Kukla's Korner Hockey
Q. You weren’t real happy with Zetterberg after 3. Can you give us your thoughts on that one after 4?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: That’s not what I said. After 3 what I said was that the coach didn’t do a very good job, and I had some people on the ice too long. I thought those guys are fantastic players, obviously, and they drive the bus for us.
And but they’re like everyone else. We all gotta be good. When I don’t do a good enough job, you gotta ‑ you need to stand up. When you don’t, you gotta be willing to call them out. I thought Zetterberg was fantastic. So was Datsyuk in that five‑on‑three, Kronwall and Lidstrom.
Post-game press conferences broadcast live at the NHL Network Online.
Update 10:58pm ET: From Ira Podell of the AP via the Star-Tribune,
The Detroit Red Wings wrecked the Pittsburgh Penguins’ home-ice advantage and gave themselves a shot to hoist the Stanley Cup in Hockeytown.
Jiri Hudler snapped a third-period tie for the Red Wings, who rallied from an early deficit to beat the Penguins 2-1 Saturday night and grab a 3-1 lead in the finals.
From Bob Duff at the Windsor Star via Faceoff.com,
With the crush of media here covering the Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings, feet are constantly in close proximity of the logo. What’s puzzling about all this is that as the players doff their equipment, they fire their Penguins sweaters into said trash cans blocking access to the Penguins logo.
So it’s alright to toss your sweater in the trash, but don’t tread on the logo.
Also, as the Penguins take the ice, one of their rituals involves the players punching a Penguins logo.
Q. Could we get an update on Tomas Holmstrom, we saw he skated a bit this morning and went off?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: He did just what everyone else did. And basically what we’re going to do is he felt pretty good. He’s going to come back for the game tonight, see how he feels.
If he’s ready to go, he’s playing. If not, obviously he’ll be scratched.
From Dave Waddell via the National Post:
Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, who was injured Wednesday when he was dumped by Pittsburgh defenceman Hal Gill, said he’s optimistic he’ll play in tonight’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final [...]
“Yeah, that’s how it looks like,” Holmstrom said when asked if he’ll play tonight. “It feels good.”
While opting not to discuss the nature of the injury, Holmstrom said it’s unrelated to his groin problem that caused him to miss almost all of March.
Plus more on practice lineups at Red Wings Corner.
Q. Game 4 is the swing game in any seven‑game series, and a lot of your guys admitted to being nervous before Game 1. Do you think all those nerves are gone for tonight?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, I think so. We know what we have to do. And this becomes the biggest game of the series. So probably a lot of guys are going to have a similar mind‑set to Game 3.
Q. Kind of a lighter question for you here about Colby Armstrong, who is serving as a guest analyst for us. And Colby actually predicted in Game 3 you’d have a big game and you guys would win 3‑2. Do you think he makes a perfect analyst?
Q. Would you like to get the obstruction stuff out of the way first, before I ask my…
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: (Laughter) I said what I had to say yesterday, so let’s move on (Laughter.)
Q. You said the first couple of games nervousness could have been an issue with your team. Do you sense going on in the series that’s less and less the case, and do you think that will be less the case tonight?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: Absolutely. And it’s part of the process with a young team. And the more the series goes on, the more we’re going to feel comfortable and we’re going to be better.
And we got better every game. Our focus gets better every game. And tonight I’m expecting we’re going to play ‑ we played a good game, Game 3, but tonight I’m expecting we’re going to be better as well.
From Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
But the trade to Pittsburgh came as a complete surprise.
“I was actually negotiating on a new contract with Atlanta and I’d been teasing ‘Hoss’ for more than a month before the deadline about how much he was going to like going back to Ottawa or playing in Montreal,” Dupuis explained. “In the end, he got the last laugh.
“At first, I joked with reporters that I was coming along to carry Hoss’s bags. But I got the dream-of-a-lifetime job of playing on a line with Sid and Hoss.”
From Chris Cochrane at The Chronicle Herald,
This year’s Stanley Cup final has been a good example of how well the new rules work.
No longer do veteran defencemen dominate playoff games simply by mugging opponents in front of the net. There’s also no place in this final for those defensive specialists who survived by a reliance on hooking and holding strong offensive players at both ends of the ice. The new game has evolved beyond those prodding type of players.
Star offensive players are getting more room to be star offensive players. They’re still targeted, but now it has to be by players who can keep up with them and don’t rely on obvious illegal tactics to slow them down.
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“For us, basically, [Game 4] is a do-or-die game,” [Petr Sykora] said. “We know that if we can come up with a win, there is a lot of pressure on them, going into Game 5 [Monday at Joe Louis Arena].
“Basically, the whole Stanley Cup playoffs is going to [come down to] the game [tonight]. We’ve worked so hard to get to this position. This is a big chance for us, to tie it up, 2-2. You never know what’s going to happen then.”
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