Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Patrick Redford of Deadspin,
The Tampa Bay Lighting hosted a very well-attended viewing party on Sunday for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Finals series with Pittsburgh. Thousands went to the public showing (around 8,000 attended an analogous event last year), and the team had planned another official party for tonight’s Game 7, only to cancel it yesterday afternoon and encourage fans to head to a different, unofficial event.
The NHL told Deadspin that the Lightning were only allowed to host one official event per series, and that they’d already used up their slot on the Game 5 party. But the Sharks and Blues have each hosted multiple parties during the Western Conference Finals, and sources tell us that the NHL and NBC pressured the team to cancel tonight’s event because of worries about low TV ratings.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
While Murray’s stick did not interfere with the puck or Drouin, he was nonetheless subject to the prescribed minor penalty if Drouin did not score on the play.
Once Drouin’s potential goal was disallowed through review, the clock was reset to the time of the offside play. Rule 78.7 (Coach’s Challenge) is very explicit regarding penalties committed following a missed offside and the eventual scoring of a goal.
NOTE 4 of Rule 78.7 reads: “If one or more penalties (major or minor) are assessed between the time of the ‘Offside’ play and the video review that disallows the apparent goal, the offending team(s) (and responsible Player(s)) will still be required to serve the penalty(ies) identified and assessed, and the time of the penalty(ies) will be recorded as the time at which the play should have been stopped for the “Offside” infraction.”
Once Drouin was found to be offside and his apparent goal disallowed, Murray should have been assessed a minor penalty for throwing his goal stick from within his defending zone. The Tampa Bay Lightning were entitled to a power-play opportunity on this unusual turn of events.
Watch the play below...
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
Call it flat. Call it uninspired. Call it what you will. But be sure you call it this: unacceptable. The Lightning lost Game 6 because it deserved to lose Game 6.
Yes, there was another team on the ice, a Penguins team loaded with talent, a Penguins team that played with determination and desperation as if its season was on the line. Which it was.
But that doesn't completely excuse a Lightning team that lacked the necessary urgency and energy to close out a series that was there for the taking.
Really, Lightning? That's all you have? That's the best you could do? A trip to the Stanley Cup was a mere 60 minutes away in the comforts of your own house and you played most of the night like it was a meaningless game in November, not an elimination game in May?
"They were a desperate hockey team and we didn't match that," Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. "We lose an opportunity there."
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Courage, my word.
The Pittsburgh Penguins stared into the face of possible elimination with a steely-eyed determination. They talked a big game before delivering a big game.
Now both they and the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to play the kind of game you spend a lifetime dreaming about – Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Sixty minutes – and perhaps a bit more – to determine who plays for the Stanley Cup.
“Man, it’s pretty wild,” said Penguins winger Phil Kessel.
It took a focused, precise effort for 40 minutes and a scrambled, breathless mess over the final 20, but the Penguins managed to deliver on Evgeni Malkin’s promise. They’re heading home with a game to play.
Just under 4 minutes long.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Goalie Matt Murray will start for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
The Penguins trail the best-of-7 series 3-2.
After starting 13 straight games, Murray was the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 on Sunday. It was Fleury's first start since he sustained his second concussion of the season on March 31. He made 21 saves in a 4-3 loss, but allowed four goals on the last 14 shots he faced.
Sullivan said he chose Murray as the starter for Game 6 because he believes Murray gives them a better chance to win than Fleury, who clearly seemed to be affected by the seven weeks he went without a start.
"At this particular point in the season we don't have the luxury of allowing players to play through things," Sullivan said. "We have to win a game. We have to win a hockey game. That's how we looked at it."
from Mike Zeisberger of hte Toronto Sun,
...Letang has to be better, both between the boards and between the ears.
When defenceman Trevor Daley broke his ankle in the second period of Game 4, the onus on Letang to carry the load became even stronger now that the Penguins No. 2 defenceman was lost for the remainder of the playoffs. Instead, he was anything but.
Within minutes of Daley’s injury, Letang snapped, shooting a puck at the Lightning forward, then immediately hunting down big-bodied Tampa Bay winger Brian Boyle. With Letang serving a subsequent double minor for his brain drain, Tampa Bay scored a power-play goal to go up 3-0 in a game they would win 4-3.
How is that helping your team?
In Game 5, Letang was on the ice for all four Lightning goals. How is that helping your team?
In both cases, it isn’t. And he didn’t.
Of his dubious minus-4 result, Letang said Monday: “That’s a stat and I certainly didn’t feel that good to look at it, but break down the film, it’s a team game. Some nights I will get plus, and I don’t do anything out there. But certainly, I have to be better, and I have a chance to prove it (Tuesday).”
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Pittsburgh Penguins' goalie debate will continue until at least Tuesday morning.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan did not announce if Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray would be the starting goalie in Pittsburgh's must-win Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final when he met with the media before boarding the charter flight to Tampa on Monday.
The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can close it out in Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
"I'll have a decision in the morning," Sullivan said.
Sullivan called the decision a "tough one" to make.
"It's just a tough circumstance," he said. "We believe in the guys that we have. We think we have quality people. But it's an imperfect situation so all things considered we're trying to make the best decisions that we can, that we think give the best chance to win. That's what we do and that's what we go with. We'll continue to do 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.
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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