Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Pittsburgh-Penguins

Both On Top

from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

On Monday night in Washington, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin pushed one another to the highest of levels, raising their games to places only the best can reach. Maybe it wasn’t a Game 7. Maybe it wasn’t the Stanley Cup final. But it was something special, something spectacular, something we can only hope to see again.

When it was over, the home crowd booed as Crosby, who did not appear, was named the second star. I was disappointed in that, and hope those people reconsider. Crosby deserved respect for his brilliance in defeat, as much respect as Ovechkin deserved for his greatness in victory.

The Crosby vs. Ovechkin debate should be retired after this one. If you love sports, you can like both. You can recognize that these are the best young players since Gretzky and Lemieux.

read on

added 7:16am, from John Buccigross of ESPN,

In the opening scene of “Batman and Robin,” Chris O’Donnell (Robin) and George Clooney (Batman) fight Arnold Schwarzenegger and his legion of ice-skating villains. At one point, Robin turns to Batman and says, “This is a hockey team from hell.”

Playing against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in D.C. can sometimes feel like that. Ovechkin, feeding off the energy of the home crowd like a solar panel, becomes a hockey player from hell. On ice. You can tie your CCMs with those laces of irony.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are Pittsburgh’s Batman and Robin fighting Ovechkin and his waves of teammates. Pittsburgh has complementary pieces, but make no mistake, the Penguins will only go as far as Batman and Robin will take them.

continued

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

Your View On The Incident

Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins with a stick to the throat of Capitals goaltender Simeon Varlamov last night…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+kunitz, simeon+varlamov

Enough Of The Hats

from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,

If you’re one of the best hockey players in the world, and you have a potentially undeserved reputation for excessive complaining, and you’re asked what you were discussing with a game official following your rival’s game-clinching playoff hat trick, you could potentially say, “Oh, it was nothing.” Or, if you were feeling frisky, you could venture further afield.

“People kept throwing hats,” Sidney Crosby said tonight. “I was just asking if he could make an announcement to ask them to stop. I mean, the first wave came and then I think they were all pretty much picked up, and then more started coming. So for us, we just wanted to make sure we kept kind of moving and kept the game going, wanted to try to get back in it. So wasn’t complaining about anything.”

continued

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

Afternoon Line

“I would like to sincerely thank Glen Sather and the New York Rangers for giving me the opportunity this past season in New York.  I would also like to thank the Vancouver Canucks and all of their fans for their support over the 11-plus seasons I was a part of their organization, as well as to the Pittsburgh Penguins where I began my NHL career.”

-Markus Naslund in his official retirement announcement.  More at NewYorkRangers.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: markus+naslund

Talk Before Tonight’s Game

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Interesting morning down at the Verizon Center in advance of Monday night’s Game 2. …

• First, it continues to boggle the mind that the NHL chooses not to force the Penguins and Caps—or, frankly, any two teams during the playoffs—to take the morning skate in the same building.

The Caps don’t like to skate at Verizon Center on game days, choosing most often to skate at their practice facility in Arlington, Va. Fair enough, but for the media covering the series—and, really, isn’t it always all about the media?—travel between the two sites on the morning of a game is difficult, not to mention annoying….

continued with more pre-game notes…

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

Pens Need A Better Game From Malkin

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

“I think [my performance] was OK,” Malkin said yesterday, “I felt good. The first game, maybe I was a little bit nervous.

“But next game, [I will] be better. Maybe play a little bit harder, maybe have more hits. Maybe [get] more shots and play aggressive.”

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, asked pointedly to assess Malkin’s work in the opener, never mentioned Malkin in his response, speaking instead to the importance of getting improved play from throughout the lineup.

“We need to get better in the offensive zone, taking pucks to the net and maintaining possession,” he said. “[Washington] did a good job defensively, being aggressive.

“Pretty much every line needs to get better at that for us to do what we think we can do in this series.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

Evening Line

“This is the script- You have a major market. You have transcendent players on both teams. I don’t know if there has ever been a team with three centers as good as Crosby, Malkin and Staal. And this is the most evenly matched series I’ve ever seen in the playoffs. You compare the stars, the lines, the goalies.

“This will go seven games. I don’t know how. But it will.”

-Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis after today’s game.  More on the Caps/Pens series from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+leonsis

Simeon Varlamov Save On Crosby

This save deserves two calls, one from NBC and the other from CBC.

Watch both below…

added 6:22pm, Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insiders quotes a few players and both coaches on the save,

Sidney Crosby:  “I don’t need to discuss [the big stops]. You don’t want to waste those opportunities. You want to take advantage of it. You end up losing the game, 3-2, and you don’t want to look back and say, ‘What if?’ The fact is, it happens in the game. As a player, you have to forget that quickly.”

more

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: simeon+varlamov

Morning Line

In the end, however, we have one general hope for this series: That it doesn’t suck.

That it’s competitive and engaging and unpredictable. That there are flashpoint moments between these teams that shift the momentum in unforeseen ways.

-Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy writing about the anticipated Pens/Caps series.  More from Greg on the matchup…

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

Who Wins Today?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, 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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