Kukla's Korner Hockey
Media everywhere, players everywhere, microphones thrown into the bearded faces of players we are used to seeing on the ice, not in suit coats and fancy shoes.
It was a great scene in Detroit’s Cobo Hall where Media Day was held. NHL.com, XM, NHL Network and a few other media types had areas set up where they could do one-on-one interviews.
Most of the players were very open but a few were filled with a little nervous tension.
First the Wings appeared and each player had an area sectioned off for them. Some stood around waiting for interviews, others were kept very busy. Johan Franzen created the biggest media scrum, followed by Holmstrom, Draper and Maltby. Some of the Wings players were brought to the NHL.com area where the crew interviewed them and I was able to participate in the process too.
After the Wings vacated the room where Media Day was being held, the Pittsburgh Penguins entered and basically followed the pattern of the Wings players. After Sidney Crosby spoke to the media in a group setting, which you may have watched via the NHL Network, he simply vanished. Players who drew the most attention from the media were Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque.
One sidenote to this day, both the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophies were on display and the players avoided looking at them. I did see Evgeni Malkin get within about five feet of them, then quickly turn his back to them.
It was a great experience for me, especially with this all happening in my home town. I will have more throughout the weekend and hope to improve the quality of the pictures I took that Alanah posted earlier today.
I am a bit tired, but the real fun begins tomorrow. I can’t wait for tomorrow and as Ron MacLean of HNIC told me, “Just drop the puck”. I agree, Ron, and I am sure most hockey fans feel the same way.
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo!,
Gary Roberts tried to bite his tongue on the eve of the Stanley Cup final, visibly upset after Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Michel Therrien told him he wouldn’t be in the lineup for the opening game Saturday night.”Obviously, I’m not happy about it but I’m going to let Mike talk about why I’m not playing,” Roberts said.
Therrien was not asked about Roberts during his news conference Friday but later told a reporter that the media would find out after the pre-game skate Saturday whether Roberts was in or not.
Roberts let the cat out of the bag.
“I’ve been told I’m not playing tomorrow night,” said Roberts. “But it’s not the time for me to bitch and complain.”
From Media Day in Detroit, transcripts from the Q&As with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury
- Michel Therrien and Ray Shero
From Page 2 at ESPN,
1. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin: The most exciting tandem since Gretzky and Messier, these franchise cornerstones are a combined 41 years old, which is still five years younger than …
2. Chris Chelios: A first-ballot lock for the Badass Hall of Fame, he’s one of the fittest athletes you’ll see in any sport. He might be the only one to have actually threatened his commissioner with physical violence.
3. Not one word about Spygate.
4. Not one word about Roger Clemens.
Paul is at the NHL’s media event in Detroit (for which we’re hosting the live video feed on the previous post).
This post will be an open forum from the event, to add photos he sends in and links to audio he’ll be posting on NHL.com later today.
Updates will be added below throughout the day, with Wings stuff coming in first since the Penguins aren’t yet available. To start, I’ve put up a couple screenshots from video he’s shot today so far…
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Tags: chris+chelios, dan+cleary, gary+roberts, jordan+staal, kirk+maltby, marian+hossa, nhl+media+day
As Paul mentioned earlier, today is NHL Media Day in Detroit. The event brings members of both teams together for a variety of televised press conferences and various side interviews with members of the press.
You can watch it on television via the NHL Network. But if you don’t have access to the network via TV, the NHL Network Online is broadcasting it live, from 2pm ET onwards.
So, head over to the NHL Network Online website, or watch it live on the player embedded below, here on KK:
From Alan Ryder at the Globe & Mail,
Detroit 53, Pittsburgh 46.
It is not the halftime score of a basketball game but the percentage success rates of the Red Wings and Penguins in the faceoff circle. These numbers might seem close to you, but they are a rink apart. One of these teams led the NHL in faceoff winning percentage and the other was dead last.
It could be that the story of this year’s Stanley Cup final is told by this gap. The faceoff is the first step to puck possession. And control of the puck is the first step to winning. The statistical evidence is that Detroit will own the puck in this series. That does not bode well for the Penguins.
From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News,
Now, I know the anti-fun militia won’t like this, but let’s take a cue from the most successful sport in North America – NFL football – and schedule some sort of pre-final Stanley Cup extravaganza. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, you can’t turn around without hearing about some sort of event hyping up what usually turns out to be a mediocre game (and in Canada, we don’t even get to see the good commercials).
Let’s have a fanfest. Bands will play, the Cup will be there, Mark Messier will sign autographs and give out bags of potato chips – it’ll be fun. This year, an event in Detroit could have featured Kid Rock and Bob Probert. Pittsburgh could counter with Mario Lemieux and a reunion of his buddies from the 1991 and ’92 Cup teams. Bring the kids, we’ll party until at least 9:30.
Note: Perhaps an octopus-taste-test in Detroit counts as a fanfest?
From the Globe & Mail,
How did these teams end up on hockey’s biggest stage? In part, super scouting.
A well-used hockey saying goes like this: “Great players make great coaches.” That’s true.
The corollary: Great scouts make great general managers. (Ask Wings GM Ken Holland.) Take it a step further, and scouts make GMs look good by acquiring the right players either through the draft, trades or signings.
It’s not a secret: Scouting is the life blood of any successful hockey team.
more on the scouting backgrounds of the two finalists
Update 8:11am ET: Dan Rosen at NHL.com has more on team-building on the Pittsburgh side, going back to the Craig Patrick era.
From Dr. Larry Lauer at NHL.com,
The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins now stand four wins away from achieving their mission—winning the Stanley Cup. But just making it to the Stanley Cup Final is an accomplishment. The long journey begins with the preseason, carried through the grind of 82 regular-season games, and then six weeks of physical, intense playoff hockey.
This has to be truly one of most exciting times in a player’s career—the anticipation of a championship, the anxiety of the “what will it be like” and “everyone is watching,” the confidence of having disposed of three tough opponents, and the desire to make an impact in the biggest series of your life.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org