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Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Crosby At The Top Of His Game

from Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com,

How many 21-year-olds in the world can claim to be the best in their profession? Actually, how many 21-year-olds are already working in a profession, let alone being the best at what they do?

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is staking his claim as the world’s best hockey player at the young age of 21. His play and poise at such a young age has impressed his peers, including 16-year NHL veteran and linemate Bill Guerin.

“I didn’t realize just how much he does it on a nightly basis. For a young guy to have that sort of consistency, to have that sort of focus is really impressive,” Guerin said. “I know as a young player myself, the consistency part of the game was probably the hardest to get by. He already has that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

(Insert Team Name Here) Will Win If

from NHL.com,

Red Wings will win if... They can stay out of the penalty box. Killing penalties has been a rare Achilles’ heel all season—Detroit was 25th during the regular season at 78.3 percent and has only seen that number get worse as the calendar inches toward June. The quickest way for the Wings to fall behind in this series will be to give the potent Hawks’ offense a bushel of power-play chances on which to unleash their young talent.

Blackhawks will win if... They continue to play fast and work the transition to their advantage. While that may be a tough chore against Detroit, there is something special about this group, particularly on home ice where they are 5-1 in the postseason. The Hawks forced both the Flames and Canucks to play their style of game and it would certainly work to their advantage to force the Red Wings to do the same.

much more...

Penguins will win if... Pittsburgh will win if: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin create matchup problems for the Hurricanes. Let’s face it, these two make it a tough road to hoe for any team. If they get into a game of “Can you top this?” the Penguins will be tough to stop.

Hurricanes will win if... Cam Ward is the best player in this series. The Hurricanes love to play low-scoring, tight games in the playoffs. Paul Maurice calls it being comfortable in the grind, but basically, the Hurricanes want to keep games close so they can stay in their system and exert mental pressure on an opponent, waiting to exploit whatever cracks appear. To do that against the explosive Penguins, Ward will have to be at the very top of his game.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brother vs. Brother

from TSN,

Eric and Jordan Staal are about to go where only the Espositos, the Plagers and the McCrearys have gone before.

When the puck drops Monday night on TSN for the opening game of the Carolina Hurricanes/Pittsburgh Penguins series, it will mark only the fifth time in NHL history that siblings have skated against each other in the Conference finals.  The last time a brother act such as this occurred was in 1974 when Phil Esposito’s Bruins faced Tony’s Blackhawks.  The rarity of the occurrence was not lost on the Staals.

“This is the best time of the year to play hockey,” said Eric in a conference call held by the NHL on Friday.  “When brothers are playing against each other in the Conference finals it’s exciting not only four yourselves but for the rest of your family for sure.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal, jordan+staal

ESPN Conference Finals Breakdown

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

We should know better by now than to underestimate the young bucks from Chicago (we picked Vancouver in seven), but this isn’t about shortchanging them. This is about two greatly talented teams being separated only by experience. The young Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s took down the veteran New York Islanders in their second crack at it. This is Chicago’s first crack at the Big Red Machine. Wings in seven.

much more

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

This one is going to be a ton of fun to watch; but, in the end, the Canes don’t have an adequate answer for Crosby and Malkin. As long as Fleury doesn’t completely lose his mind, the Pens should be able to dictate how things go in this one. Penguins in six.

much more on this series too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Conference Finals Schedule

The National Hockey League today announced the dates for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Finals, which begin in the Western Conference on Sunday, May 17 when the Detroit Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks. The Eastern Conference Final will match the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Carolina Hurricanes and will start on Monday, May 18.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Battle Between Crosby & Ovechkin

from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,

Penguins-Capitals was never merely about a tremendous Stanley Cup series showcasing the NHL’s brightest stars going the distance, one full of riveting theater until an abject dud of a Game 7.

No, to the hard-core traditionalists who view most uber-skilled players from overseas as little more than Euro trash, this was about validating their xenophobia.

Sidney Crosby, the quiet farm boy from Nova Scotia, won; his Pittsburgh team is going back to the Eastern Conference finals. Ovechkin, the YouTube demigod who once pretended his stick was on fire after a goal, got his just dessert.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, sidney+crosby

Pittsburgh Penguins Advance To Eastern Conference Finals

Basically this game was over in the first period.

Too many early turnovers cost the Caps and they never could recover.

This was a great series to watch and sure had the star power to go along with it.

Congrats to both teams.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Keys To Victory

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

How Pittsburgh can win

1. Crosby and Malkin … two is bigger than one
The three big boys in this series—Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin—have more than delivered the goods, combining for 31 points in the series. But let’s do the math. Can the Caps’ Ovechkin win a game by himself? Yes, he can. But if Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin all bring their A-games Wednesday night, it should give the Penguins an edge, given the additional pressure on the Capitals’ defenders and rookie netminder Simeon Varlamov….

How Washington can win

1. The one-man wrecking crew
Yes, we know it’s a team game, blah, blah, blah. But as much as Crosby has been a dynamic force in driving the Penguins forward and overcoming obstacles, Ovechkin has been the same kind of figure on the other side of the ice.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Easy Question…

...hard answer.  Who wins tonight?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Ends Tonight

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals have had more layers than a Russian novel and nearly as many novel Russians.

Crosby and Ovechkin have been brilliant, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin richly compelling, and the bad blood and political rhetoric have been flowing consistently in just the right dosages, not too bitter, not too mild.

Does it have to end tonight?

Fans of both hockey clubs, could they be absent their passion for five seconds, might find meaning in the ancient Jackson Browne lyric finally poked into the pop culture net by Glenn Frey:

We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here ag’in.

more

added 9:07am, from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post,

So tonight, into the specter of Washington Game 7s, enter Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the stars of the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively. As good as this Eastern Conference semifinal series has been—and, impossibly, “it’s lived up to the hype,” Washington forward Brooks Laich said—it is only tonight when it can cement itself as one of the best and most riveting events in Washington sports history.

“It’s what’s going to make these guys great,” Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It’s going to make them remembered. No one’s going to remember who lost Game 7. But they’ve got the ability to—and I told them yesterday—to create history again.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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