Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The GM spoke a bit with Fleury this week. "We met briefly, but not really in depth as to what the situation is,’’ said Rutherford.
The bottom line is this: I don't think there are enough starts in Pittsburgh to appease both goalies. Would Fleury like to figure out his future this summer, or is he willing to wait another year until the expansion draft? One would think he’d want this settled now. But I don’t know that. Fleury has a full no-move clause and a partial no-trade clause, so his camp has a say in his future.
Teams looking for a starting goalie -- hello Calgary Flames! -- should consider Fleury. While the Anaheim Ducks' Frederik Andersen is appealing because he’s only 26 and still growing into a No. 1, he’s not accomplished like Fleury, who has two Cups under his belt and is coming off a regular season during which he was once again a top-five goalie in the league.
more on Fleury plus some talk on a few big name UFAs...
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 13, 2016 – The six-game 2016 Stanley Cup Final featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks averaged nearly 4 million viewers (3.948 million), making it the most-watched non-Original Six series in 15 years, according to Fast National Ratings by The Nielsen Company.
Game 6, in which the Pittsburgh Penguins won their first Stanley Cup since 2009 with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., averaged 5.407 million viewers, making it NBC’s most-watched non-Original Six Stanley Cup Final game ever. The game is expected to win the night in the advertiser-coveted P18-49 demo (1.9) among broadcast networks when the final numbers are confirmed tomorrow.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
One of the NHL's most polarizing figures of the past decade pinched his eyes to try to stop the tears, the hugs from his family members only making it harder to do so.
Phil Kessel, Stanley Cup champion, playoff warrior, and now forever more seen in a different light.
"I mean, it's an unbelievable feeling, obviously it's special," said the teary-eyed Kessel as his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates celebrated with friends and family Sunday night on the ice at SAP Center following a 3-1, Game 6 win over the San Jose Sharks.
"It's been a journey," Kessel later added, a lump in his throat.
Booed out of Boston and then out of Toronto, the much-maligned and perhaps misunderstood Kessel was clutch all spring long, leading the Penguins in scoring with 22 points (10-12) in 24 games.
Below, watch Kessel's on-ice interview with Jeremy Roenick...
Go behind the scenes and watch the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate their Stanley Cup victory.
Three moments from last night...
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Going into Game 5, the series seemed over. Pittsburgh needed one win to hoist the Cup and had been the better team in the series. The Sharks’ 4-2 win in Game 5 now has everyone wondering if this might be a toss-up series again.
It’s not hard to project the Sharks winning Game 6 with the help of a loud, boisterous San Jose crowd. If it's possible the Sharks could win Game 6, then it's possible they can come back and win the series.
“Before Game 5, (we) kept saying try to win this game and get back to San Jose,” Sharks center Logan Couture said. “Now it’s going to be don’t lose at home, win a game and go back to Pittsburgh.”
One of the NHL’s time-honored beliefs in that Game 7 is always a coin flip.
Given that tradition, the Penguins might now be the team feeling the pressure. They did all they could before Game 5 to say the series was far from over, but that didn't prevent high expectations.
The Sharks have added confidence because they believe they are winning the goaltending battle. San Jose goalie Martin Jones owns a .933 save percentage in the series, while Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray is at .916.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Evgeni Malkin simply said what is on his mind, and probably on the minds of all of his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates, in the aftermath of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
"Yeah, 4-2 we lost, but I think we played a little bit better than San Jose," Malkin said after practice Saturday. "They're a good team, but they were a little bit lucky."
Surely, the Sharks feel differently, but Malkin's point is well taken. The Penguins outshot the Sharks 46-22 and had a 76-36 edge in total shot attempts, including 66-29 at even strength.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
If you are still a Sharks believer, here is the most encouraging sight I witnessed in Pittsburgh: The Sharks players, too, truly do believe they can come back and win the Stanley Cup Final against the Penguins.
That doesn't mean it will happen. Trailing 3-2 in the series, the Sharks still have a mountain to climb, beginning with Game 6 at SAP Center on Sunday. But the mountain trail grew a little less steep after Thursday's victory.
After decades of covering playoffs in every sport, I have learned to respect the words that players say after games but also to realize that players are going to say what they think they should say. More telling is their body language, or the way they say the words, or the subtle messages they sometimes send.
Sharks defenseman Paul Martin spent the 2010-15 seasons with the Penguins before signing as a free agent with San Jose last summer. Martin is a respected pro with the standard solid-and-mannerly personality of a Minnesota native. He's certainly no trash talker. So one of Martin's remarks, buried amid the usual happy-to-win postgame quotes, was interesting.
"It's good to let them know we're still here," Martin said of the Penguins. "We played them pretty well at SAP. I've been over there when they've lost 3-1 leads and lost series."
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Not so fast, Pittsburgh.
That was some demonstration of civic love and anticipation outside the Consol Energy Center and blocks in any direction Thursday night — tens of thousands of fans flooding the streets, gathering around big screens, ready to celebrate the Penguins’ Stanley Cup.
But the San Jose Sharks evidently didn’t get the memo.
The Californians showed an annoying lack of understanding of the script, a total disregard for the spirit of the thing.
Sometime between crawling out of California down 3-1 in games and suiting up for Game 5 in decidedly enemy territory, the Sharks must have figured out that it would be interesting to see what happened if they scored the first goal.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
So you are tired, disappointed, perhaps even angry if you paid thousands for a ticket to get into Consol Energy Center Thursday night?
Get over it.
The Penguins still are going to win the Stanley Cup.
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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