Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Good for the Predators. You may hate them, Blue Jackets fans, but you’ve got to give this club credit for the way it competes. I maintain that Barry Trotz is a no-brainer for coach of the year. Bruce Boudreau second.
Anybody who votes for Mike Babcock is a joke. Arace, Reed and Portzline could coach that club to 48 regular season wins, easy. We’d get beat in the second-round of the playoffs, but ...
from John Glennon at Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
...But the Wings were sunk in Game 4 due in part to the poor goaltending of Dominik Hasek, a six-time Vezina Trophy winner. And Detroit coach Mike Babcock just announced that Chris Osgood will replace Hasek for Game 5.
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this.
After all, Ellis outplayed Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo down the stretch, as the Predators battled the Canucks for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
What’s another all-star to knock off at this point?
From the AP via the Mercury News,
Dominik Hasek is out, and Chris Osgood is in.
Hasek said Thursday that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told him Osgood will start Game 5 against the Nashville Predators, who won two straight at home to even the first-round series 2-all.
From Red Wings Corner:
Asked whether Osgood will be the Red Wings’ netminder for the remainder of the playoffs, coach Mike Babcock laughed and said, “Just win baby.”
Thorsten (Kaye) currently plays wealthy casino owner, Zach Slater, in ABC’s daytime drama, All My Children. For that role, he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actor” in 2006. He has also appeared in films, The Silencers, Deadly Desire, and The Bone Collector. An avid rugby and hockey fan, Kaye will chronicle the Detroit Red Wings run to the Stanley Cup.
Now I’m not usually one to flip-flop with goaltenders, but I believe we have to start with Osgood on Friday, absolutely. I don’t know how you can’t.
There was talk, before this series, about how Hasek would have to prove something, and to me, thus far, he hasn’t proved anything. He let in two soft ones again, and even though one bounced off of Kronwall, I think it was, you have to make those saves.
Heck, I would’ve let those in. Those are saves that have to be made.
The goals are coming in from too far out, their ‘D’ are the ones doing the damage. He has to be able to stop a puck from 60 feet away!
more from Thorsten at his NHL Connect blog…
from the Tennessean,
The teams now head back to Joe Louis Arena for Game 5 Friday. Babcock will have to decide whether he goes back to Hasek, who was 27-10-3 this season for the team that posted the NHL’s best record in the regular season, or sticks with Osgood (27-9-4).
“I’m pretty sure (what I’ll do), but I always like to take a deep breath first and then decide what I’m going to do,” Babcock said.
Still, it’s a decision that’s likely to be subject of great debate in Hockeytown.
But there was no discernable discussion about making a change after Game 3, when Hasek said he should have stopped a couple slap shots that found the net in Nashville’s 5-3 win.
He was, unsurprisingly, even more upset after the Game 4 loss.
“Very disappointing,” he said. “Last 60 minutes, worst hockey I’ve played in my life. I have nothing to say about it. I feel very bad about myself.’’
from the Tennessean,
So while there were not alarm bells ringing in their dressing room Monday night at Sommet Center, they were well aware of a disturbing trend that cost the Western Conference’s top seed Game 3.
Nashville scored its first four goals in pairs, with second-period goals just 2:09 apart and third-period goals that tied and won a 5-3 game separated by only nine ticks of the clock.
In Detroit’s Game 2 win, Nashville’s two goals came in an 11-second span.
“Anytime a team scores, the next shift is so critical,” Detroit Coach Mike Babcock said. “The thing we talked about … as a coaching staff is obviously we’re not doing a good enough job of it. They get excited and play a little bit better and we seem to come out on our heels.”
Well, we improved on some of the things from Game 1. Just seemed like they got more of the bounces today. We got a break on our first goal, but they caught a break on the game-winner and seemed like we caught the post on some chances when they were back on their heels.
Down 0-2 isn’t what you want, but teams have come back from that before. I know it’s a cliche, but we have to take it one game at a time. We’re back home for Games 3 and 4. If we win our home games, then it’s back to even. On Monday night we need our fans to be as loud as you were that last home game against St. Louis. Let’s concentrate on getting that one on Monday and moving on from there.
-Steve Sullivan at his Nashville Predators blog...
from the AP via ESPN,
The Red Wings took advantage of what appeared to be good fortune in Game 1 when offsides wasn’t called just before they scored the game-winning goal.
Nashville general manager David Poile was critical of the officiating in both games while talking to reporters on Saturday between the second and third periods.
“Just make the right call,” Poile said. “Between officials and supervisors, we can’t get the right call.”
Detroit coach Mike Babcock, of course, defended the men on skates wearing stripes and toting whistles.
added 7:40pm, more on this from John Glennon at the Tennessean…
via the Tennessean,
Predators center Scott Nichol has a broken left thumb, is scheduled to undergo surgery this afternoon in Nashville and will miss at least the remainder of the Predators-Red Wings playoff series.
He’s expected to be sidelined 2-3 weeks.
from Ken Wiebe at Best of Seven,
We’re not about to suggest a sweep is in the offing, but goalie Dan Ellis was the only reason the 3-1 game (including an empty-netter) was close.
Having said that, without a pair of turnovers (one by Marek Zidlicky and the other by Shea Weber, which took a crazy bounce off the arm of a linesman and landed back into the defensive zone) the Predators were in position to steal Game 1.
“They just keep coming at you, so we have to limit our turnovers, limit the chances we give them and give ourselves a better chance to win,” said Ellis. “You’re going to have your turnovers because they clog up the neutral zone as good as any team. They don’t give you very much.”
added 9:24am, from the NHL Blog at the NY Post,
Brian Rafalski was shaky on the blueline for long stretches and Dominik Hasek can thank Lady Luck as much as—if not more than—himself for keeping the puck out of his net. The Detroit team that played tonight looked far different than the dominating side that racked up 115 points in the regular season. Nashville took this game to the Wings, and were much closer to a win than the final score indicates.
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