Kukla's Korner

The Confluence

Category: Game Preview

Can the Penguins still win this thing ??  Sure, but it’s gonna take…..

Not that it means a damn thing today, but the Penguins did a lot of things well in the first two games. 

If anyone is claiming that the Wings are dominating the Penguins after two games, they either didn’t actually watch the games, or they don’t know what the hell they’re looking at.

Even those Wings fans, when they’re not boasting to anyone that will dare read their posts, are knowledgable enough that they should agree with that sentiment.  Then again, who knows.  But give the Wings credit, good teams find ways to win.  The Pens have been in that same boat many times this season.  You work hard, you get the bounces.  You work hard, you get the breaks.

So, can the Pens still pull this series out ??  I truly believe so.  Will they ??  Naturally, at this point, that’s very questionable.  But if they’re gonna do it, some things will have to fall into place, and soon.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Forget the bounces, Penguins must make adjustments

If the Penguins’ coaching staff is smart, they’ve already instructed their players to forget about the unlucky bounces that didn’t go their way in Game One.  The only thing you can do, Mr. Fleury, is acknowledge those trampoline-ish boards and defend against them.

If they’re smart, they’re instructing their players to start focusing in on some glaring problems that, if they continue, will surely be a catalyst towards the Wings repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Nothing left to say, let’s do this….

You’ve watched all of the media scrums.

You’ve read every Stanley Cup preview from every blowhard on the Internets (including yours truly, I’ve done five of them myself) known to man.

You despise the other team’s fans, they despise you.  It’s cool.

Nothing left to do now but drop the puck, eleven long hours from now.  Fortunately for me, I’ve got my son’s doubleheader to kill some time this afternoon.

Here’s to a

GREAT

Stanley Cup Finals.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Reminder:  Kukla’s Korner / The Confluence contest for Blu-ray copies of Miracle !!

Under 24 hours to make your guess for the chance to win a Blu-ray copy of Miracle....

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Miracle, the great movie based on the 1980 Gold Medal-winning USA Hockey team, will be released on Blu-ray on June 16th, and we’re going to do a quick contest to do our part in promoting it.

The top three persons to come closest to answering the question after the drop correctly will win a Blu-ray version of Miracle !!

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Stanley Cup Finals:  A look at the Detroit Red Wings (again)

Well, here we go again.

It’s hockey’s version of the Big Red Machine.  But instead of Pete Rose, Tony Perez and Davey Concepcion, it’s Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and yes, it’s now Marian Hossa.

The Penguins will surely utilize the experience gained in last year’s Finals loss to the Wings.  In retrospect, early in the series the Penguins spent more time gawking at the vaunted Red Wings rather than trying to defeat them.  Two straight shutouts to start the Finals, only generating 19 and 22 shots respectively.  It put the Penguins in a hole from which they could never fully recover.

But it’s a new year, the Penguins are a new team, some say a better team.  Question is, are they good enough to hoist the Cup ??  Let’s take a look.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Additional tickets released for Game Three in Raleigh

The Hurricanes have released more tickets for Game Three on Saturday night in Raleigh.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Game Two aftermath:  Foolish to think this series is over

Apologize for the tardiness, had to watch the game after the fact late last night.  Some random observations from last night, as we (and I mean WE) head dahn to Raleigh for Game 3:

- Reading some surprisingly confident, and some would call foolish, articles today in relation to this series.  Hearing a lot of people saying “it’s over” and talks of a sweep.  I’m reading previews of a Stanley Cup Finals rematch already.  Bob Smizik’s column in today’s Pittsburgh PG read “Overrated Hurricanes are overmatched”.  Am I missing something ??  Game One did end up at 3-2, right ??  Game Two was tied nearly 49 minutes into the game, correct ??  Did I miss some huge blocks of the first two games that would lead me to believe that the Penguins have dominated this series ??  OK, so if I haven’t, why would some have the cojones to spout that this series is over ??  That the Hurricanes are overrated and overmatched ??  Evgeni Malkin’s heroics last night seem to have made some people’s rose-colored glasses a lot more rosy.  Let’s not forget that the Hurricanes have controlled play for significant portions of the first two games of this series.  Let’s not forget Carolina is coming home to a raucous crowd for the next two games.  The Canes win those two, and all of a sudden it’s 2-2, and we’re down to a best of three.

Hey, the Pens take Game Three on Saturday night, I’ll be there with you, ‘cause for all intensive purposes, it will be over then.  But until that time comes, don’t underestimate this team.

Some others:

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Round Three Hurricanes/Penguins preview up at New York Times

Please check out my latest guest blogger spot over at the New York Times.

Of course, it’s a great opportunity to do guest blogger spots, although the very brief answers that I have to give doesn’t give me much room to properly talk smack.

Oh well, here ya go, check it out.

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

A look at the hated ? Carolina Hurricanes

My usual playoff series template just doesn’t look right this time around.  Yet.

The Carolina Hurricanes are among the most unheralded and underappreciated teams in the NHL.  You know, with them located down yonder in Raleigh and all.  But what Penguins fans will see once this series is over, win or lose, is a group of players with a lot of chemistry together and a certain level of tenacity that, quite frankly, is overlooked.  Just ask the Devils and Bruins about that.

Just a couple things right off the bat:  You won’t find any “Staal vs. Staal” references, nor will you find any “Cole vs. Orpik” references.  Both have been beaten to death.

Some keys to the series:

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  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Gonchar game-time decision for tonight’s Game Seven

For the second day in a row, Penguins’ defenseman Sergei Gonchar practiced with the team and is considered a game-time decision.  Gonchar skated with Brooks Orpik and took his place on the No. 1 powerplay unit.

Gut feeling:  He’s playing.  I would also expect HCDB to dress 7 defensemen just in case he’s can’t go 100%.  At a bare minimum, he should be out there for powerplays.

Six hours to go.

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  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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