Kukla's Korner Hockey
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
The Stars were so full of life in the first two rounds of the playoffs, taking out the Ducks and Sharks in impressive fashion. Dave Tippett’s team played with so much energy and enthusiasm.
That’s all gone now.
The Red Wings have sucked all the life out of the Stars. That’s what happens when you’re forever chasing your opponent around the ice, unable to pry the puck from their talented clutches.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, these Wings are that good.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Detroit assistant coach Todd McLellan came off the ice after the Red Wings’ game-morning skate Monday at the American Airlines Center and was about to step into the visiting dressing room when I, well, ambushed him.
I asked McLellan, in his third season with Detroit, if he would be interested in the Colorado coaching job, vacant since the Avalanche and Joel Quenneville parted ways Friday.
“I would be very interested,” McLellan, 40, said several hours before the Wings beat the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. “I think right now there are a number of young coaches who have come up from the American League and have done a good job, and I consider myself one of those.”
Sharkspage does a great job covering the Ron Wilson firing and takes a look back at his coaching career in San Jose.
Update 11:34am ET (alanah): An article that I don’t think PJ references at Sharkspage, that I also thought was very good—Ray Ratto of the SF Chronicle considers that the issues in San Jose may be more systemic than specific to Ron Wilson.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Whereas Lidstrom is one of the steadiest, smartest rearguards in the game, he plays the classic “contain” style. He makes excellent first passes, eats minutes and generally plays a textbook style of defence. Pretty soon, he’ll be in the heady company of Bobby Orr and Doug Harvey in terms of the number of times they have won the James Norris Memorial Trophy.
Kronwall is different. Less is known about him because he always seems to be hurt, suffering one freak injury after another, year after discouraging year. It’s contributed to his anonymity and obscures the fact that he plays more like Ulf Samuelsson than Anders Eriksson; he is arguably Detroit’s most physical defenceman since Vladimir Konstantinov was lost after that limousine accident.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It doesn’t make for as catchy a slogan as “Vengeance Now” - the Flyers’ declaration of war on an NHL that thumped them mercilessly last season. It just makes sense tonight.
The Flyers can busy themselves trying to get square with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for his cheap-shot-from-behind elbow to Danny Briere’s head, or they can busy themselves trying to keep their hope alive by winning Game 3.
They can’t do both.
“We’re in no position to go after retribution,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “We need to win games.”
added 7:17am, also from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
“We played better in Game 2 than Game 1, but we need to play better to have success against Pittsburgh,” Flyers coach John Stevens said yesterday. “Sometimes you have to work hard for your breaks. Things happen in a hockey game you’re not always going to agree with; you just have to deal with it.
“That’s what we have to get back to. The ‘Why not us?’ There’s a lot more we have to do to be the ‘us’ we want to be.”
For starters, the Flyers need to be more physical.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
Does the NHL have a mercy rule? Can we apply it now, please?
Show a little compassion, guys. Let our gritty little Dallas Stars limp off to the golf course right now, before somebody really gets hurt.
If you listened closely enough at the AAC last night, you could practically hear the ice beginning to melt.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The lesson on Monday night: It doesn’t take much for Detroit to turn nothing into something. The Red Wings received three goals from the brilliant, mercurial Pavel Datsyuk, along with a back-breaking third-period shorthanded goal from Henrik Zetterberg, to engineer the victory which, once again, came without Johan Franzen, the leading goal-scorer of the 2008 playoffs.
Zetterberg’s goal was particularly significant, in that it came with the Stars down by just a goal and on the power play for the fifth time. But Zetterberg picked off an errant pass deep inside his own zone and went coast-to-coast, eventually turning Richards inside out with a little dipsy-doodle magic, before moving across the crease and burying his shot past Stars’ goaltender Marty Turco.
added 11:29pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Well, we just finished Game 3 of the third-round series between Detroit and Dallas, and while you may not have to hand it to the Wings, I certainly do.
Their 5-2 defeat of the Stars Monday left no more illusions as to which team deserves a shot at the equally imposing Pittsburgh Penguins for this season’s NHL championship, and which team will be contacting the moving van companies with a firm vacating date in hand.
from the CP via TSN,
While Briere realizes that prominent players have gotten protection from officials as long as the NHL has existed, some consistency wUnhappould be nice, too.
“I’ve never considered myself a superstar,” said a smiling Briere, who signed an US$52-million, eight-year free-agent deal with the Flyers last summer. “Obviously, they might get protected a little bit more. That’s understandable, but when they do some of the cheap shots that they’re doing I think it would be fair for everybody that they get the same treatment in that regard.”
This is all stuff the Penguins have heard before.
From the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has relieved Head Coach Ron Wilson of his coaching duties. The Sharks general manager also announced that team will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.
“Ron helped foster a new era in San Jose Sharks hockey with some record-setting regular season performances,” said Doug Wilson. “However, ultimately we have decided that it is time for a different voice and a different approach to lead this team. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished as an organization but we feel that this team is capable of achieving greater success. I want to thank Ron for his level of commitment and desire to make our organization successful. Our entire organization wishes him well.”
added 9:40pm, from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
If his motivational strategies had worked, Wilson would have been applauded. But after four-plus seasons of attempting every possible ploy, what could Wilson have done differently next season to get a different result? I am sure that’s what team management was thinking. I can’t disagree.
Still, you won’t catch me saying “Good riddance.” I will miss Wilson, though he won’t believe that. We had our differences. We dug in for some, shall I say, spirited discussions when he disagreed with something I wrote.
via the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
“When the intensity rises, we like our chances in that regard, too,” Turco said. “We don’t think much of them on a personal, character level. We think that’s to our advantage.”
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