Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We haven’t seen a team boast this much world-class talent down the middle since maybe Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg were in their prime in Colorado. Start with Crosby, who centers the Pens’ “1A” line. Then go to Malkin, who centers line “1B.” The Wings will have their hands full regardless of how good their defense is (and it’s plenty good). Crosby and Malkin have combined for 40 points in 14 postseason games, and Crosby will hit the finals tied with Zetterberg for the playoffs scoring lead. Almost lost in the shuffle is Pittsburgh third-line center Jordan Staal, who had a terrific series against Philadelphia (four goals).
more and Scott’s prediciton for the SCF…
Empty Netters has entertained me during this season and I really do enjoy many of the videos they have pointed out this season.
So as they say, here is the Best Penguins YouTube Video We Could Find:
Barry likes Detroit- experience counts!
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The price hike - which covers season tickets and single-game seats - averages 7 percent to 8 percent, Sharks President Greg Jamison said Monday, though the percentage increase varies more widely in each seating category….
Fans and some in the media have criticized the Sharks for not spending closer to the amount allowed as the team pursues a Stanley Cup. The Sharks, however, are quick to point out over the years that high-spending teams, even in a cap era, do not usually end up with the silver trophy.
“We build the best team that we can and it comes in wherever it comes in,” Jamison said of the team’s payroll. “And we as an organization have always been willing to step up when the time is right.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For the most part, these teams can match each other in a lot of categories, but the Wings have large advantages in two areas.
First, they have all kinds of experience. Indeed, it’s surprising in this era of constant personnel turnover that Detroit still has eight players from its 2002 Cup-winning roster, although Hasek and Darren McCarty went away and came back in the interim. Steve Yzerman was the captain of that team and he’s now in the Detroit front office, which is led by GM Ken Holland and includes many of the same suits and bird dogs.
These people know how to win and have done it together.
Second, well, it’s simply the presence of Lidstrom, hockey’s premier defenceman.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Marc-Andre Fleury and Jordan Staal? They aren’t going anywhere. Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Malone? That’s a bit more problematic. Marian Hossa and Brooks Orpik? It has been nice knowing those guys, and their major contributions to what could be a Stanley Cup team will never be forgotten by an appreciative franchise and city.
What a hectic offseason it will be for Penguins general manager Ray Shero, one he hopes won’t begin until after a Cup victory parade through town next month. Only one thing is certain: The team that has dazzled during these playoffs by going 12-2 and advancing to the Cup final won’t be the same. Just how much it will change is the pertinent question.
Signing Fleury and Malkin to long-term deals has to be priorities No. 1 and 1A for Shero. How nice must it be to be in their shoes? They are about to become filthy rich.
added 7:15am, from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The truth is that this team, as currently constituted, has a limited shelf life. Seven more games, max.
Not just because NHL rosters are almost constantly in a state of flux, with pieces being added or removed. The Penguins aren’t facing the usual offseason personnel changes all teams experience; they’re facing the possibility of something more like a seismic upheaval.
Of the 26 players on their NHL roster at the moment, 12 will qualify for unrestricted free agency July 1.
from Mike Celizic at NBC Sports,
It’s not like hockey is poised to blow baseball or the NBA out of the water. But Sid the Kid and the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to play for Lord Stanley’s big silver punch bowl, and that’s already the best thing to happen to the game since Mark Messier took the New York Rangers to their first Cup in 54 years back in 1994.
It’s always been the greatest game nobody watches, better even to these eyes than that other great game nobody watches — soccer. But now, thanks to Sidney Crosby and the young and exciting team from Pittsburgh, there’s interest and buzz and — if you can believe it — a growing TV audience.
When Detroit eliminated Dallas on Monday night, the NHL has everything it had been hoping for ever since it canceled an entire season and almost committed labor-relations suicide three years ago.
Mike Babcock, Nick Lidstrom, Dallad Drake and Chris Osgood…
Q. Did you realize your team had that in it tonight, the start it came out with?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: We thought we were going to be good. We didn’t play bad last game. But our start got us behind the eight ball. We were nervous early. We’ve got a professional team, a good team. We just talked about doing what we do, just getting started on time, doing it harder, doing it for longer. We thought we’d have success.
I thought we drove the net hard early and were rewarded.
Q. Did you think the guys were flat in the first period or how did it look to you?
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: I thought it was a combination of us hoping to win and Detroit pushing the issue to win. I think they had a real hard focus around our net early. The first three goals, right at the crease and in. Once you get trailing, you’re chasing the game. That’s where we were: chasing the game most of the game.
The first goal they get, comes across the crease. Yeah, we get not beat outright, but we get beat on a couple plays. Comes across, hits Draper right in the face, goes in. I mean, hard goals to give up. That’s the way it went.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In one corner, there are the Pittsburgh Penguins, champions of the Eastern Conference, the young upstarts, closing in on a Stanley Cup championship in only Sidney Crosby’s third season.
In the other corner, here come the Detroit Red Wings, the model of NHL stability, experienced, steady, making their fourth appearance in the Stanley Cup final in the past 11 years.
It is a battle for the ages — the young star power of the Penguins against the defensive efficiency of the Red Wings.
added 11:50pm, from Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press,
The Red Wings are going to face the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals, which is all sorts of perfect. The television ratings will be comically low; that’s just reality for hockey right now. But forget TV ratings for a minute. Anybody who likes this game has to love this matchup.
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.
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