I really believe that he started to pick up his game against the Flyers. I thought he played well in the first two rounds, but you could see against the Flyers he brought his game to another level. He was a true leader in that series.
He’s working really hard. His first two games against Detroit, sometimes the results are not always there. But in the meantime, that’s going to give him - it’s like last year, we only played five games in the playoffs. That young team didn’t know what to expect in the playoffs.
Even as coaches, you prepare your players. You show a lot of videos. You share experience. You’ve got to feel it. You’ve got to be in there. Now, it’s his first experience in the Stanley Cup Final, and I’m sure it’s going to help him for the rest of his career.
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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