Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Daniel Malloy at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Away from the ice, though, the ferocity disappears, replaced by an aggressive philanthropic spirit.
Mr. Laraque doesn’t turn down a request for his time—“There are no bad charities,” he says—and spends about four days a week during the season working in the community, mostly with children.
“A lot of athletes will talk about doing good things, a lot of them do good things, but Georges takes that to an entirely different level,” said Cliff Benson, who has collaborated with Mr. Laraque on various charitable initiatives around town.
“He makes that a purpose in his life. That makes him different from most.”
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
As was the case for Yzerman during his 19 seasons as Red Wings captain, Crosby is focused only on that next hockey game.
That steely focus is one of Crosby’s many attributes Yzerman finds appealing.
“I’ve watched how he conducts himself, and I like the way he plays,” said Yzerman, who retired in 2006 as the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history and a three-time Cup champion. “He’s an extremely talented kid, but he competes hard.
“I’ve been very impressed watching from afar.”
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
I hear the snickers. I read your signs.
You pick on me and you pick on Sidney because I don’t live up to your lofty expectations.
You have this notion in your head that playoff beards have to be wild and unruly. Where does it say a “true” playoff beard has to look like the Cookie Monster’s back hair?
A “beard,” according to my Large-Type Whisker-Friendly Dictionary, is “hair growing on the chin or lower cheek of the face.” Nowhere does it have a thread count or a topographical map.
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
The NHL limited player access Thursday, providing only four Red Wings to answer questions at a news conference, even though Game 4 isn’t until Saturday. The Penguins’ four players, believe it or not, did not include Sidney Crosby. It was downtime, an extra day to rest, extra time to heal. Such conditions provided the ideal opportunity for the NHL to further build a mainstream fan base.
The Wings are entitled to an off day. It’s a long grind, physically and mentally, going this deep into the playoffs. But a sport’s championship series remains its greatest marketing tool, and when you’re blessed with an exceptional second-day talking point like Game 3, you must milk it for every ounce of publicity.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here’s a look at those who range from ghost-like to flat-out invisible in this series heading into Saturday’s Game 4:
Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk
It’s hard to criticize players who still seem to have the puck all the time. And there is the fact that Datsyuk has turned into a human wrecking ball, knocking Ryan Malone into the middle of next season in the second period of Game 3. The pair also shut down the Crosby line in Games 1 and 2.
read on for more MIA players too…
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Not for a minute do I doubt that Saturday night’s Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals will be one of the most arresting spectacles the NHL has seen in years. The Maven urges all hockey fans to watch. Perhaps more importantly, expect the Penguins to do what all those media geniuses said that they could NOT do after Game Two in Detroit, and that is get right back into the series.
Yessiree, Bob, I fully expect the Finals to be tied at two some time before 12:10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
“I don’t know why I have lasted, to tell you the truth,” he said. “There are times I have done some things I thought I was done for, but I’m still here. They must like my suits or something.”
Don Cherry at WTAE in Pittsburgh and video too…
from Empty Netters,
We don’t care what team you root for. If you’re a fan of hockey, you were a fan of that game last night. That was perhaps the best final game since Game 1 of the 2006 final between Carolina and Edmonton (AKA, the “Ty Conklin” game). There was end-to-end action. Big shots, big saves, even bigger hitting. When you tune in on television or plunk down your money to attend a game, you want games like that.
The hitting was intense but clean. The sport is never more beautiful to watch than when two teams are doing everything to beat the daylights out of each but not resorting to the cheap stuff like the Penguins initiated at the end of Game 2.
Q. Mike, you have a younger, bigger team than Detroit. Brooks was up here earlier talking about how you had hoped to make this a long series, and if so, that you thought you could pound them a little bit and take advantage of the fact that they’re an older team. Can you talk about that a little bit?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: There’s no doubt we want to be physical. And we’re both here to play a physical game. But honestly, we’re taking - the way I see it, we’ll take it game by game. And we’ll see at the end where the result’s going to be.
One thing for me that I see, our team, first of all, is getting better every game. Our team is getting more comfortable every game. Our team’s got more confidence every game.
Update 1:01pm ET: Interview with Ryan Whitney & Brooks Orpik now added below.
Q. What do you feel like you did better in Game 3 than you had done in the previous two games, and what do you feel like you have to do better still in Game 4?
ADAM HALL: Well, I think we were just able to do a better job limiting our turnovers and forechecking, and I think that was kind of a key to help creating more offense for us.
MAXIME TALBOT: Yeah, we made some little adjustments. And obviously I think that the desperation in and the crowd got us going. Yes, we had a little slow start, but I think after that yesterday it was a cliche but we talked about getting the first goal, and that was huge for us. And we got it, and it was a different game for us. Because it’s easier to play, when you play against the Detroit Red Wings and they have the lead, it’s kind of hard to come back because they’re so smart and experienced.
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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