Kukla's Korner Hockey
Is there any stopping the Detroit Red Wings?...
After dropping a pair of games to the Nashville Predators in their opening round series, the Wings have reeled off seven consecutive victories in the post-season (outscoring the opposition 32-11 in that span), including a 4-1 domination of the Stars in Game 1 of this best-of-seven series on Thursday.
The Red Wings skated hard, controlled the pace of the game, took advantage when they were on the power play and received solid goaltending from Chris Osgood.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Let’s cut the Stars some slack here. We’re talking about a team that defeated the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round and beat San Jose, a team favoured by many to win it all this season, in the conference semifinals.
The Stars were a tired team in their opener against the Red Wings. Fewer than five minutes into the game, they were short two skaters when Brian Rafalski opened the scoring. Johan Franzen’s 12th goal of the playoffs also was on the power play. So was Tomas Holmstrom’s goal early in the second, a goal that should not have been allowed because he clearly interfered with Turco after establishing squatter’s rights in the crease.
There was nothing complicated or mysterious about the Red Wings taking a 3-0 lead before this game was 27 minutes old: tired teams take penalties.
More importantly, it’s not as if anyone expected a Red Wings team with the NHL’s best regular-season record to roll over for the visiting Stars.
from Mike Sielski of phillyBurbs,
Maybe this is unfair to Biron, the man most responsible for the Flyers reaching this point. There isn’t a goaltender in the NHL who would be expected to stop Malkin on a 3-on-2, or on a shorthanded breakaway. Malkin’s winning and insurance goals fall on Biron’s teammates more than they fall on him. Nevertheless, it’s still the truth: Biron has to be sensational for the Flyers to beat a team with as much talent as the Penguins. He has to make the same saves that he made against the Capitals and the Canadiens. Then he has to make some more.
At a minimum, he can’t do what he did with just less than six minutes left in the first period. He can’t transform an innocent Pittsburgh dump-in into an easy goal for Crosby, can’t afford to be so cavalier at such a crucial moment
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
They have now lost Game 1 of each of their three playoff series. In the first two rounds, they came back and won Game 2, then went on to take the series.
This Game 1 was different, though. The Penguins are simply better than the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Evgeni Malkin is the best player the Flyers have faced, delivering where Alex Ovechkin and Alex Kovalev simply did not. Marc-Andre Fleury is the best goaltender the Flyers have faced. For the first time in these playoffs, Biron was not the better netminder.
That doesn’t mean the Flyers can’t compete with the Penguins. They can. It just means they have to play near-perfect hockey to have a chance, and that is not something they’ve shown an aptitude for doing. They were able to blow two-goal leads against the Caps and the Habs and still win. Those days are gone.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Every night Gary Roberts watches, and every night he finds something else to be amazed by.
It isn’t just that Evgeni Malkin scores goals. It’s how he scores. And when he scores. And just about everything else in between.
“He is taking it to a whole new level,” the veteran Roberts said. “Both goals tonight came late in shifts. By then, most of us are dead tired. He’s on the ice a minute, a minute and a half into his shift and he finds the strength. I don’t think he’s human like the rest of us.
“And then he makes these plays ... I’ve never seen anything like him before.”
You have to love the ‘shorty’ by Malkin last night= Watch below…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
When the NHL playoffs started, the Pittsburgh Penguins liked to tell people they could play any way their opponents wanted.
Then they proceeded to back it up. The first round didn’t count, since the Ottawa Senators lay down and died for them, but the New York Rangers found out the Penguins could win in a shootout or a checking game.
But coming into the Eastern Conference final, there was one game the Penguins had not played: a physical, hard-hitting battle along the boards and in front of the net. The Philadelphia Flyers, even if missing top defenceman Kimmo Timonen, brought one of those games last night.
Guess what? The Penguins beat them at that, too.
From Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
Roy, who retired in 2003 with the Avs, has coached the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League since then. Speculation has begun that he might be ready to return to the NHL with the Avs behind the bench.
“Am I interested? Right now I am very happy in Quebec with the Remparts. I really haven’t thought about one day making the move to the NHL. Right now this is only a rumor or speculation,” Roy told RDS.
But Roy seemed to leave a little wiggle room that he might be interested.
“We’ll see what’s going to happen. Francois Giguere will certainly have a list of candidates that he would like to meet.”
Note: Reported earlier today, coach Joel Quenneville was informed his contract won’t be renewed
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
GM Don Waddell has been asked by the Atlanta Thrashers to give up his duties and accept another management position, ESPN.com has learned.
Waddell, one of the managers of the U.S. entry in the World Championships, will apparently make his decision after the tournament, a source close to the team said Friday….
The assumption, the source told ESPN.com, is that if Waddell declines to take the as-yet-unidentified management position, he will leave the organization.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The Anaheim Ducks, surely, will wake up one day soon and realize they’ve got to let their GM, Brian Burke, talk to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
If not, they’re making a terrible mistake.
This is going to be a distraction for them every single day until Burke’s contract expires after next season. Especially if two things happen:
1) The Ducks can’t get Burke to sign a contract extension.
2) The Leafs hire Burke’s friend Dave Nonis in some form of front-office role while very much keeping the big job open. Nonis, fired as Vancouver Canucks GM last month, is meeting with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment early next week.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There are 46,055 square miles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which means it is obviously not big enough for two NHL teams in May.
On the one end of this great, diverse state is Philadelphia, now 25 years removed from its last pro sports championship. At the other end is Pittsburgh, which, relatively speaking, collects titles the way Lindsay Lohan attracts the paparazzi. Other than license plates and garrulous, sports-loving governor Ed Rendell, these cities, and their hockey teams, share almost nothing other than a healthy dislike for each other.
The rivalry is back in the NHL.
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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