Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tony Gallagher at Canwest via the National Post,
Now that the Stanley Cup has been awarded to the Detroit Red Wings and any emotion from any one particular game has faded, we would be remiss if we didn’t seriously ask some questions about what actually took place in that final series with respect to the officiating.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Tribune-Review Penguins beat reporter Rob Rossi offers his Top 10 moments from a memorable 2007-08 Penguins season:
Nov. 22, 2007: Their season possibly on the brink of disarray, the Penguins rallied from 2-0 deficit in Ottawa to defeat the Senators, 6-5, in a shootout. It was a most pleasant Thanksgiving, even though they spent it in Canada, where the holiday is celebrated a month earlier. The Penguins, hyped as Stanley Cup contenders in the preseason, entered this game with an 8-11-2 record. They went 39-16-5 after this win in Ottawa, which players credited as a turning point.
read on for the rest of top-10
And more from Rob Rossi, assessing the impact of this post-season on next year.
From Dr. Larry Lauer at NHL.com
That is the thing with mental toughness – it is not an all or nothing concept. You don’t always have it and you can sure as heck lose it at times. Think of it as a quality that a hockey player needs to excel, but can be enhanced or reduced by the situation and the moment.
Mental toughness is similar to a physical skill such as shooting, skating or passing. It is easier to be tough or perform a skill in practice or low-pressure situations, but when the pressure is cranked up mental toughness, and physical skills, can be negatively affected.
Mentally tough performers like Lidstrom are not invincible. They have doubts. They feel pressure. They become negative. However, the mentally tough performer bounces back quicker and with more conviction.
from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Marian Hossa said for the first time Friday that he will entertain the idea of taking less money to play for a Stanley Cup contender, and believes the Penguins fit the bill as a great team….
“If I wanted to make a couple more dollars, I would probably just re-sign with Atlanta,” said Hossa, whose 12 goals and 26 points in the playoffs were exactly what the Penguins were seeking when they acquired him from the Thrashers on Feb. 26. “But I’m glad Pittsburgh got me here. This was a fun journey for myself, and a great experience. I hope I can stick with a great team like this. ...
From Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,
...there is a brewing problem between coach Michel Therrien and some of his players—a number of them despise playing for him.
No one will choose the Stanley Cup final as a forum to call out their coach but there are far too many whispers out there that too many players can’t stand working for—or with—Therrien.
If that isn’t an issue to be dealt with immediately, it is certainly something that will grow with time. Brooks Orpik, the free agent defenceman who will be coveted by many teams after July 1, has told people he will not re-sign in Pittsburgh if Therrien is the coach. Jordan Staal, the terrific young player who lives in the shadow of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin—but is poised to bust out as one of the most complete centres in hockey—is another Therrien complainer.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
And so the question of the day is this: Will Penguins fans ever get to see their team raise the Cup? Will they some day get to wonder who captain Sidney Crosby will turn to first?
For the moment the answer to those questions rests not with Crosby or Evgeni Malkin or Marc-Andre Fleury or even coach Michel Therrien. The fate of the franchise left their hands Wednesday night around 10:45 and was passed to general manager Ray Shero. It will be the decision-making ability of Shero, steeped in hockey knowledge but an inexperienced GM, that will impact the team’s future the most.
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
The alarm went off at 1:40 in the morning yesterday here in my home in Stockholm. That gave me five minutes to get my head back on straight, and my mind focused on the task at hand. Fortunately, the task was watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
I’ll admit, I hadn’t got up in the middle of the night for all of the Final games. OK, OK, enough, you don’t have to twist my arm. Sure, Game 6 was the first time I was awake at 3 a.m. to see Sid the Kid and “Lidas” battle it out for the Stanley Cup.
From Simon Dingley at CBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Blog,
It is something few reporters experience.
Behind the scenes, at the Stanley Cup final. Outside the winning team’s dressing room in the moments leading up to the trophy being awarded.
Wednesday night during the second period of Game 6, I parked myself beside the Red Wings’ room at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena. Usually I cover NHL games from the press box. But I feared if I didn’t get down to the Wings’ room early, I may not get in at all because of the huge crush of media.
Press Release from the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins set a new team total attendance record with 888,653 fans through 52 games of the 2007-08 regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Penguins’ average attendance through those 52 games was 17,089. Seating capacity at Mellon Arena is 16,940, but the Penguins sell a limited amount of standing-room-only tickets for each game.
The team’s previous attendance record was 847,204 over 53 games during the 1990-91 regular season and playoffs. The average attendance that season was 15,985.
The Penguins have sold out 67 straight games dating back to last season. The 2007-08 season marked the first time in franchise history that the Penguins sold out every game.
Pittsburgh Penguins fans also helped the team raise over $85,000 for the Mario Lemieux Foundation (for cancer and neonatal research) by coming to Mellon Arena to watch playoff road games on the Jumbotron, for a $5 admission fee.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Last night was surely about the Detroit Red Wings and their remarkable organization, now defiantly the class of the Original Six, usurping the unofficial title held for a quarter-century by the Montreal Canadiens after the NHL expanded in 1967.Winners by a 3-2 score last night, they’ve now won four Cups in 11 seasons.
But it was also about Crosby, Malone and the Penguins, very much so. They proved they were more than the ‘83 Oilers, for they weren’t swept, as many feared they would be after Games 1 and 2. They scraped and clawed their way into the final seconds of play last night as a Crosby shot bounced tantalizingly in the crease, but stayed out.
To understand how much players and coaches and every member of an organization pours into taking a serious run at the Cup, you need to sample the atmosphere and emotion of the loser’s dressing room.
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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