Kukla's Korner

Did Penguins Motivate The Wings?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

For almost a week, the dominant theme was how the Pittsburgh Penguins appeared to be coming of age, ready to be the best.

Last night, however, they looked far too immature to win a Stanley Cup.

Funny thing, the Pens started well against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. But it all went downhill after the opening three minutes. By the second period the rout was on, the classy Motowners showed they might still have a lesson or two to teach their opponents about composure, and multi-talented Pavel Datsyuk had made a triumphant, two-assist return in an overwhelming 5-0 Detroit win.

“The more I played the better I felt,” said Datsyuk.

Did he have his injured foot frozen in order to play?

“I don’t know,” he said with a slight smile. “It’s a secret.”...

In fact, the comments from Pittsburgh players like Brooks Orpik and head coach Dan Bylsma that Detroit players, specifically Henrik Zetterberg, looked tired in Games 3 and 4 in Pennsylvania rankled the veteran Wings.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Need Star Power

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Penguins have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, the Caps have Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, the Hurricanes have Eric Staal, and the Rangers . . . well, and the Rangers have no one remotely comparable. Fact is, the Blueshirts don’t have a forward who would be selected in the top, what, 100 in a league-wide dispersal draft.

Fact also is that it has become nearly impossible to get a top-end, difference-making talent any way other than by bottoming out and hitting the draft lottery jackpot, for it is rare indeed that an elite player gets to free agency in his prime.

Which brings us to 28-year-old Marian Gaborik, eligible to become a free agent on July 1 following a season in which he, a) turned down an $80 million contract extension from the Wild because he had no interest in continuing to play for Jacques Lemaire; and, b) was limited to 17 games because of a hip injury for which he underwent surgery in early January.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

So Very Tired.  Exhausted.  Done.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Good morning.

Gather the family because Dave Guralnick has a present for them.  Go on now.  Go get ‘em. 

Ready?  Ok.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

No More Big Screen In Pittsburgh

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The biggest outdoor hockey party in the world in 2009 has been killed on orders of the NHL.  The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a big screen viewing party for many of their playoff games as possible outside Mellon Arena.  The problem is that the NHL doesn’t want this.  NBC has complained that the games broadcast on their station suffer apparent rating drops due to this big screen.  Since the NHL’s only stream of money from the NBC telecasts is a share of advertising revenue, which is dependent upon the game’s Nielsen ratings, they have killed these parties.

Nielsen ratings count the number of television sets that are tuned to the game.  They do not count the number of people actually watching the game.  Thus one screen with thousands of viewers counts the same for them as one screen with one viewer.  This is a rather poor methodology, because obviously many people watching a screen means many people watching the commercials and more likely to buy the products advertised.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Forget The ‘Old” Red Wings Label

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

If you listened to all the hyperbole heading into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, you would have thought the Detroit Red Wings were now known as the Decrepit Red Wings.

Their top center, Henrik Zetterberg, who is all of 28, was apparently going to be fitted for a walker, a respirator, bifocals and false teeth on the club’s off day.

The rest of this ancient group —- including guys such as 22-year-old Darren Helm, 25-year-old Valtteri Filppula, 28-year-old Niklas Kronwall, 29-year-old Johan Franzen and 30-year-olds Daniel Cleary, Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk — was so drained that cots were going be placed in the dressing room for between-periods naps.

Well, guess what? The Red Wings probably have enough energy left to take the Stanley Cup for a little stroll around Mellon Arena come Tuesday.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Game 5 Highlights

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Doc Emerick of NBC with the call…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nothing Works For Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The superstitious Pittsburgh Penguins are running out of hotels in Motown.

The Penguins ditched the Detroit hotel they stayed in last year when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final, and after dropping the first two games of the 2009 championship series, they moved out of their downtown digs for suburban lodging.

The ploy didn’t work because the Penguins were thoroughly beaten by the Wings 5-0 in game five as the older Detroit players survived five games in eight nights with their best effort yet to take a 3-2 series lead at Joe Louis Arena….

Near the end of Karen Newman’s rendition of the national anthem, a couple fans tossed customary octopi onto the ice surface at Joe Louis Arena. Penguins forward Maxime Talbot skated over and spit on one of the squid before the game five began.

Talbot’s questionable decision was a sign of things to come for the Penguins in the second period, when the Red Wings power play finally got on track to score three times.

more

added 11:47pm, from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Can we officially call the Pittsburgh Penguins the Phoenix Suns/Utah Jazz now?

What a laydown, meek, terrible, abominable, atrocious, awful, putrid, lousy, rotten showing tonight by the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins, in Game 5 of the Cup Finals at Detroit.

The Penguins are the old Suns and Jazz wrapped into one. The Suns and Jazz always had good years in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but never could win it all.

These Penguins look like the NHL’s version of those two losers.

Absolutely awful performance tonight. I don’t care what the Pens do in Game 6; this series is over. And I suspect the Pens will do what they did last year in a Game 6 at home - play close for a while, then lose to the Wings.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Coach Babcock After Game 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q.      Your thoughts on the lift Datsyuk gave the team?

        COACH BABCOCK: Well, I think I said this earlier, if he played the series without Malkin and Crosby and they suddenly come ?? this guy’s one of the best players in the world both offensively and defensively in the winter. Just makes the team more comfortable. We need plays, and suddenly we relaxed and we made plays.

        We’ve been able to have success, but it’s been much harder, obviously, without him. And you have to learn to win a different way and find a way. I’ve been very impressed with our guys finding a way. We bought time so he can come back, and ideally he can help us get over the top.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Coach Bylsma After Game 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q.      Seemed like you guys got out of the gate really fast. The first two or three minutes, looked as though you were off and running, what happened after that?

        COACH BYLSMA: Well, I think we did start off well. I think we didn’t shoot the puck well enough or often enough when we had those chances. We were looking for the extra pass, when we had opportunities to get pucks on them early. Didn’t quite connect, and didn’t quite create the opportunities because we were looking to pass.

        But, again, we came out skating well, and getting in the offensive zone and creating some scoring chances. You know, the game, they got that first goal, and then they got the goal on the power play right after the quick change. Quick up, and got that goal after the kill. That would have gotten us momentum, and they got that goal. I thought that was a big goal.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

Notes Around The League

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The Los Angeles Kings have been linked all spring to Tampa Bay star Vincent Lecavalier, but we’re told those talks have cooled off for now. One Eastern Conference source told us Saturday the New York Rangers have made Scott Gomez available around the league, but we’re not sure how interested the Kings are in him. It’s a heck of a big contract.

For our money, we believe the guy the Kings covet the most is gritty and skilled winger Ryan Smyth of the Colorado Avalanche….

Goalie Manny Fernandez is an unrestricted free agent July 1, but he won’t be staying in Boston. The Bruins believe it’s time for Tuukka Rask to come up and back up Tim Thomas. Look for the Bruins to shop the rights to Fernandez and maybe move him at the NHL draft, giving a team exclusive negotiating rights before July 1….

more topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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