Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Neil Stevens at the Canadian Press,
Doug Cook, Dick Power and Mario Pouliot are names that won’t ring a bell with most Canadian hockey fans but players skating in the NHL’s championship series owe them a debt of gratitude.
There are dozens more just like them, too. They are the coaches who taught and encouraged the boys that would become the men competing for the Stanley Cup this spring.
Darren Helm, at 21 the youngest player to skate for the Detroit Red Wings in these playoffs, quickly mentions Cook when asked to name a minor-league coach from whom he benefited. Helm was eight when he was first coached by Cook in St. Andrew’s, Man.
“The encouragement he gave me - that’s what I remember most,” says the soft-spoken Helm. “He made playing hockey fun, and he always believed I could go far.”
The transcript of Coach Michel Therrien’s remarks today.
Q. What’s your power play need to do to change its luck tonight?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: You have to look at the big picture about our power play. And I thought we got some quality shots last game. We didn’t get the bounce we were looking for. We got some traffic.
Our power play, we’re second in the playoffs. The only teams that is ahead of us is Calgary. They played one round. So there is no sense to panic with our power play. Special teams are crucial, we all know, and could make a big difference in games.
Transcript from this morning’s Q&A with Sidney Crosby.
Q. I’m just wondering what you’re expecting in terms of line combinations for tonight. Do you expect to start the game with the same two linemates and play the whole game with them, or do you expect this to be jumbled up quite a bit tonight?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Probably like practice the last couple of days. I think that’s usually a pretty good indication.
The transcript from today’s press conference with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Q. Here we go again. Latest on Johan Franzen.
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don’t even know that. I don’t know the answer, sorry. I was talking to the League guys, and I never got in the medical room to know. I know he’s out there flying around. And I know it’s decision time.
From Eric McErlain at AOL Fanhouse,
Can anything stop the Red Wings in their quest to win their fourth Stanley Cup in 12 years?
To get some answers, I thought it would be a good idea to check in with two of the leading lights among the Detroit hockey blogging community. Today I’ll be talking live to both Bill Houlihan of Abel to Yzerman from the Kukla Empire and George James Malik of Red Wings Snapshots at mlive.com. When it comes to Detroit hockey, both are hip deep in the middle of things, so I expect a lively and provocative hour.
We’ll be kicking off our discussion at 12:00 p.m. U.S. EDT, so come ready with your questions. And yes, if you must, bring along the snark.
Go here to join them at noon. (But seriously: you don’t need to bring the “snark”—with Bill in the room, I’m pretty sure the room will be thick enough with it…)
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
Can it really be this simple, this obvious, this soon?
One game into the Stanley Cup Final, is it possible that the Pittsburgh Penguins have Crosby, but no hope?
In the corner of the Penguins’ dressing room, defenceman Hal Gill sat quietly, studying the blade of one of his skates as if to suggest someone forgot to sharpen them.
It couldn’t be that he really was that slow, now could it?
Could be. And he’s not alone in that fear.
Taking a resounding 4-0 decision from the Penguins in the first game of this best-of-seven final, the vastly experienced Detroit Red Wings left Pittsburgh an uncertain bunch and certainly sent a shudder of fear through the people who run the NHL.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Not to slap you around too much for Pittsburgh’s 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Saturday at the Joe Louis Arena, but you wear the “C” and the boys in the room are going to be looking for answers.
Here’s what you have to learn and here’s what you have to both tell and show them….
Don’t think you aren’t going to get hit, a lot. You’re a target; don’t cry about it and most importantly, look out for it. You are the guy they are going to try and knock out of a game and maybe, if they can, out of the series.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
“Maybe it was good that we lost the first one,” Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis offered yesterday. “Maybe a little slap in the face maybe helped us get back on planet Earth and wanting it more.”
If there was one word that best illustrates the Penguins’ outlook on this series—now that they must win tonight or face the near impossible task of beating Detroit in four of five games to win the series—it is “maybe.”
Maybe if we started chipping the puck deeper more often. Maybe if we can coax Evgeni Malkin to stop relying on pure talent, and blend in a little more heart and sweat. Maybe if we wouldn’t have hit those posts, or if we had scored on those first-period power plays.
from Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Red Wings’ players and coaches have been nothing if not respectful and complimentary when discussing the Penguins.
Still, one gets the vibe that deep down inside these Red Wings aren’t threatened, that they’re convinced it’s still their time and not yet the Penguins’ time.
What transpired in the Red Wings’ 4-0 victory in Game 1 doesn’t figure to have changed any of that.
Job 1 for the Penguins tonight in Game 2 will be earning some of that respect that’s been bestowed upon them.
Steve Levy, E.J. Hradek and Barry Melrose break down the Penguins line changes for Game 2, watch below….
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 firstname.lastname@example.org