Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Morrison of Sportsnet with the feature...
Metallica will perform the national anthem prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC TVA Sports). The Sharks trail the best-of-7 series 2-1.
The heavy metal band comprised of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Rob Trujillo will rock the Shark Tank for a good cause. The guitars used by Hetfield and Hammett during the performance will be signed by the members of the band, displayed on the concourse during the game and then donated to the Sharks Foundation to be auctioned off.
Early in May of this year, they plaed the National Anthem at a San Francisco Giants game, watch below...
People within the NHL’s hockey operations department have been wishful-thinking forever about getting the season wrapped up by the end of May, but the owners don’t want to start in September, still fearful that their product isn’t good enough to compete for even more autumn weeks with high school, college and pro football, baseball pennant races and whatever else might erode the puck ratings.
So they play into June, and now that every month on the planet Earth is the hottest on record, you can pretty much take it to the bank that the NHL’s ice doctor, Dan Craig, is not going to be able to produce a mid-season-quality surface during the annual heat wave, no matter how much cold air he pumps in, how many de-humidifiers he hooks up.
-Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun where you can read more on the ice conditions in the Stanley Cup Final.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer doesn’t need any miracles in his quest to win the Stanley Cup.
He’s already had one of those in his life.
His son Matt.
On this particular Sunday afternoon, while DeBoer is at the podium addressing the media at the team’s Sharks Ice practice facility, Matt is just a slap shot away on one of the adjoining rinks.
The same Matt that his dad refers to as “a miracle.”
While DeBoer’s entire focus right now is on finding a way to tie up this best-of-seven Stanley Cup final against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 Monday night, he’ll also be the first to tell you that he is blessed to have such a strong support system on hand to enjoy the ride, including wife Sue, sons Matt and Jack, and daughter Abby, who is scheduled to arrive Monday.
All have flown in to be with DeBoer in what they hope ends in the hoisting of hockey’s most coveted prize.
And then there is his other family member, the one who works with him, lives with him and, most importantly, is the person who always watches out for him while DeBoer’s blood relatives are back at their home in New Jersey.
That would be Steve Spott, Sharks assistant coach and Pete DeBoer’s best friend.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Sometimes it really can’t be much fun being an NHL scoring star.
Here’s what happens: You get to the Stanley Cup Final, the ice is either slushy or bouncy, they don’t call any penalties (which frees up the grinders to foul the skilled without consequences), and you’re usually going up against world-class defenders every shift.
Then, if you don’t score, everyone wants to know what’s wrong.
Not a big game player, huh? Can’t handle the big stage, huh? Not willing to go to the tough areas, huh?
The best of the best, of course, shrug all this off as part of the job, and the smartest accept it as part of the huge dollars they command in salary. What helps is that sometimes, like in this Stanley Cup Final, the star scorers of the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins have all vanished — at least from the scoresheet.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
-For the first time, the Penguins lost the possession battle. They had a ton of shots (42) but in terms of shot attempts 79-76. That's not a huge difference but considering the Penguins won that battle in Game 1 (67=58) and Game 2 (59-49), it's room for concern.
-The Penguins really had trouble going through the neutral zone. In Games 1 and 2, they seemed to overwhelm the Sharks with their speed. Tonight, the Sharks seemed much more prepared for what the Penguins threw at them.
-Another area the Penguins seemed to have trouble with was their chip plays. Since they have so much speed, they usually just chip the puck up ice behind the defensemen and let guys like left winger Carl Hagelin, right winger Phil Kessel and others just outrace the defense to the puck. Tonight, it seemed like the Sharks did an effective job of just reading those plays and got to those pucks first.
-The ice was really bad tonight. We know the standard response is "Both teams play on it" but one of these teams is clearly faster than the other. That said, the Sharks seemed to do a much better job of adjusting to the conditions.
-From what we were told, today was an exceptionally humid day for San Jose. It's usually hot but dry here. Today, there was a good deal of humidity. And given that SAP Center is one of the older buildings in the NHL, we can't imagine this was ideal conditions for hockey.
-The Penguins blocked nearly as many shots (38) as they took (42). Blocked shots are a sign of bravery and commitment to your team. It's also a sign of not having the puck a bunch.
much more on both teams...
from Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea,
For all the people who reflexively said “We have a series” when Joonas Donskoi’s brilliantly lifted roof-job beat Matt Murray 12:18 into overtime in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, let us caution you.
What we have here is a series worth continuing with.
Donskoi’s goal, which completed an unlikely San Jose comeback and gave the Sharks a 3-2 win to shave the Pittsburgh Penguins’ advantage to 2-1, came at the end of a wide-open, chance filled extra period that finally produced for us a game reflective of the relative levels of the teams involved.
In other words, the Sharks, who had been much the inferior side through much of the series, finally became competitive in the pursuit of loose pucks, zone time and general in-your-facetude.
And conversely, the Penguins, who had it all their own way through much of the first two games and enough of the third, are now fully engaged with the notion that this will not be a gentle walk to the podium.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Joonas Donskoi had been dreaming about this moment almost as long as San Jose Sharks fans.
You see, basically from the minute he was born back on April 13, 1992 – days before the end of the Sharks’ inaugural season – he’s been obsessed with the NHL. The youngest of three boys, he had a hockey stick in his hand much earlier than most.
“I’ve always been crazy about hockey,” Donskoi told Sportsnet a couple days before scoring the biggest goal in Sharks history.
“It’s my No. 1 passion. Right away when I learned to speak I was speaking about the NHL. I’ve been playing all the time hockey. It’s just a passion for me. It’s been a lot of hard work and I never thought it would become a reality for me.”
He’s hardly alone there.
After being drafted by Florida in the fourth round six years ago, he was never signed. Heck, it barely made a ripple when the Sharks emerged from a couple interested NHL teams to get his signature on a free agent contract in May 2015.
Even they figured he would spend time in the American Hockey League this season. Wrong.
Watch the goal below, in Finnish...
Sharks win in OT, Pens lead the series 2-1.
Game 4 on Monday night.
added 11:45pm, Watch the Donskoi OT goal below...
The game starts around 8:10pm ET and is on NBCSN, CBC and TVAS.
You know the story, the Penguins are up 2-0 in the series and tonight the Sharks need to get back into the series with a home win.
Tomas Hertl is out for San Jose with a lower-body injury and Dainius Zubrus will take his place in the lineup.
Feel free to discuss the game.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org