Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/15/12 at 11:52 AM ET
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
At the morning skate, the players who skated, skated hard, and the players who needed rest, rested. On a wall in the back were dry erase boards with standings and rankings of the best power play and penalty kill. It might have been there to remind them how good they are, but it probably was there more to remind them where they needed work.
On the walls above the lockers were images of the Stanley Cups the franchise has won, and black and white pictures of past heroes. They were there to encourage and to admonish - it depends on if you were looking at them after a win or a loss.
And in the middle of the carpet was a huge Red Wings logo - the kind of logo that many franchises protect with almost military intensity, defying anyone from stepping on it. But Detroit coach Mike Babcock sauntered out and held his morning media debriefing in the middle of the locker room standing on the logo. If he had something to say, he didn’t mind if any player heard it. And, if you didn’t realize it by now, avoiding the disrespect of a logo does not win hockey games…working your butt off every day wins hockey games.
Out on the ice in the game, it was actually quite difficult to tell which were the most important Detroit players. Was it 41-year-old Nick Lidstrom with 24:28 in ice time and one assist? Was it Brad Stuart with 19:21 and a goal. Was it Henrik Zetterberg with a goal or Jiri Hudler with a goal or Johan Franzen with six shots on net?
In all seriousness, couldn’t you have named Niklas Kronwall or Valtteri Filppula or Drew Miller one of the three stars? It was difficult to tell the Red Wings apart at different times.
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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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