Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A year ago, the hockey world observed Sidney Crosby as though he were a brand new organism unearthed in the excavation of some long-forgotten hockey rink.
As the teenage scoring sensation and anointed savior of the game prepared for his first playoff series against Ottawa, we poked and prodded and mostly wondered. How would the league’s scoring champ adjust to life in the pressure cooker of the postseason? What could he accomplish? How would he lead his team? Where would he lead his team?
Remember the story about two months ago regarding Marc-Andre Fleury changing the color of his goalie pads?
Well, it turns out the Doctor who made the suggestion is a Sens fan….
from AFP via Yahoo,
A Canadian optometrist has unwittingly given the Pittsburgh Penguins an advantage going into their opening National Hockey League playoff game Wednesday against her darling Ottawa Senators.
Optometrist Janet Leduc wrote in a letter to the Penguins’ coaching staff some months ago that their goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, could improve his game if he ditched his trademark yellow pads.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The very banging and battering the Penguins wanted to avoid from the Flyers can serve as an equalizer in this series for the undermanned Senators. They just need to bring it. Schubert, Chris Neil, Martin Lapointe, Cody Bass, Shean Donovan, Mike Commodore and Anton Volchenkov will be key players for Ottawa.
They have to frustrate the skilled Penguins. They have to throw them off their game. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Hossa, Petr Sykora and Sergei Gonchar have to be targeted. They cannot be allowed to free-wheel without concern or they will roll right over the Senators.
Crosby’s got a bad RIGHT ankle? How will it stand up to a two-hander? The Senators have to find out.
via Bruce Garrioch at Off The Posts,
Asked what he thought about the Penguins tactics by sitting Sidney Crosby Sunday, Murray stated what I thought.
“I knew what was going on,” said Murray. “You guys all know they wanted to play Ottawa. That’s fine. That was fairly obvious from the drop of the puck.”
Emails start flowing in while I am trying to enjoy a nice little cook-out going on at the home-front.
Philly fans stating Crosby doesn’t want to playa against the big bad Flyers, blah, blah, blah!
Smart move in my opinion by the Pens. Better to have Sid as close to 100% for the first game of the playoffs and he does need rest.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Given the combative nature of his team’s rivalry with the Philadelphia Flyers this season, Penguins coach Michel Therrien urged referees working Sunday’s regular-season finale not to swallow their whistles.
“We want to make sure that the referees and the league will call the right penalties,” Therrien said Friday. “You saw a game (Thursday), Toronto-Ottawa, (Senators captain Daniel) Alfredsson got hit to the head. You don’t want to see those types of things happen just before the playoffs. You have a team that’s out of the playoffs (Toronto) and has nothing to lose.”
from Scott Morrison of Viewpoint at CBC,
The Pittsburgh Penguins are for real. Very much for real, actually.
And in a conference in which any of the eight teams that ultimately make the playoffs have a reasonably good chance of going all the way to the final - where they will lose to the Western Conference winner, of course - there are signs that perhaps the Penguins are just a little better than the rest.
Now, that isn’t entirely born out statistically, given they are tied with the Montreal Canadiens for first overall and have been playing at roughly the same clip for the past dozen or so games.
from Japers’ Rink,
Add another vote to the “Ovechkin for MVP” campaign, this from rival Evgeni Malkin:
“I still have chances to become the MVP this season, however I am sure that Alexander Ovechkin is the best player in NHL this season and he will win this award.”
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadiens and the Penguins are tied atop the Eastern Conference with 100 points each and Montreal has only one chance of moving up to the top spot and that’s by finishing with more points in the standings.
With each team having two games to play, the Penguins hold the tiebreaker, because they have one more victory.
But Christopher Higgins said he’s excited about the possibility of winning the conference because “you don’t get too many chances to do that in your career. I think the last time I finished first was in my junior years in high school.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Let’s face it, while we’ve seen some spectacular goals in Crosby’s 3 seasons in the NHL, goal scoring doesn’t come easily for this young phenom.
He’s incredibly strong on the puck and loves to battle physically.
One on one, he’s hard to beat.
Among the leagues great playmakers, he might be the greatest.
However, when it comes to scoring goals, Crosby isn’t great…he’s good.
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.
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