Kukla's Korner Hockey
Steve Levy, Don Cherry and Barry Melrose recap Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, watch the video below…
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
Stuart realizes he may have to give in when it comes to salary to stay in Detroit, but the results of the last 27 games for Brad seem to indicate the two sides should be able to get a deal done.
After Stuart was a minus-16 in his first 63 games in Los Angeles this season, the game plan in Detroit to take advantage of the defense’s mobility and skills certainly plays right into Brad’s wheelhouse.
“Coach Babcock spelled out what he wanted me to do, what my role was from Day 1,” Stuart acknowledged. “The game plan is what you would expect from a winning team like this: Keep it simple ... and if you see you can make a play or make a hit go ahead.”
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs blog at CBC,
The Red Wings are doing to the Penguins exactly what they’ve done to everybody else all year long: quick breakouts with flawless outlet passing from the peerless Nick Lidstrom and the steal of the century, Brian Rafalski. Then, games of keep-away between Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, often times ending up with the puck in the net.
Nothing is bigger proof that Lou Lamoriello has lost a few marbles in New Jersey than his foolish decision to let Rafalski skate as a free agent last summer. Rafalski is one of the few players in the league who could be mentioned in the same breath with Lidstrom as a puck-moving defenseman, and while he might not have Lidstrom’s all-around defensive skill, he makes it even easier for Lidstrom to play in his own end – which he already made look easy without Rafalski around.
more SCF bits…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
There seems little doubt now that the Wings will capture their fourth Cup in 11 years sometime in the next 7-10 days, with the number of games it will take them to finish off the punchless Penguins seemingly the only uncertainty.
“Oh, we can play better,” said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
The shame of it all, unfortunately, is that it appears unlikely that this confrontation will meet the promise it once held, the possibility that it would evolve into the kind of thrilling series that would excite traditional hockey fans and make the greater North American sports market sit up and marvel at the NHL’s brand of entertainment.
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
History suggests the Penguins have very little hope of winning the Stanley Cup this season.
Reality suggests they have absolutely none, unless they can figure out how to make some radical changes during the rest of the series.
Start doing some dramatically different stuff, like scoring a goal every now and then.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
No crowd will ever sing the praises of the winning team’s general manager, as the fans in Joe Louis Arena chanted “Oz-ie” Monday in tribute to goaltender Chris Osgood’s second consecutive shutout in the Stanley Cup final.
If ever a general manager deserved public accolades it’s Detroit’s Ken Holland, who put together a team that takes its dedication to defense as seriously as its dedication to one another.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Let’s do the analysis in assembly-line fashion.
- Osgood: he hasn’t had to make many saves, difficult or otherwise, but he is clearly in the collective minds of the Penguins. The Pens likely think now that they can’t beat him simply because they have to work so hard just to get the puck to him and once there, they can’t even get their shots away let alone test the veteran netminder….
- Detroit’s overall team speed: This is difficult to explain, but the so-called “old” Wings have all the energy in the game.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The post-game comments from the Penguins revolved around obstruction and Chris Osgood’s flopping but the real story was that they failed to mount a forecheck in Game 2. Very early in the first period, it became very apparent they weren’t going to be able to get it done because of a number of factors.
First, the Penguins’ dump-ins weren’t good enough because Osgood’s puck handling allowed him to retrieve many of the pucks and set them up for his defence.
Secondly, the Red Wings’ defence is very mobile, skilled and smart and they get back very quickly.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
The Wings did a brilliant job of limiting the Penguins’ attack in Game 2. Detroit held Pittsburgh without a shot in the first 12 minutes of the game. For those scoring at home (and even if you were just watching the game), the Pens managed just eight shots in a 52-minute span from the beginning of the second period in Game 1 through the eight-minute mark of the first period in Game 2. The Penguins didn’t get an even-strength shot until the second period. The problem is simple—Detroit manages to outnumber you just about everywhere on the ice.
“We play a different team than we played in the first three rounds,” Sykora said. “It’s like there’s nothing out there. For us, the key is to play the way they are — get that first goal, get the power play going and then shut it down and play good defensively. That’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s nothing special they’re doing out there. They got the first goal and then they shut it down.”
more on the game from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail…
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