Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jeremy Sandler at the National Post,
Originally the itinerary included golf and sightseeing, but finding pubs or Internet cafes with access to hockey broadcasts got added to the agenda once the Pittsburgh Penguins qualified to battle for the NHL’s ultimate prize.
It is safe to say that among people not directly connected to the Penguins, the 62-year-old [Craig] Patrick has a greater rooting interest in the final than most.
As the Penguins general manager for 17 years, he assembled about half of the players who tonight will try and even the finals at two games apiece.
more on Patrick extensive history with the Penguins
If the Penguins are planning to rescue themselves from the State of Oblivion, Crosby might find it necessary to get Malkin and Petr Sykora alone in a room and bang their heads together a few times; followed by a simple, declarative sentence: “I WANT YOU GUYS TO PLAY AS HARD AS I AM, AND BROOKS ORPIK IS.”
and more thoughts from Stan Fischler at Game On
Update 8:16pm ET: At ESPN, Scott Burnside takes a more tempered look at Malkin’s performance woes.
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf contributes his thoughts on game #4 and the series in the LA Times:
Being in a similar situation that we faced with Ottawa when we were going home, Detroit gets to go back home and they’re going to be comfortable. The biggest thing is for them to take advantage of the situation they put themselves in. They can’t let it slip. If you let it slip, if you give Pittsburgh any kind of breathing room, you never know what might happen.
Pittsburgh has got to play with its back against the wall. It’s a big task. No one is going to kid themselves. They’ve got to take it one game at a time. That’s the truth. If you have to win three games, you’ve got to get one first.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
The way Marc-André Fleury sees it, the path to success for the Pittsburgh Penguins is simple: “If I can stop more pucks and we score more goals, we’ll be all right.”
But those few words mask a world of hurt for the Penguins, who need to win Monday to prevent the Detroit Red Wings from winning their first Stanley Cup since 2002. The Red Wings have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NHL championship series thanks to their efficient 2-1 win over the Penguins on Saturday night.
Actually, Fleury could have left himself out of the above equation. His work in the Penguins goal in the last two games was above reproach. It is the work of their offence in all four games so far that is wanting.
*Fleury highlights can be seen at the NHL Network Online.
Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford analyzes the SCF for NHL.com:
In fact, Crawford sees the penalty killing by both the Red Wings and the Penguins as underrated in this series, and gives his thoughts as to why they’ve each been so dominant.
“It’s been very tactically and technically a very sound, sound penalty-killing series,” he said. “And you have to make great plays to score.”
Saturday night, it was the Red Wings who made just one extra “great play,” and they came away with a very crucial victory.
The full article is here and at the bottom of the page are two links to Crawford’s podcasts on the series
Q. I guess looking at the ice time last night, [Evgeni] Malkin played more than Sidney [Crosby]. And is that, on your part, an attempt to just get Evgeni Malkin going? Does he warrant more ice time than Sidney? How do you manage ice time between those two?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: How do I manage the ice time? Our offensive players play on a regular shift, and they play on the power play. Obviously, Malkin playing on the power play, it’s a different role than Sid. And we want them to be productive offensively, so they play like every third or fourth shift, five-on-five. They play on the power play. Malkin played a little bit more on the power play. The biggest reason is because he’s playing the point. You don’t have to spend more energy probably than Sid as a forward has to work down low battling, all that type of stuff. So that’s a little bit the difference.
Q. Has Lidstrom said anything to you guys, either last night or this morning, and if you could just talk about what he’s meant to you during this playoff run?
NIK KRONWALL: I think Nick is one of those guys, when you have a chance to be on a team with a guy like that, it helps you to grow as a hockey player, and as a person as well. We had a little talk this morning and just want to make sure that all the guys knew what was going on and stay focused on what we need to do.
The transcript of a short interview with Marc-Andre Fleury today.
Update 2:58pm ET: Sidney Crosby transcript has been added below
Update 4:48pm ET: Marian Hossa and Jordan Staal have been added below.
Update 4:55pm ET: Darryl Sydor has been added.
Q. Do you expect any nerves? You guys haven’t been in a situation where the Cup is in the building?
MARC‑ANDRE FLEURY: Well, we’ll be pretty excited. It’s a good reason for us to not quit and keep playing hard and trying to have every chance for Pittsburgh.
via Helene Elliott at the LA Times,
Kris Draper called the penalty killers’ job “unbelievable.” He wasn’t exaggerating.
“You see the guys they throw over the boards,” he said “that was really the difference in the hockey game, us being able to kill that off.”
Zetterberg was asked whether that sequence was the best he’d played in his life.
“What part?” he asked, genuinely puzzled.
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy,
The biggest disappointments in Game 4 ... well, I was going to say it was the strange lack of fire from the Penguins during stretches; but in reality, and without a doubt, they were found in NBC’s broadcast.
While it was nice the telecast acknowledged the tragedy, failing to show the moment of silence before the game in honor of Luc Bourdon was a disgrace and showed a massive misunderstanding of NBC’s hockey audience. The death of an NHL player is a rather atypical occurrence; a moment of silence before a Stanley Cup finals game for a fallen peer is extraordinary. It was a newsworthy moment, and NBC dropped the ball.
and more thoughts on game #4
Update 1:15pm ET: Also from Greg today, Darren McCarty’s thoughts from years back on the horrors of a nude Brendan Shanahan.
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.
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