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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Wings Fans Talk The Rematch

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Seven Game Series

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

People ask me who I like in the Stanley Cup Finals: Detroit or Pittsburgh?

At the start of the season, I figured the Red Wings would make the Finals and win The Cup. No, this was not based on any complicated scientific analysis, but rather a simple theory: never bet against The Champs.

But that was then and this is now….

The Pretenders have everything in their favor, from a sizzling Sid Crosby-Ev Malkin duet right down to the mature goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury, who’s fronted by a surprisingly solid defense.

Nevertheless, The Maven picks Detroit in seven games.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

SCF - Part 2

from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,

Five random things which haven’t changed from last year’s Stanley Cup final:

Detroit’s Depth. Few teams have anything approaching the organization depth the Red Wings have. Players like Darren Helm (above) and Ville Leino could be second-liners on most NHL teams. With Detroit, they’re AHLers. The Red Wings were without players like Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom in the Western Conference final but still managed to dispatch Chicago in five games.

Osgood really that good? A common complaint about Chris Osgood is that he’s just the product of a good defensive system. We’ve made it and we believe it. If you stuck Osgood on the Penguins, they probably don’t get out of the first round. But he doesn’t play on the Penguins. He plays on the Red Wings. And he’s gotten them to the Stanley Cup final for the second consecutive season. Who care’s if he’s part of a system? Especially if it’s a really successful system.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Osgood vs. Fleury

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

When the Stanley Cup final starts tomorrow night in Detroit, though, Osgood and Fleury will be the last two goaltenders standing. And they are tied for first place in the most important category of this year’s playoffs at 12 wins each.

This is the second consecutive showdown in the Cup final for them, with Osgood and the Wings handily winning the best-of-seven series in five games a year ago to win his third Stanley Cup ring. However, Osgood, 36, is regarded as a veteran who has had the good fortune to play for a great team for most of his career while Fleury, 24, is considered another of the great young talents on the star-studded Penguins roster.

“With Chris Osgood, if you look at history, when he’s played on teams that are not so good [St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders], he’s been not so good,” said Mitch Korn, the goaltending coach of the Nashville Predators. “But there is something about playing for the Detroit Red Wings, like playing for the New York Yankees, that makes players elevate their games in response to everyone else.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, marc-andre+fleury

Bylsma Living A Dream

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Retired high school golf coach Cornie Vantol isn’t surprised that Dan Bylsma has led the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup finals in his first season as a head coach.

Vantol remembers Bylsma, who’s from Grand Haven, making an impact in his freshman year on the Muskegon Western Michigan Christian varsity golf team. Scott Bylsma, one of Dan’s older brothers, won the Class D individual state championship in 1980 with a score of 78. Dan took home the individual title four years later with a 72.

“I can understand that he’s a great coach,” said Vantol, who was the golf coach at WMC from 1984 to 2002. “He was a bright student. He knew the golf game very well. He didn’t need much coaching.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

Perfect Matchup

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

There has been plenty of talk this spring about a widespread conspiracy in the NHL. Word in Philadelphia, Washington and Raleigh, N.C., is that the league wanted the Penguins to get to the Stanley Cup final and did everything it could to make it happen, going so far as to give beneficial calls by the referees to the sport’s poster boy, Sidney Crosby. Well, I’m here this morning to dispute that vigorously. I don’t think the NHL officials are nearly that smart.

They’re just lucky, that’s all.

Lucky to have the incomparable Crosby and Evgeni Malkin under the bright spotlight on hockey’s grandest stage for what figures to be a marvelous two-week run.

And lucky to have the defending champion Detroit Red Wings as the opponents in a blockbuster sequel to last year’s entertaining Cup final.

continued

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

You can make an argument that any one of five current NHL players can stake a claim to being the best player on the planet.

Three – Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk – are finalists for the Hart Trophy as regular-season MVP.

One, Henrik Zetterberg, was named Conn Smythe Trophy winner last spring as the best player in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

One, Sidney Crosby, is the current favourite to win the Conn Smythe this spring.

