Kukla's Korner Hockey
Transcript from the post-game Q&A with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock after game #3.
Q. You outshot them by a pretty big margin early on. I think it was 9‑1, or 9‑2. How much of a role did that play in tonight’s outcome? Do you think things would have ended differently if you got one early?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I think tonight we got off to a pretty good start on the road. I thought we were under control. Then I thought they had a pretty good push after a timeout, scored a goal. And I thought they controlled the next, I don’t know, 20 minutes of the game.
And then I thought we battled back pretty good. The third goal was a tough one for us to give up, just because it makes it hard to come back. But I thought we had a good push at the end.
The other thing, I didn’t think we used our bench good enough tonight. I thought the specialty teams were early. I don’t know if we used enough guys.
The transcript of the Q&A for Penguins coach Michel Therrien after game three.
Q. I’d like to start by just asking you, I saw you, at one point during the second period, you were having a chat with Sidney on the bench. How would you describe the game your captain played tonight?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: On a big challenge like tonight, we approached our team, that was a huge challenge for us. It wasn’t any different than Game 5 we played at home against the Rangers and Game 5 we played at home against the Flyers. We approach it like a challenge. And there’s no doubt that we’re looking for your best player to bring an A‑game.
And certainly Sid did that tonight.
Update 11:02pm ET: Post-game press conferences are available at NHL Network Online.
Update 11:07pm ET: Rich Libero at NHL.com,
The Penguins talked about how returning home would restore their vigor. They made good on those words with a stirring 3-2 victory in Game 3.
The Igloo, as much as it gets bashed for being out-dated and old, simply crackled with emotion. The Pens handed out white t-shirts as fans entered the building. Sitting in the auxiliary press box near the ceiling, the effect came to full life.
Update 11:15pm ET:From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail, a complete post-game wrap-up.
from Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,
This is where the slope gets especially slippery for Therrien. An emotional coach who strokes his players with sandpaper, Therrien needs to be careful how he handles himself in the next few days and weeks.
Can anyone forget former Philadelphia Flyers coach Terry Murray being in a similar situation in the 1997 finals? Like the Penguins, his team rolled into the finals as a confident bunch, only to get waxed by the Red Wings in four straight.
Following its Game 3 loss in Detroit, Murray said his team was basically in a “choking situation,” and a few weeks later he was fired. Therrien is in a similarly precarious position right now.
OFFICIALS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME
The referees for tonight’s game are Paul Devorski (#10) and Dan O’Halloran (#13). The linesmen are Shane Heyer (#55) and Jay Sharrers (#57).
TEAMS WINNING GAMES 1 AND 2 IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL
Of the 31 home clubs who won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, 30 went on to win the series. The only club to win the Stanley Cup after dropping the first two Final games on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.
Overall, clubs winning Games 1 and 2 of the Final have won 40 of 43 series.
Can Chris Osgood improve his Stanley Cup Finals record to 7-0?
Can the Penguins extend their home win streak to 17-0 (last loss was in February)?
Will the Wings improve their record to 15-1 in their last 16 SCF games?
Mark-Andre Fleury lost at home in late November, since then he is 18-0. Can he make it 19-0?
*original post-time 8:55am ET
From Stu Hackel at Slap Shot in the NYT:
So we spoke to Pierre McGuire earlier today and asked him what changes he thinks Therrien should make tonight. He phoned The Morning Skate from The Morning Skate at Mellon, or as we like to affectionately continue to call it, the Igloo. Pierre, or as we like to affectionately continue to call him, Pete, will be between the benches again tonight for NBC, doing his usual superlative job of spying on each team’s bench and deciphering what is happening on the ice both before and after the whistles.
“You’ve got to change the schematic of the series real quick,” he said. “Not a lot of adjustments, but simple adjustments.
“You’re not going to be able to carry [the puck into the Wings defensive zone], so you have to have a lot of short side shoot-ins where Osgood can’t get to the puck, And you know the boards here, you’re comfortable playing in this building, because you know the boards. So short side shoot-ins and overload one side and go on attack — not with three guys but two. The third guy stays high all the time, because you can’t give up odd-man rushes. Detroit’s too good.”
There is no relaxing,” Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall told me after this morning’s game-day skate. “We are not about to let them have anything if we can help it.”
more on tonight’s game from Kostya Kennedy at Rink Side Blog at Sports Illustrated…
Q. Could you assess, how do you think Sidney Crosby has performed throughout the playoffs, and what do you think this experience will do for him for the rest of his career?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: I really believe that he started to pick up his game against the Flyers. I thought he played well in the first two rounds, but you could see against the Flyers he brought his game to another level. He was a true leader in that series.
He’s working really hard. His first two games against Detroit, sometimes the results are not always there. But in the meantime, that’s going to give him - it’s like last year, we only played five games in the playoffs. That young team didn’t know what to expect in the playoffs.
Even as coaches, you prepare your players. You show a lot of videos. You share experience. You’ve got to feel it. You’ve got to be in there. Now, it’s his first experience in the Stanley Cup Final, and I’m sure it’s going to help him for the rest of his career.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins, once so full of all that seemed necessary to become a champion, have been exposed in the first two games of the final. Not exposed as a bad team, but as a team not worthy of the most cherished trophy in team sports.
No one expected this—not the players, not the coach, not the fans. Everything had been near-perfect. All phases of their game were humming.
But this is what happens in athletic competition when one team is better than the other or, at least, when one team is playing considerably better at a particular time.
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