Kukla's Korner Hockey
Q. I guess is there any concern about Malkin and Sykora for tomorrow?
COACH THERRIEN: They should be ready for tomorrow. They should be there.
Q. Is it just a sickness?
COACH THERRIEN: A sickness. And we believe at this time of year rest sometimes can be more important than practice, and they should be there tomorrow.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Seems hard to believe that about a week ago Malkin was being talked about as possibly the best player in the game. He was mentioned frequently as a leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the MVP of the playoffs. While Sidney Crosby struggled to score, Malkin was a goal-scoring machine.
But look what he has done lately. His only point in the past three games was the second assist on Malone’s score that gave the Penguins a two-goal lead midway through the third period of Game 3. He has managed only seven shots on goal in those three games, compared to 10 in the final game against the New York Rangers. He has been charged with eight giveaways.
There’s no Conn Smythe candidacy in those numbers.
More talk from the coaches today, this time from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Michel Therrien. Here’s the transcript.
Q. I was wondering if you could assess Evgeni Malkin’s play the last three games of this series? What have you seen in him the last three games?
COACH THERRIEN: Yeah, you know what, he hasn’t been productive like he was in the past. But he’s going to have to find a win next game to make sure he’s going to be productive like he used to be as soon as the playoffs start.
Some questions for Philadelphia Flyers coach John Stevens today.
Q. Can you talk about what Kimmo will mean not just on the ice, but off the ice in the room if he does come back and play on Sunday?
COACH STEVENS: Well, he’s a huge part of our team. I mean, through this year he’s progressed and in the playoffs he’s really taken his game to another level. I think just his presence around our team all year, he’s got deep respect by all his teammates. He just has composure all the time. I think that’s infectious on our team.
from Doubt About It,
So no, my problem isn’t with the Flyers. Not their players, and not even their fans. The fights at the end of the game? Whatever. It happens. My problem is with Versus tonight. It is bad enough to watch your team lose in the playoffs, but it is even worse when you have to basically listen to the opposing team’s broadcast.
Think I am being overzealous? Consider that when the Flyers played in Pittsburgh, Versus showed footage of Flyers fans in bars at Philly. Was similar footage shown of Penguins fans Tuesday night or tonight? Unless I missed it on the way to the fridge or the John, I dont think so. Nothing. Nada. Instead they showed all the Flyers fans signs and continually remarked how “funny Flyers fans are”.
thanks to the Pensblog for the pointer…
Don Cherry at ESPN wonders why Crosby and Malkin were on the ice with ten seconds left in the game.
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Forget about this one. Burn the tape.
That needed to be the Penguins’ mind-set the instant the buzzer sounded on their 4-2 loss Thursday night.
Forget about the retaliatory penalties, the phantom penalties, the ghastly turnovers and the failure to clear the front of the net early in the game.
Forget about the rowdy, hostile crowd that must have launched into its beloved “Crosby Sucks!” chant 10 times or more.
Forget about a wasted chance to not just eliminate the hated Flyers but humiliate them with a sweep and a post-series handshake on their home ice.
Q. You had talked all series about the team’s execution offensively. Do you think something in their minds was different for this game? A little less nervousness, perhaps, or they had nothing to lose?
COACH STEVENS: Yeah, but I just thought we’d come out with real good energy. We were skating with the puck. We got pucks, we didn’t just get pucks through the neutral zone, we had speed after the puck, which I thought made a difference. We got our power play, we started shooting the puck again. You know, I think we were trying to pass the puck to the net.
They’re a very good penalty killing team, and sometimes you don’t score on the initial shot, but you create secondary chances at the net. I thought the power play did that early, and really gave us momentum. Obviously, getting the lead was big for us, but we did some really good things in the game, especially early.
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo! Sports,
Malone’s father Greg also played for the Penguins, which is why Ryan grew up in Pittsburgh. Greg Malone, a New Brunswick native, also played for Quebec and Hartford and is now a scout for the Phoenix Coyotes after many years as a Penguins scout.
So not only did Ryan Malone grow up a Penguins fan, he literally grew up hanging around the team. “You definitely feel lucky,” Malone said. “I would have happily played anywhere but it’s an extra bonus to play for the team I grew up with. I’m privileged.”
Just how long he’ll be wearing that uniform remains to be seen. He’s an unrestricted free agent July 1 and his career-best season, 27 goals and 51 points, would fetch him a handsome raise over the US$1.45 million he made this season. Perhaps as much as $4.5 million on the open market. That will likely be too much money for a Penguins team that is looking to get star centre Evgeni Malkin to sign a rich, new extension this summer…
James_Taipei: Seth, if you were a betting man would you bet on the Penguins to close out the series today?(p.s. I don’t want to place a bet.)
Seth Rorabaugh: I’d stick money on it. They don’t want to extend this series any more than it has to.
steve_downie: Am i sitting tonight? I just wanted to know if my cheapshot on Sykora is going to be my final appearance of the series.
Seth Rorabaugh: I think the Flyers would be better off dressing 19 players than having you in the lineup. No offense.
*Be sure to check out Empty Netters later on, since Seth will probably be doing a liveblog of the game tonight. Fun is usually had by all.
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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