Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The original Motor City hit man was Thomas Hearns. You may remember him: Kronk gym, seven times a world champion, all those memorable fights with Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler, a local folk hero.
The new Motor City hit man is Niklas Kronwall: originally from Stockholm, older brother of Maple Leafs’ farmhand Staffan, injured for most of his first four NHL seasons, now starring in the Stanley Cup finals as the Kron “Wall of pain.’
The media had some questions today for Penguins coach, Michel Therrien. Transcript is below.
Q. A couple of your players last night after the game said that they thought the style that you guys had used to great success to get to this point wasn’t working because of what Detroit was doing. What can you do as a coach to switch up the strategy on this? Does it need to be switched up?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: First of all, you’re not coming to the Stanley Cup Final and start to change all your system. It takes years that players feel comfortable. That’s not the way it works.
You have give credit to the Red Wings. They played well. They played well in their building. This is a tough place to play. Yesterday, I liked our work ethic. I think our intensity was there. We have all the reasons in the world to be optimistic as well for Game No. 3. As good as the Red Wings is in their building, we are as good at home, too.
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
The NHL is awash in sparkling new revenue-generating arenas with cozy locker rooms, plush luxury boxes and dazzling video scoreboards.
Visitors to Detroit’s 29-year-old building get very little of that kind of modernity. What they do find, however, is a loyal, energetic fan base with a high hockey IQ and a wealth of popular — if unusual — traditions.
Every fans who has caught a playoff game along the Detroit River knows about octopi flying toward the ice, rousing national anthem renditions by local songstress Karen Newman and goofy aisle dances by superfan “Mo Cheese” and his Stanley Cup hat.
more and Mellon Arena talk too…
from John Glennon of Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
Casual hockey fans tuning in to see the magic of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin must be wondering just what the fuss is all about. Crosby at least managed six shots on goal on Monday, while Malkin (zero shots on goal, minus-two rating) continued to perform as if he’s in some type of witness protection plan.
Hockey fans who’ve watched the Wings play all season have become somewhat accustomed to Detroit’s suffocating, puck-possession style. But still, is the Penguins’ effort thus far really the best the Eastern Conference can offer?
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
The mood after the Red Wings’ 3-0 victory in Game 2 was one of domination. Except for the first seven minutes of the first game, the Wings have been able to play their game and the Pittsburgh Penguins have not been able to get anything going. My description of the Wings when they are on their game is they skate their opponents into mistakes and frustration. The Wings are always moving their legs, forcing the play and have all the momentum going into Game 3.
The Penguins must win Game 3 to have any shot at extending this series past five games. First thing they must do is figure out how to score a goal, any kind of goal.
Update 2:45pm ET: Mike Brophy at The Hockey News also writes on this theme today.
The question now is not can Pittsburgh win a game, but rather will they ever score a goal?
From the Washington Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have re-signed right wing Matt Bradley to a three-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
More from Tarik El-Bashir, the Capitals Insider at the Washingon Post.
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Every executive I’ve spoken to over the past month says they’re convinced the Anaheim Ducks will at some point this summer free Burke from his obligations and allow him to join the Leafs.
“He’ll be there,” is a common refrain, “and he’ll be there this summer.”
Sometime around June 25, five days after the draft, is the over-under date for most executives.
Burke still hasn’t signed his contract extension and apparently has no intention of doing so. The thinking is that rather than having a lame-duck GM hanging around who clearly doesn’t want to be there, the Ducks will finally tell Burke if he wants to go to Toronto that badly, then he’d best be on his way.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Domination is the only word required to describe the Detroit Red Wings performance over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two games of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Red Wings have owned the Penguins in almost every aspect of the game thanks to a strong team system based on puck possession, skill, speed, discipline, patience and physical hard work.
From Michael Farber at SI.com’s Rinkside Blog,
The sound you heard after Detroit’s ditto 3-0 victory Monday was all the people clicking off their Versus telecast of the game, at least by folks who can find the NHL’s subterranean cable partner. NBC picks up the Stanley Cup final with Game 3, which looks like the network is getting the rights to air Titanic but only after the ship is halfway submerged. Still, The Peacock will be cranking up the hype machine at any moment:
“See Sidney Crosby, the future of the NHL, as he tries to escape the straitjacket of the Detroit Red Wings! Harry Houdini did it. Why not Sid? Can the Penguins win a game? Can the Penguins score a goal? See it live on NBC, Wednesday at 8 p.m.”
Of course, there have been soporific starts to recent Stanley Cup finals, including a pair of 3-0 shutouts in the opening two games of the 2003 match between Anaheim and New Jersey when apparently the Mighty Ducks were not informed the final had actually begun. The Ducks rallied at home and indeed the series dragged on for seven games, but the difference was these were not terribly appealing teams that operated in smaller markets.
and more on the Pens/Wings series thus far
Update 1:30pm ET: Darren Eliot, also at SI’s Rinkside Blog, writes on what Pittsburgh must do now to turn the series around.
from Scott Morrison of the CBC,
No goals, no chance.
But after 4-0 and 3-0 losses in Detroit, the Penguins can lament the chances they missed, the troubles they had generating scoring opportunities, the flopping of the goaltender, and the zeroes on the board - but their biggest concern should be the next goal to be scored in the series.
If it doesn’t belong to the Penguins, look out. If it does, then we might have a series yet.
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