The Malik Report
Entries with the tag: pittsburgh penguins
Update: Whoops, wrong blog, it's stuck here.
The Stanley Cup Final's first couple of games always impress me because the most mentally and physically exhausted players left standing tend to produce the crispest, most intense hockey of the season, but around Game 3, exhaustion and bad ice in June tend to rear their ugly heads--regardless of where the Cup final is being held--and the game gets chippy as hell.
The National Post's Cam Cole duly notes that the ice at the SAP Center is not fantastic, but the players are adapting, and so is the hockey:
Creativity suffers on slush. Scoring chances evaporate when the puck bounces, others when that extra split-second trying to control it allows another pair of shin pads, another enemy stick, to join the crowd in the shooting lane.
The Pittsburgh Penguins blocked 38 San Jose shots in Game 3, 12 of them from Burns alone, surely some sort of individual Sharks record for futility.
But the home team won, and both sides shrug it off as the price of doing business. Move on.
“Hopefully they run out of sticks soon,” [Brent] Burns said. “Try to break their budget.”
The players are not surprised in the least that when it’s above 30C outdoors, the puck is simply not going to lay down on the surface.
“We’re playing hockey in California in June,” said Lovejoy, the former Anaheim Duck. “This is a great atmosphere to play in but the weather outside is 100 degrees. You can’t expect the ice to be like Edmonton in February. Ice across the NHL isn’t perfect. We have concerts in these buildings, soccer games, arena football games, it’s part of the deal. We understand it. We’ve been doing it for years. It’s not an excuse, we need to adapt to it.”
Update: WRONG BLOG, sorry!
I'm sure that "more to come" applies to the first of what is likely a slate of "Hockey World" columns and/or blog entries by the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson. He leads things off with a surprisingly frank conversation held with Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, who is admittedly looking for a winger to play alongside Sidney Crosby (as per usual):
“The search for players in a salary-cap world is hard,” said Shero, who doesn’t know if he’ll look to a rental (how do you spell H-e-m-s-k-y or C-a-m-m-a-l-l-e-r-i?) or take somebody with the hope they can re-sign him in July when the salary cap goes up to around $70 million. “We’ve got Chris Kunitz and James Neal … one guy on the Canadian Olympic team and the other who was really close,” said Shero. “That’s good, and on the second line we’ve got Evgeni Malkin. He’ll play with somebody else. So don’t feel sorry for me. They (Crosby and Malkin) still play with good players and get lots of points. It’s a bit of a challenge, but they make other players better.”
Shero went the rental route with Hossa in 2008 and Jarome Iginla during the lockout season.