Kukla's Korner Hockey
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….
Q&A with Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien.
Q. What does Malkin have to do to re-establish himself as a dominant player in this series?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: First of all, we still have a lot of confidence in him. He’s a world-class player. He needs to stay focused. He needs to stay on top of his game. He needs to skate. He needs to battle. And if he’s doing those things, good things can happen to him.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
If the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to win the Stanley Cup, then somebody had better put in a wakeup call to Evgeni Malkin.
The Hart Trophy finalist has been in a funk since midway through the third round against Philadelphia and unless he gets it in gear, the Penguins are going to be hard-pressed to defeat the Red Wings.
continued and other SCF game 1 bits…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
It was expected to be a clash of young versus old, of the geezer Detroit Red Wings, including several players who won the Cup wearing the winged wheel in 1997, 1998 and 2002, wheezing and trembling as the young Penguins tried to defeat them with doses of phenomenal skill, dazzling speed and who knows what heights of brilliance.
So much for soothsayers.
Crosby, poked and prodded and bashed from his first shift—mostly courtesy of Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall—was held to three harmless shots.
added 11:31am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For his first act as a participant in the Stanley Cup final, Sidney Crosby disappeared. Actually, the Detroit Red Wings made him vanish.
Evgeni Malkin, too, and the absence of the two Pittsburgh Penguins stars from the scoresheet and, to a great degree, from the action, was a big part of how the Wings humbled the Pens to open the best-of-seven series last night.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
The Penguins’ lack of experience on hockey’s grandest stage could not have been better illustrated than Marc-Andre Fleury’s tumble as he led his team onto the ice Saturday night for Stanley Cup finals opener.
The anxious Fleury, 23, ran down the Joe Louis Arena tunnel and splat. He tripped on the last step and fell headlong into the rink. Fleury is lucky his teammates didn’t topple like dominoes behind him. The Penguins real stumbling block, of course, was the Detroit Red Wings.
Watch the Fleury trip below with some ‘creative’ music…
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.
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