Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The hockey season will go on for some Pittsburgh Penguins.
Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Sergei Gonchar will represent their countries at the IIHF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, at the end of the month.
Malkin and Gonchar will represent the home country, which opens play April 27 against Denmark.
continued... no mention of Crosby…
update 1:54pm, from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The NHL’s Art Ross Trophy winner will not defend his World Championship scoring title for Team Canada at this year’s tournament in Moscow.
Crosby will sit out the tournament to let a broken bone in his left foot heal.
“It would have been a huge thrill for me to play for Team Canada again, especially in Moscow, which is a place I’ve always wanted to play,” he said.
from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Sidney Crosby’s NHL season is over, one in which he asserted himself as the league’s No. 1 drawing card and, quite probably, it’s most valuable player.
Most impressively, there really wasn’t a mis-step along the way. The Kid comports himself with class at every turn, even when being baited by Don Cherry or the fans of Montreal.
Now, with his sophomore season in the bag, Crosby faces a tricky decision.
Should he join Team Canada for the upcoming world championships in Moscow?
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Therrien said. “You look at the big picture, it’s a huge step.”
How true, the Pens are on a huge upswing, look out NHL!
added 8:29am, from the Toronto Star,
Even though they lost in the first round of the playoffs, this was more a beginning than an end for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nobody understood that – and how the hockey landscape is about to change – better than Ottawa coach Bryan Murray, whose club had just made short work of the Pens, dispatching them in five games.
“They’re going to be a team you’re not going to want to play in the future,” said Murray.
From David Naylor at the Globe & Mail,
The political gamesmanship is heating up leading into Thursday night’s fifth and potentially deciding game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators.
Although the Senators were penalized five times in a row during Tuesday’s fourth game of the series, Penguins head coach Michel Therrien insists there should have been more handed out to the Senators for their manhandling of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
“We thought there could have been more calls with the hooking and grabbing,” said Therrien. “When you see Crosby getting hooked, when they play him with their hands … Hopefully we’ll get those calls tonight.”
Not to be outdone, Ottawa head coach Bryan Murray believes there are calls his team should be getting from what he perceives as late hits being thrown by Pittsburgh’s Gary Roberts.
From the CP, via TSN,
Mike Comrie is one win away from uncharted territory, the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The 26-year-old Edmonton native is one of the reasons the Ottawa Senators lead their best-of-seven series 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into Game 5 Thursday night.
‘‘He’s been great,’’ said linemate Mike Fisher. ‘‘He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s got a big heart. He’s playing really well and physical, making good plays and being smart. He’s been huge for us. ..
‘‘He’s playing with a bit of an edge.’‘
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
Patrick Eaves’ phone rang in his hotel room Monday and on the other end of the line was Colby Armstrong.
The Penguins winger wanted to make sure Eaves was all right after Armstrong delivered a crushing blow to the Senator in the second period of Ottawa’s Game 3 win on Sunday.
While Eaves wasn’t able to suit up for Game 4 last night, Armstrong wanted Eaves to know he didn’t intend to cause an injury when they collided at the side of the net.
Eaves was taken off the ice on a stretcher. CBC reported he had a concussion, but the Senators have refused to confirm those reports. The club is calling it a head injury, saying Eaves is day-to-day.
From Wayne Scanlan at CanWest News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have an unusual pre-game theme song for a Stanley Cup hopeful -Mission Impossible.
The mission is starting to look just that, impossible, after a 2-1, seat-of-the-pants victory by the Ottawa Senators gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead Tuesday in their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Penguins.
This is usually the point when hockey types start invoking the “stranglehold” word into a playoff series, sometimes carelessly.
from the Globe and Mail,
Evgeni Malkin, the 20-year-old Russian who is thought to have a lock on the NHL’s rookie-of-the-year award but has been invisible in the playoffs, will play tonight with Sidney Crosby, the 19-year-old leader of the Penguins and 39-year-old veteran Mark Recchi.
It is a line Therrien has turned to before with success, and was, in fact, the combination that happened to be on the ice late in Saturday’s Game 2 when Crosby scored the winning goal in Pittsburgh’s only victory.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“The intensity’s there, but it’s not there for 60 minutes, and that’s when we run into trouble,” said veteran forward Mark Recchi, who won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. “We lose our focus for short periods of time, get it back and lose it again. That’s not how you win games in the playoffs.”
The Penguins have had a particularly great amount of trouble in the second period.
In the three games, they’ve been outscored, 6-1, in the second period and outshot, 44-18.
None of the players asked yesterday seemed to know why the middle period has caused them so much trouble.
Ottawa forward Patrick Eaves will not play in Game 4 of the Senators’ Eastern Conference quarter-final with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).
The Ottawa winger didn’t skate in practice Monday, but his teammates said he was up and walking about after Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh, a 4-2 win for the Senators.
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