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Category: Nashville-Predators

Now What Pittsburgh?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

So, what does Sullivan do now?

How does the coach who has answer for everything, answer now?

Evgeni Malkin, the leading scorer in the playoffs, has been a diminishing asset in the post-season. He had 11 points in the first round, seven in the second, six in the third, he has two in four games in the Cup Final. He is a centreman and he has no assists in eight of the Penguins' last nine playoff games. The Predators have basically removed him from the series.

At home, can Sullivan find a way to get Malkin some space and maybe some lost confidence back?

Phil Kessel was a giant on the way to the Penguins' last Cup. This series, he has been invisible off the ice, almost invisible on it. He has one assist in the Cup Final and just one goal in his last nine playoff games. He has nine shots on goal in this series. Last year, against San Jose, he had 25.

Conor Sheary, a 53-point man in the regular season, has one goal in 20 post-season games. Last spring, Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin, two thirds of that amazing third line with Kessel, combined for 34 playoff points. Huge numbers. Right now, with Bonino doubtful to play in Game 5 and Hagelin an also-ran in the lineup, the two have combined for eight points. One by Hagelin.

Only Sidney Crosby has been a straight line for the Penguins in the way he has played consistently since Sullivan took over coaching partway through last season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It Doesn’t Appear Pittsburgh Will Make A Goalie Switch For Game 5

from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

When a visiting goalie gives up a goal, the boisterous fans at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena like to remind him, via a loud and popular chant, that it was all his fault.

When it comes to Matt Murray and the 4-1 loss he and the Penguins suffered in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, coach Mike Sullivan disagrees.

“We haven't lost games because of our goaltending. That's my thought,” Sullivan said in a conference call Tuesday, giving a de facto vote of confidence to his 23-year-old goaltender.

Sullivan stopped short of naming Murray the starter for Game 5 on Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena. Veteran Marc-Andre Fleury carried the Penguins through the first two rounds of the playoffs before giving way to Murray in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

“We make our lineup decisions on a game-by-game basis,” Sullivan said. “The one comment I will make is we didn't lose the game last night because of our goaltending.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Watching Game 4 Of The Stanley Cup Final

via NBC Sports Twitter,

Last night’s Game 4 of Pit-Nas Stanley Cup Final on NBC delivered 4.14 overnight rating, topping all SCF games last year with Pit-SJ

Gm4onNBC between @penguins & @PredsNHL delivered 4.14 overnight rating, up 33% vs last yr (Pit-SJ) & 2nd-best for Gm4 on NBC/NBCSN since ‘06

With a 28.0 local rating in Nashville, Game 4 was highest-rated Predators game EVER on networks of NBC, ahead of SCF Game 1 on NBC (22.5)

Pittsburgh delivered a 30.9 local rating for Game 4

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Storyline From Nashville And Pittsburgh

ffrom Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Hockey is perfectly executed exchanges gone awry and random puck fumblings gone to the back of the net. It is a breathtaking commute between frustration and elation, and this city is all in for wherever this ride goes.

Hockey has existed in Nashville at the NHL level for 20 years, and the Nashville Predators are two wins from possessing its ultimate prize for the first time. Monday’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to tie the Stanley Cup Final at 2-2 treated another combustible Bridgestone Arena crowd to thrills from one end of the ice to the other, enough promising opportunities for both teams that this could have ended 7-2 either way.

But that’s hockey. And the Predators might be the best hockey team going. That will be determined in what is now a best-of-three series, starting with Game 5 on Thursday at defending champ Pittsburgh, followed by Game 6 on Sunday back in Nashville.

One team or the other will hoist the Stanley Cup that night, or this will come down to Game 7 on June 14 at the Penguins’ PPG Paints Arena. Maybe throw in a few overtimes for good measure. Why not?


from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- A Save Is A Save In Any Language

Pekka Rinne is from Finland, the radio broadcaster is Finnish.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pekka+rinne

The Stanley Cup Final Is Now A Best 2 Out Of 3 Series

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Four days ago, Pekka Rinne looked at a group of reporters and asked them why they were all acting “like somebody died.”

Today the Nashville Predators are very much alive in their quest for a Stanley Cup in large part due to the popular Finnish goaltender.

“It’s a rollercoaster,” Rinne said after Monday’s 4-1 victory. “It’s an emotional ride.”

After some twists and turns we are back where we started: With the Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins all square in the championship series, a best-of-three to decide who gets their name carved into the Cup.

It may well be Rinne if he can keep this up. He was riding a low after the opening two games in Pittsburgh – the victim of some bad bounces and poor play while allowing eight goals on 36 shots – and rebounded by stopping 50 of 52 here to even the series.

The Penguins brought their best game of the final in Game 4 and only put one puck behind him. It came on a clear breakaway from the best player in the world and Sidney Crosby made no mistake with a backhand deke reminiscent of the one he used to score in the gold-medal game at the Sochi Olympics.


Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Good Goal Nashville?

Yes, good goal Nashville.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mike Sullivan Will Be The Difference In This Series

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The feeling here in “Smashville” is that the Predators are on their way to the Stanley Cup. All it took was one win, a 5-1 drubbing of the Penguins Saturday night in Game 3 of the final series. Goaltender Pekka Rinne found his way after being lost in the first two games. The special teams embarrassed the Penguins’ special teams again. The defense, considered the NHL’s best, locked down like never before. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin failed to get a shot on goal, the first time they’ve been shut out like that together in a postseason game. Matt Murray looked human in his net. His defensemen appeared to be running out of miracles without Kris Letang.

Predators fans have legitimate reasons to be optimistic.

I have one reason to stick to my original prediction of Penguins in six games.

Mike Sullivan.

Penguins winger Phil Kessel is in a scoring slump and coaches and teammates are trying to figure out how to get him out of it.

Crosby, Malkin, Murray and the rest of the Penguins have to get it done on the ice, of course. They certainly are capable and have a Cup ring from last season to prove it. But no one makes me believe in the team more than Sullivan, who has found the right answer for every challenge and adversity that has come his way in this postseason.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

P.K. Subban’s Chirping Make It Feels Like The Predators Are Leading The Series

from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

It’s not about P.K. Subban’s breath, but OK, fine. After Nashville’s 5-1 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Subban started barking at Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel, and then swam by him to bark at Sidney Crosby, with whom the Predators defenceman has had a series of annoyance-based scrapes over the years. He pulled Crosby by the jersey to get extra barking time, and Crosby barked back. Subban told the media that Crosby told him he had bad breath, and then told the media on Sunday his teammates left Listerine in his locker. Oh, P.K.

I was there when he said it on Saturday night, and it was clear to me that P.K, bless him, was trafficking in his usual earnest b.s., but it was his explanation. On Sunday, Crosby was asked about it, because that’s how this works.

“Yeah, he made that up. I didn’t say that,” said Crosby. Asked about his on-ice history with P.K., Crosby said, “Yeah, that’s part of it. He likes the attention, and things like that. If he wants to make stuff up, what can I do?”

And that was that. Subban loves making things about himself, which makes him more entertaining than more or less any other hockey player, though your mileage may vary. And it was a silly sideline to a series that Pittsburgh leads two games to one, and feels like it may belong to Nashville.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Don Cherry On Game 4

Cherry says game 4 is hard to predict.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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