Four of these players – Malkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Zetterberg – are participants in this year’s Stanley Cup final, the NHL’s greatest showcase, which begins tomorrow night in Detroit.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lindsay Rips Back-To-Back Games

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun via the Windsor Star,

Terrible Ted, who’ll be 84 a month after this year’s final ends, answered his cellphone Wednesday and began firing on all cylinders at what he called “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life” — his Red Wings, beat up and exhausted after their 2-1, Game 5 elimination of the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, having to go back at it three days later.

“Is this supposed to be the premium event of the National Hockey League, or not?” said Lindsay, who played in that 1955 series, scored four goals in Game 2, a finals record at the time, and remembers the Saturday-Sunday games as not being any better an idea then than it is now.

“Except we were so stupid, we didn’t know anything different,” he said….

“These guys have just gone through three very tough series — played probably the best team in the league other than them, in Anaheim, just finished another hard series and now you’re going to have one tired team with a lot of injuries. Pittsburgh’s probably not as tired because they had a fairly easy time of it, but they’re only getting one more day’s rest.”

more

added 10:02pm, How about the opinion of Adam Brady of Ducks Blog at AnaheimDucks.com,

So the Red Wings are one step closer to becoming the first team to repeat as champions since ... the Red Wings (in 1997 and 98).  They take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final for (yawn) the second straight season….

But the back-to-back games are another story, at least according to Old Man Chelios. “You don’t want my opinion on that,’’ Chelios said.

You know what, Cheli? You’re right. We really don’t.

In fact, all of you complaining about the back-to-backs, get over yourself. Frankly, the whining is more than a little tiresome.

more

added 10:08pm, from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press via the Sacramento Bee (not on the freep site yet),

Dear NBC and NHL:

I’ll begin with a simple question. Do either of you actually like hockey?

I think I can answer for NBC (a.k.a. “Nothing But Conan”), because it is clear the network would rather break out in a deadly skin rash than show the Stanley Cup finals on a weeknight.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+lindsay

Not This Year Hockeytown

from Rob Parker at ClckOnDetroit,

...But these aren’t last year’s Penguins. Not by a long shot.

No one thought they’d be back here late in the postseason again looking for more, not even Marian Hossa, who passed up a mega-bucks, multi-year contract from the Pens to instead take a flimsy one-year deal with the Wings.

Hossa, who starred for Pittsburgh last June, thought his best chance to win the Cup was with Motown, not in the Steel City.

Hossa will wind up being both wrong and disappointed.

The Penguins will beat the Wings. Sorry, Hockeytown.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How Pittsburgh Or Detroit Can Win

from NHL.com,

Red Wings will win if... They stick to their system. Detroit is a puck-possession team, and if it can find a way to hang on to the puck—especially at even-strength—it will limit Crosby and Malkin’s opportunities. The stronger the Wings play 5-on-5, the better off they’ll be.

Penguins will win if... They can handle the big stage this time. Several Penguins have admitted to being awed last spring against the Red Wings. By the time the Penguins got comfortable with the high-stakes hockey played in the Final, they were trailing 2-0 in the best-of-7 series—a hole that proved too big to dig out of. This time around, they believe they are more ready…

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Penguins Are The Favorites

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Even without the Wings’ injuries, this series looked to be tilting in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins given the exceptional play of Crosby and Malkin. But with the Wings banged up and missing key ingredients (or having key ingredients not at their best), the Penguins are suddenly the clear-cut favorites to win their first Cup since 1992. Penguins in six.

much more on the series…

added 12:55pm, from The Hockey News,

There are some parallels between this series and 1984, when the Edmonton Oilers faced the New York Islanders in the final for the second straight spring and won the Stanley Cup. The only difference – and it’s a major one - is the Islanders were a dynasty in demise and the Red Wings are a dynasty that is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, they’re getting better. The reality is this is a pick ‘em series and we’re picking the champs to repeat. In the end, experience, poise and home ice advantage will be the deciding factors in the series. Detroit in seven.

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added 12:57pm, from Mark Spector and this from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

With all due respect to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hope they learned a thing or two in losing to the Detroit Red Wings in last year’s Stanley Cup final, the Wings look very much like a team – an organization, for that matter – that will not be denied….

Even with Crosby and Malkin I’d give the nod to the Red Wings depth up front as well as on defence and in net. Seems pretty fundamental to me.

Prediction: Detroit in 6.

more

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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