Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Reed at Puck-rakers,
Why are the Penguins 10-1 overall and 7-0 at home in the playoffs? Because they have outrageous depth. Coach Michel Therrien isn’t afraid to play his fourth line in a tie game with less than 12 minutes left.
“That’s huge for us,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “That has been the story for the playoffs so far. Those guys have stepped up. And by “those guys,” I mean, the guys on the third and fourth line have come up with some huge goals, and have played well for us even if they haven’t showed up on the score sheet sometimes. They create a lot of momentum for us. Those guys, they are going to make the difference between winning and losing lots of times.”
from Tom Benjamin’s NHL Weblog,
I don’t think Don Cherry is right when he linked the attendance “problems” in Detroit with their style of play, but I think he does have a point. Despite all the raves about the European style and the “puck possession” game, this group is giving new meaning to the phrase the Dead Wings. The Detroit game is not very entertaining to watch.
from Jamie Fitzpatrick at Jamie’s Hockey Blog,
For all their formidable talent, the Red Wings and Penguins are winning with efficient, well-organized hockey. If they keep it up, we could see an efficient, well-organized Stanley Cup Final. Maybe they’ll serve tea and crumpets.
The first two rounds of these playoffs were fantastic. So what’s the problem?
Are Detroit and Pittsburgh so much better that they can win games at three-quarter speed?
from Mike White at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
John Challis yawned.
“Smiling so much makes me tired,” he said.
A Freedom High School athlete dealing with terminal cancer, John couldn’t stop grinning during his experiences last night at Mellon Arena. The Beaver County teenager’s recent successful at-bat in a varsity baseball game has gained national attention, and last night he was a guest of the Penguins for their National Hockey League playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Penguins brought John, his parents and younger sister, Lexie, to the game in a limousine.
from Bruce Garrioch at Off the Posts,
The talk is Florida Panthers GM Jacques Martin is going to turn to an old friend for the coaching post in the Sunshine State.
Sources told me today that Pittsburgh Penguins assistant Andre Savard has emerged as one of the top candidates for the vacant coaching post with the Panthers.
a little more...
Flyers coach John Stevens and Penguins coach Michel Therrien met with the media earlier today…
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Now that Therrien and the Penguins are within sight of the Stanley Cup final, he is more experienced and wiser than in his early days as a coach—and those stretch to when he was 23, after knee surgery ended his playing career—but he carries the same approach.
“Everybody to some degree changes a little bit, but he keeps the same drive, the same enthusiasm,” said Penguins assistant Andre Savard, who, as the Montreal Canadiens’ general manager, had the displeasure of firing Therrien from his first NHL head-coaching job during the 2002-03 season.
“He wants to win. He wants to be prepared. He works hard to be prepared for the opposition. His drive to win, that hasn’t changed.”
via David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“If you’re not on them when they get the puck and they’ve got room to come at you with speed, they’re going to make magical moves with the puck,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said of Malkin and Crosby. “It’s almost a given that if you give Evgeni Malkin the puck going up the ice at full speed with two wingers on each side of him, he’s going to make moves that are going throw your head around a circle.”
more on the Penguins & Flyers…
Q. Max Talbot was able to practice today, can you give us an update on his status, might he play tomorrow, and, if he can, what will you do with the lineup?
COACH THERRIEN: We’ll see tomorrow. He looked pretty good today. We’ll go through the morning skate and make a decision. We’re going to sit down with him and see how he feels. But it’s nice to see him back practicing with the boys.
Q. Can your team execute its system any better than it did in the second and third period last night?
COACH THERRIEN: You know, we didn’t give up a lot of scoring chance against, and a lot of credit to the players. They really buy into it. When we took that two goal lead, we were tough to play against. It’s just something that we try to teach a lot with that young group through the course of the season to be able to get some success in the playoffs.
We played pretty well. For a team that hasn’t played almost for a week, I thought we were sharp in different situations in the game. But I’m expecting the Flyers will be better tomorrow. There are some areas in their game that I’m expecting that we’ll be better too as well.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Every night Gary Roberts watches, and every night he finds something else to be amazed by.
It isn’t just that Evgeni Malkin scores goals. It’s how he scores. And when he scores. And just about everything else in between.
“He is taking it to a whole new level,” the veteran Roberts said. “Both goals tonight came late in shifts. By then, most of us are dead tired. He’s on the ice a minute, a minute and a half into his shift and he finds the strength. I don’t think he’s human like the rest of us.
“And then he makes these plays ... I’ve never seen anything like him before.”
You have to love the ‘shorty’ by Malkin last night= Watch below…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
When the NHL playoffs started, the Pittsburgh Penguins liked to tell people they could play any way their opponents wanted.
Then they proceeded to back it up. The first round didn’t count, since the Ottawa Senators lay down and died for them, but the New York Rangers found out the Penguins could win in a shootout or a checking game.
But coming into the Eastern Conference final, there was one game the Penguins had not played: a physical, hard-hitting battle along the boards and in front of the net. The Philadelphia Flyers, even if missing top defenceman Kimmo Timonen, brought one of those games last night.
Guess what? The Penguins beat them at that, too.
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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