Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Helene Elliott at the LA Times,
Not having Holmstrom in his face would make it even better for Fleury.
“It’s always tougher as a goalie when you have somebody in front,” said Fleury, who was the first pick in the 2003 entry draft. “At the same time, every playoff, every series, every team, they put that guy in there. We always did a good job with him, and we always came out on top.”
Holmstrom isn’t just any guy. He has four goals and 12 points in the playoffs and is a perfect complement to linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
The Red Wings have no shortage of talent—Johan Franzen has a playoff-high 13 goals, Zetterberg has 12 and Datsyuk nine—but they have no one as effective at going to the net and refusing to budge come high stick or high water.
more… on Holmstrom’s condition and his importance to the Wings
From Stephen Brunt in the Globe & Mail (Saturday’s edition),
There are a couple of ways one might describe the Gary Bettman era in the NHL.
Unequivocal failure would be one.
Or for those more generous of spirit, perhaps … making the best of extremely challenging times for the game of big-league professional hockey in North America, giving it the old college try and, ultimately, sadly, falling far short.
From the AP via NHL.com,
Blocked by the NHL from returning to Detroit during the two-day layoff between Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, the Red Wings spent a day of luxury Thursday at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh.
Some players took advantage of the resort’s spas, while others received massages and played informal soccer games. Other activities at the resort included golf at the Mystic Rock course, site of the PGA’s former 84 Lumber Classic, a Hummer off-road trail, fly fishing and shooting.
According to the resort, the men’s spa offers Swedish messages - no doubt an attraction to the Red Wings’ seven Swedish-born players.
*check out the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
From Dan Christensen at the Miami Herald,
If a hurricane destroys the BankAtlantic Center, home of hockey’s Florida Panthers, Broward taxpayers will be on the hook for any damage over $150 million because the arena is underinsured.
The estimated cost to rebuild: upward of $300 million.
Nash was on hand, even as the Stanley Cup Finals are still in progress, because he’s the cover star for 2K Sports’ forthcoming hockey video game, NHL 2K9. And he was here, in this small studio in a non-descript office park for an all-day motion-capture filming session for the game.
The idea is that by filming several dozen of Nash’s moves—shots, skating tricks, dekes and more—with special motion-capture cameras, 2K Sports—a division of Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive—will be able to incorporate some of what it calls Nash’s “signature” moves into the game.
That’s why 2K Sports has set up 56 of the motion-capture cameras all around the studio, on the ceiling and close to the floor: Together, they can take all the data they record and stitch it together into a realistic representation of Nash’s real-life movements.
Q. Will you give us your understanding of Holmstrom’s injury and his chances of playing tomorrow?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: What are the rules? Do we have to talk about the injury or just what part of the body or what do we have to do?
FRANK BROWN: The type.
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I do a lot of stuff with kids cancer, and there’s a thing called HIPAA-compliance where you can never reveal anything about the person, how come we have to do it in the League? (Laughter.)
Oh, anyway, Holmer’s just got - Holmer’s got the back of his leg, the hamstring. He’s got a little problem there. We think he’ll be fine. He’s a tough guy.
From Rich Hofmann at the Philadelphia Daily News,
Johnny Gottselig is the answer to the trivia question. He was the captain of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks in 1938. Though he was raised in Canada and played youth hockey there, he was born in Odessa, Russia. So, literally, Gottselig was the first European captain to win the Cup.
But, well, no. Gottselig left Russia as an infant. He was not trained there and his game was not shaped there. He was not a European in any kind of a hockey sense. He was from Saskatchewan.
Nicklas Lidstrom is not from Saskatchewan.
“It would mean a lot,” Lidstrom acknowledges when the question is asked, the question about what it would mean to be the first European born and trained captain to win the Cup, the first real European captain.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Maybe we’ll see a comeback yet in these Stanley Cup finals. Maybe we’ll see one team spot the other a lead and then roar back, on the strength of their talent or their will or even just because the puck took a funny hop on the soft ice of the Mellon Arena.
That was how it was supposed to be in the new NHL, right? Players told you all the time: No lead was safe anymore. With the dark forces of obstruction finally exorcised from the game, teams could not go into lock-down mode if they got an early advantage. They had to play until the final whistle.
Except … in these playoffs, with these two teams, every lead but one has been safe. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a perfect 11-0 when they score the first goal; the Detroit Red Wings are almost as efficient, at 12-1.
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Tomas Holmstrom would not skate at practice Friday and is unlikely to play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Game 4, I don’t know, Holland said. “We like to think he’ll be back in the series.”
And Red Wings Corner has more on the lineups that were used in practice today.
From Erik Erlendsson at Bolts Report,
I’m currently up in Toronto for two purposes. The first was to have the chance to meet Steven Stamkos and his family, which I did on Thursday night. The other was to swing by the combine today for the physical testing of the top prospects, including Stamkos, to find out about this VO2 bike test they put the prospects through, which has barf buckets right next to the bikes. Look for that story in Saturday’s paper.
As far as Stamkos goes, he certainly seems like one of the nicest high-profile teenagers you might ever meet. Spent just over two hours at the family house outside of Toronto and had some great conversations. Very humble family and you can see how that has carried over to Steven. Despite all the heavy marketing the Lightning have already done with Stamkos, they still answer everything with “if Tampa Bay drafts’’. They are taking nothing for granted, and that’s just how they are, they don’t want to get ahead of anything.
more on Stamkos
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