Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jeremy Sandler at the National Post,
Originally the itinerary included golf and sightseeing, but finding pubs or Internet cafes with access to hockey broadcasts got added to the agenda once the Pittsburgh Penguins qualified to battle for the NHL’s ultimate prize.
It is safe to say that among people not directly connected to the Penguins, the 62-year-old [Craig] Patrick has a greater rooting interest in the final than most.
As the Penguins general manager for 17 years, he assembled about half of the players who tonight will try and even the finals at two games apiece.
more on Patrick extensive history with the Penguins
If the Penguins are planning to rescue themselves from the State of Oblivion, Crosby might find it necessary to get Malkin and Petr Sykora alone in a room and bang their heads together a few times; followed by a simple, declarative sentence: “I WANT YOU GUYS TO PLAY AS HARD AS I AM, AND BROOKS ORPIK IS.”
and more thoughts from Stan Fischler at Game On
Update 8:16pm ET: At ESPN, Scott Burnside takes a more tempered look at Malkin’s performance woes.
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf contributes his thoughts on game #4 and the series in the LA Times:
Being in a similar situation that we faced with Ottawa when we were going home, Detroit gets to go back home and they’re going to be comfortable. The biggest thing is for them to take advantage of the situation they put themselves in. They can’t let it slip. If you let it slip, if you give Pittsburgh any kind of breathing room, you never know what might happen.
Pittsburgh has got to play with its back against the wall. It’s a big task. No one is going to kid themselves. They’ve got to take it one game at a time. That’s the truth. If you have to win three games, you’ve got to get one first.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
The way Marc-André Fleury sees it, the path to success for the Pittsburgh Penguins is simple: “If I can stop more pucks and we score more goals, we’ll be all right.”
But those few words mask a world of hurt for the Penguins, who need to win Monday to prevent the Detroit Red Wings from winning their first Stanley Cup since 2002. The Red Wings have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NHL championship series thanks to their efficient 2-1 win over the Penguins on Saturday night.
Actually, Fleury could have left himself out of the above equation. His work in the Penguins goal in the last two games was above reproach. It is the work of their offence in all four games so far that is wanting.
*Fleury highlights can be seen at the NHL Network Online.
From the AP via NHL.com,
Mike Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings expect to complete a new deal shortly after the season to keep the coach under contract next season and beyond.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Babcock said Sunday, a day before he and the Red Wings had their first of three chances to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Stanley Cup. “We just have a couple details to fix.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Question: Who, among these Red Wings’ players, is truly the most valuable? At the start of the round, the local newspaper polled four of its writers and got four different answers. It could be Henrik Zetterberg, their leading scorer; or Pavel Datsyuk, the runner-up. Even though he missed six games as a result of injury, it’s hard to overlook Johan Franzen, who continues to lead the playoffs in goals. Defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is drawing attention, as he closes in on being the first European-born, European-trained captain of a Stanley Cup championship team. He was the MVP choice the last time the Red Wings won it all.
Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford analyzes the SCF for NHL.com:
In fact, Crawford sees the penalty killing by both the Red Wings and the Penguins as underrated in this series, and gives his thoughts as to why they’ve each been so dominant.
“It’s been very tactically and technically a very sound, sound penalty-killing series,” he said. “And you have to make great plays to score.”
Saturday night, it was the Red Wings who made just one extra “great play,” and they came away with a very crucial victory.
The full article is here and at the bottom of the page are two links to Crawford’s podcasts on the series
Q. I guess looking at the ice time last night, [Evgeni] Malkin played more than Sidney [Crosby]. And is that, on your part, an attempt to just get Evgeni Malkin going? Does he warrant more ice time than Sidney? How do you manage ice time between those two?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: How do I manage the ice time? Our offensive players play on a regular shift, and they play on the power play. Obviously, Malkin playing on the power play, it’s a different role than Sid. And we want them to be productive offensively, so they play like every third or fourth shift, five-on-five. They play on the power play. Malkin played a little bit more on the power play. The biggest reason is because he’s playing the point. You don’t have to spend more energy probably than Sid as a forward has to work down low battling, all that type of stuff. So that’s a little bit the difference.
From CBC’s Satellite Hotstove Notebook,
Hollywood is calling Brian Burke. Yes, Hollywood.
On the heels of, or perhaps in-between, the Toronto Maple Leafs twice asking the Anaheim Ducks for permission to speak with their general manager, now comes word that Jerry Bruckheimer, the famous Hollywood television producer has also asked.
And three times the Ducks have said no, still intent on having Burke honour the final year of his contract
What is interesting about the Bruckheimer call, though, is that he doesn’t have a team. Yet.
Q. How valuable is it for you as a coach when one your best offensive players, Hank, is one of your best defensive players? Also, talk about the sequence yesterday where he blocked a shot up top and them came down and knocked Crosby’s stick down?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Him and Pavel and Nick and Rafi and Kronwall, they’re all the same in a way. Franzen as well. Maybe Filppula. They’re all our best offensive people and our best defensive people as well. We’re fortunate. I thought the five‑on‑three, we had to get a stop there. We did. Zetterberg did a great job. Came off the ice. Pavel went out and did a great job. And they called a timeout. So Z was allowed to go back out there again.
I think intelligent players with good hockey sense, you have a structure on your team. But they take the structure to another level, because they know what’s going on. They read plays. They cut off lanes. They know how to be in the right spot.
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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