Kukla's Korner Hockey
Anyway, post-game press conferences broadcast live at the NHL Network Online.
Update 1:25am ET: Transcripts of interviews with Michel Therrien and Mike Babcock.
Update 1:43am ET: Transcripts of interviews with Petr Sykora, Sidney Crosby and Sergei Gonchar.
Update 2:11am ET: Transcript of a brief interview with Niklas Kronwall.
From the AP via International Herald Tribune:
The world’s top golfer appeared via teleconference on Monday, promoting August’s PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in suburban Detroit. Woods was asked if he was rooting for Detroit or Pittsburgh.
Woods started to laugh, then landed a zinger.
“I don’t really care. Let’s talk about the Dodgers,” the California native said. “I don’t think anybody really watches hockey any more.”
Charming, Tiger. And you don’t want to get me started on my opinion of televised golf—but fortunately, the NHL’s Frank Brown responded with a lot more class than I would have:
“The National Hockey League has enormous respect for Tiger Woods, for all his accomplishments and for his work with the community. We think he’s a great golfer.”
Most seem convinced that the Wings will take the series tonight, including Paul, Bill and Steve (I’m the lone holdout at KK believing Pittsburgh might still have some fight left). But how about everyone else?
Do the Red Wings win it all tonight, or can the Penguins take it back to Pittsburgh for another shot on home ice?
From Terry Frei at ESPN,
In prime time, this could have been an effective infomercial for the NHL and the sport in the United States on NBC, from Game 3 and beyond.
It still can be—if the Penguins stop looking for conspiracy theories, cease being so paranoid about the officiating and can overcome what in some cases seems to be a curious lack of focus, as in Malkin’s case (in the series with the Cup on the line). Maybe, even if it ends Monday night, if the Penguins stop looking like a team that can’t yet handle the ultimate pressures, this still can go down as a great series. If they extend it, it truly can be…
A dream series.
From James Duthie at TSN,
So instead of repeating the ultra-obvious, the “he needs to have another great game tonight” stuff, I set out to discover 10 things you don’t know about Sidney Crosby.
No. 1: One of his nicknames in the dressing room is “Creature,” a nod to his freakish lower body. It is huge. Gigantic. Hugantic. His caboose would make J-Lo jealous. His thighs are bigger than my torso. All his pants have to be custom made. And the scary part is, his upper body is starting to catch up.
Q. It’s a different game, because this is a clinching game. How much does the message change to your players on a night when the Cup could be won?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: Obviously I’m not here to lie. It’s an important game. But for us, all our focus has to be on tonight’s game. We can’t look at what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s a Game 7 for us. And we’ve got to make sure we’re going to leave everything on the ice.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail hockey blog,
Funny moment at the day-of-game skate – funny if you’re a print reporter, less so if you’re a broadcaster:
A handful of TV crews had staked out Tomas Holmstrom’s locker, by the entrance to the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room in the hopes he would definitively declare his status for tonight’s fifth game of the Stanley Cup final. I was standing in the corner, near to the training room, in the vague hopes of getting one question asked to Nicklas Lidstrom before the pack descended. Holmstrom came by, surveyed the crowd, decided he didn’t want to chance it and said, at the top of his voice: “I’M PLAYING TONIGHT. SEE YOU TONIGHT.” Then, he turned and made his way out the back exit. I felt especially badly for Ryan Rishaug of TSN, because he too was hovering nearby, but Holmstrom came and went so quickly, they didn’t get any tape of him making his announcement.
It was a zoo, even by Stanley Cup final standards this morning – everybody anticipating a Detroit win, so that they could a jump on their post-game stories, which are next-to-impossible on a tight deadline on a championship night.
Update 1:30pm ET: Shawn O’Roarke at NHL.com also shares some thoughts on today’s atmosphere.
Q. Michel Therrien has been talking about how as this series has progressed, you guys as a team have gotten better. How do you think you’re better equipped to handle the pressure of maybe playing in this building tonight, than maybe you were heading into Game 1?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think we saw some pretty good results. We haven’t come out with a win in a couple of different occasions where we played pretty well. The chance has been there. Last game, we didn’t give them a whole lot. I think we played our position a lot better as the series has gone on and been more patient. We just have to keep doing the same thing.
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
If the Detroit Red Wings manage to complete their quest for the Stanley Cup tonight and I’m presented with a ballot for the Conn Smythe Trophy, I’m inclined to leave it blank and give it right back to the NHL.
It’s not out of protest or a desire to be a conscientious objector. The fact is, going into Game 5 of the final, I don’t believe anyone deserves to win the Conn Smythe. That could all change with some kind of superhuman performance tonight, but personally, I’m having a hard time coming up with a single player who has delivered an indisputable MVP performance in these playoffs.
continued… and Campbell does take a closer look at the likely candidates
Q. How did you sleep last night given what’s at stake tonight?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Outstanding. Slept really good.
Q. Can you just talk about being in the moment and how locked-in your team is, because this city and the fans are planning a big party tonight, and how your team doesn’t get caught up in any of that?
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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