Kukla's Korner Hockey
Update 1:11pm ET: Added another interview to this post. Below you’ll find words from Niklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg.
Q. Chris, this week all your teammates and coaches have been saying that your ability to bounce back from losses or bad goals and things like that is really one of your strengths. How do you do that so easily, and last night is a game that’s easier or tougher to get past?
CHRIS OSGOOD: It’s over. We didn’t come into the series thinking we were going to win four straight. We were hoping to. But to say we expected it to be a hard series would be right on. Just play the game tomorrow. I mean, the next day, just keep doing the same thing as I’ve been doing. That’s about it. I haven’t really put any thought into last night, this morning.
I thought it was a real good game. Both teams played real well, and somebody has to win and lose every night. We were on the short end last night.
Q. If I could get you both to comment on this. Mike Babcock came in this morning, the morning after a loss, jovial with the media and joking. Can you talk about the way he kind of sets the mood for the team and kind of understands when to go at you and when to give you your space and how his feelings for that kind of thing?
Q. You mentioned last night that you thought you’d overplayed Datsyuk and Zetterberg, if I understand that. Can you explain what you meant and maybe talk a bit about how you assess their play through the first three games and maybe what you’d like to see from them going forward?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, our plan going into the game last night was, if you look at the game sheet, was to have our shifts at 35 seconds.
So you say that as a coach, you know that means 40. When they end up at 51 seconds and you pile that on over a period of time, 29 or 28 shifts end up to be too many minutes.
Don’t get me wrong. These guys are elite, elite players and they’re trying to win. And sometimes in doing that, instead of just doing your part, you’re on the ice too much.
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
Let’s make this as simple as possible. Should the Pittsburgh Penguins win Game 4 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, this series is going seven games. If the Pens lose game 4, this series is over in five games and that other team is declared the winner of the Cup by an ever-so-slight margin — the voting wil be that close!
This series is all about the Penguins. How they play will determine the Cup winner. If they play poorly, the team they are playing will be awarded the Cup. If they continue to play like they did last night in Game 3, they will win the Cup. The other team has no control of this series; it is all about Pittsburgh.
Sometimes I even forget who the Penguins are playing and as most of the media reports today prove, it is all about the Penguins.
Update 12:50pm ET: And more from Marty Henwood at Hockey.com:
Don’t yank that plug just yet. No need to call in the priest, either. Last rites on the Pittsburgh Penguins can wait.
The beak still has a little twitch in it.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
But they barely survived by a margin as thin as Crosby’s unfortunately wispy beard, and weren’t even the best team on the ice.
In what was the most physically intense and entertaining game of the three played so far, the series began to live up to its hype and promise.
Crosby, freed from having to play against five-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom on every shift, was the first of the many stars on either club to actually play like a star.
But while the Penguins showed desperation in winning their 17th straight home game, the Wings were still superior, outshooting the home side 16-5 in the final period as Michel Therrien’s team frantically tried to hang on to victory.
Don and Barry liked the play of Pitsburgh last night.
Watch below and note, the video is a bit choppy at times…
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
“I see the train a comin’. It’s rolling down the track. It’s the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hopes on Sidney Crosby’s back.”
OK, sorry, a little too much lyrical license there, but you get the point. In the most pressure packed moments of his still young NHL career, Crosby answered the call, shouldered the load, took his game to the next level or any other cliché you want to apply.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
The Pittsburgh Penguins deserve plenty of credit for the gutsy, gritty, inspired performance that produced Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals at Mellon Arena.
That’s the good news for Pittsburgh.
The bad news is the Penguins must duplicate that effort three more times in order to wrest the Stanley Cup away from Detroit.
While the Red Wings dominated and won the opening two games of the series in Detroit handily, Pittsburgh’s narrow triumph came in a game that easily could have gone either way.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
The biggest difference for the Penguins in Game 3 compared to the first two contests was their ability to get the puck deep in Detroit’s zone and keep it there. At the morning skate, a number of Pens said their goal was to generate scoring chances off the down low cycle and that is exactly what they did.
In fact, Pittsburgh’s constant pressure caused the Red Wings to make to make several bad passes up the middle, many of which were intercepted and allowed the Penguins to re-establish pressure in the Detroit end.
from Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Turns out the Detroit Red Wings might not be a team for the ages. Might not be just about flawless in every phase of the game. Might not be coached by the greatest tactician and motivator in NHL history.
It probably came as a surprise to some, particularly those in Michigan, but the Red Wings will not win the Stanley Cup in four games. In fact, they might not win it at all.
Transcript from the post-game Q&A with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock after game #3.
Q. You outshot them by a pretty big margin early on. I think it was 9‑1, or 9‑2. How much of a role did that play in tonight’s outcome? Do you think things would have ended differently if you got one early?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I think tonight we got off to a pretty good start on the road. I thought we were under control. Then I thought they had a pretty good push after a timeout, scored a goal. And I thought they controlled the next, I don’t know, 20 minutes of the game.
And then I thought we battled back pretty good. The third goal was a tough one for us to give up, just because it makes it hard to come back. But I thought we had a good push at the end.
The other thing, I didn’t think we used our bench good enough tonight. I thought the specialty teams were early. I don’t know if we used enough guys.
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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