Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Robin Collum in the Edmonton Journal, the words of John Osgood:
“I’m a hockey dad, so I know it’s a 60-minute game, and I knew that in Detroit in Game 5 when they scored in the last minute to extend the series.
“So in the last minute in Pittsburgh when it was 3-2 and everybody was up cheering, I was sitting. I was watching the screen, and it was 5.2 seconds left, and the puck was at centre ice, so I risked standing up and starting to celebrate,” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, it’s a two-one-one down low, Crosby’s got the backhand, Hossa’s got the puck and throws it through the crease.
“But it worked out and it was so emotional, but a sense of relief, too, that it was over. I think I was more nervous than Chris was.”
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers in the Columbus Dispatch,
The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t be able to keep their Stanley Cup runner-up club together because of salary cap issues. It looks like the Blue Jackets are prepared to offer a helping hand.
The two clubs have had preliminary trade talks, the Dispatch has learned. The discussions have involved Pittsburgh trading the rights to one or two of their pending unrestricted free agents—players the Penguins have decided they can’t keep because of the salary cap—to the Blue Jackets for draft pick or player compensation.
It’s unclear who the players are, but Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik seem like logical choices.
John Buccigross’ final column of the season. From ESPN:
As fans of the game who give our money and time to the sport, this should make us proud. Nothing comes easy or cheap on the road to the Stanley Cup. Our champion is 100 percent deserving. This is also true for NCAA hockey, Canadian Junior, Minnesota high schools and every hockey trophy from mite to beer leagues.
Staying away from “boom thinking” has kept the Red Wings consistently excellent from top to bottom. Their portfolio has netted four Stanley Cups since 1997. They live in an old, rundown ranch, but they have no mortgage payments and, thus, live below their means.
From Pierre McGuire at Sports Illustrated,
The NHL got a dream finals this spring: Its biggest star, Sidney Crosby, facing the Red Wings, perhaps its most entertaining team. After getting essentially anonymous matchups in 2006 (Carolina-Edmonton) and ‘07 (Anaheim-Ottawa), the league can now hope (off the record, of course) for a Penguins-Wings rematch in 2009. Here’s a look at each team’s off-season challenges.
Red Wings: Though nine of last season’s regulars were 35 or older, don’t expect this deep team to drop off.
Plus SI’s Michael Farber reflects on the series and its fantastic finish.
From Tony Gallagher at Canwest via the National Post,
Now that the Stanley Cup has been awarded to the Detroit Red Wings and any emotion from any one particular game has faded, we would be remiss if we didn’t seriously ask some questions about what actually took place in that final series with respect to the officiating.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Tribune-Review Penguins beat reporter Rob Rossi offers his Top 10 moments from a memorable 2007-08 Penguins season:
Nov. 22, 2007: Their season possibly on the brink of disarray, the Penguins rallied from 2-0 deficit in Ottawa to defeat the Senators, 6-5, in a shootout. It was a most pleasant Thanksgiving, even though they spent it in Canada, where the holiday is celebrated a month earlier. The Penguins, hyped as Stanley Cup contenders in the preseason, entered this game with an 8-11-2 record. They went 39-16-5 after this win in Ottawa, which players credited as a turning point.
read on for the rest of top-10
And more from Rob Rossi, assessing the impact of this post-season on next year.
From Dr. Larry Lauer at NHL.com
That is the thing with mental toughness – it is not an all or nothing concept. You don’t always have it and you can sure as heck lose it at times. Think of it as a quality that a hockey player needs to excel, but can be enhanced or reduced by the situation and the moment.
Mental toughness is similar to a physical skill such as shooting, skating or passing. It is easier to be tough or perform a skill in practice or low-pressure situations, but when the pressure is cranked up mental toughness, and physical skills, can be negatively affected.
Mentally tough performers like Lidstrom are not invincible. They have doubts. They feel pressure. They become negative. However, the mentally tough performer bounces back quicker and with more conviction.
from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Marian Hossa said for the first time Friday that he will entertain the idea of taking less money to play for a Stanley Cup contender, and believes the Penguins fit the bill as a great team….
“If I wanted to make a couple more dollars, I would probably just re-sign with Atlanta,” said Hossa, whose 12 goals and 26 points in the playoffs were exactly what the Penguins were seeking when they acquired him from the Thrashers on Feb. 26. “But I’m glad Pittsburgh got me here. This was a fun journey for myself, and a great experience. I hope I can stick with a great team like this. ...
From Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,
...there is a brewing problem between coach Michel Therrien and some of his players—a number of them despise playing for him.
No one will choose the Stanley Cup final as a forum to call out their coach but there are far too many whispers out there that too many players can’t stand working for—or with—Therrien.
If that isn’t an issue to be dealt with immediately, it is certainly something that will grow with time. Brooks Orpik, the free agent defenceman who will be coveted by many teams after July 1, has told people he will not re-sign in Pittsburgh if Therrien is the coach. Jordan Staal, the terrific young player who lives in the shadow of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin—but is poised to bust out as one of the most complete centres in hockey—is another Therrien complainer.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
And so the question of the day is this: Will Penguins fans ever get to see their team raise the Cup? Will they some day get to wonder who captain Sidney Crosby will turn to first?
For the moment the answer to those questions rests not with Crosby or Evgeni Malkin or Marc-Andre Fleury or even coach Michel Therrien. The fate of the franchise left their hands Wednesday night around 10:45 and was passed to general manager Ray Shero. It will be the decision-making ability of Shero, steeped in hockey knowledge but an inexperienced GM, that will impact the team’s future the most.
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.
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