PITTSBURGH – In the Malone family, post-season accomplishments are measured by goals, assists and broken noses.
For Penguins forward Ryan Malone, that must mean it’s four broken noses down, 10 to go. Malone’s father, Greg Malone, a former Penguins player and scouting director, broke his nose 14 times during his hockey career. His son has done so four times, twice in these Stanley Cup finals against Detroit.
Malone was cleared to play in Game 6 on Wednesday night after X-rays detected no damage other than the broken nose caused when he was struck by teammate Hal Gill’s slap shot in Game 5. Malone went to his knees, blood pouring from his nose, yet returned the following period.
Malone has two long bands of stitches on the left side of his face near his nose, a chipped tooth and untold hidden physical damage, but he said it simply goes with being in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Actually it’s not too bad, it could be a lot worse,” Malone said Wednesday. “A broken nose, a swollen lip, and some chipped teeth are a pretty good scenario for a puck in the face, I thought.”
Malone will be a free agent after the season ends, but he’s not thinking yet that Wednesday’s game may have been his last with the Penguins team he grew up watching from the time he was a toddler.
“I’m not worried about myself right now,” Malone said. “I’m worried about the team.”
WINGS ON PARADE: Hockeytown is getting ready for a parade.
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick says the city will celebrate the Red Wings’ fourth Stanley Cup in 11 seasons with a parade on Friday. It’s scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and will end with a rally at Hart Plaza.
Details about the parade route are expected to be announced later Thursday.
The Red Wings say players, coaches and staff will take part in Friday’s celebrations.
When the Wings won their most recent Cup in 2002, the parade went down Woodward Avenue and also was followed by a rally in Hart Plaza.
FANTASTIC FOUR: It’s shaping up to be a big year for Kirk Maltby.
The Cambridge, Ont., native captured his fourth Stanley Cup ring with Detroit after the Red Wings knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. Maltby joins Nicklas Lidstrom, Darren McCarty, Tomas Holmstrom and Kris Draper as four-time Cup winners with Detroit.
“To put them in order, you can’t really,” said Maltby. “They’re all special in their own way.”
Maltby said this year’s win does hold a more significant place in his heart, now that he’s married with a daughter.
“I wasn’t married or had any family of my own other than parents and brothers and stuff (before),” said Maltby. “(My daughter is) four now. She’s going to get to enjoy the Cup this year and we’re expecting twins in the summertime so it’s going to be unbelievable.
“It’s going to be a great, crazy summer.”
THE OCTOPUS AND ME: What has eight tentacles and annoys Penguins?
Count Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury among those who aren’t enamoured with the tradition of throwing octopi on the ice in Detroit, even if he sees the humour in it.
Joe Louis Arena employee Al Sobotka makes a big show of retrieving the octopus that is traditionally thrown on the ice before home games, twirling it around his head.
Watching this show from a few feet away, Fleury playfully squirted Sobotka with his water bottle before Game 5.
Unintentionally, of course. Wink, wink.
“It was an accident. I just missed my mouth by a little,” Fleury said. “He does it to us (by swinging the octopus). And after the first two games, I thought I’ll give him a little something back.”
FOURTH CAN BE FIRST: As is proved repeatedly during the lengthy NHL playoffs, goals can come from anywhere and everywhere. And from anybody.
Fourth-line right wing Adam Hall had only two goals in 46 regular season games for Pittsburgh, but had three in the playoffs – two in the finals. He scored the decisive goal as the Penguins won 3-2 in Game 3 and scored during their 4-3, three-overtime win in Game 5.
“Sometimes, it’s being in the right place,” Hall said. “You have to make sure every single line’s going. One bouncing puck, one rebound that somebody gets to can make a difference. So we have to make sure, whether it’s the top line or the fourth line, we keep it going.”
Similarly, 21-year-old centre Darren Helm played in only seven regular season games for Detroit, but also scored in Game 5 and has two playoff goals. He also was credited with six hits on Monday.
“He’s a great kid. He’s taking all of this in,” teammate Kris Draper said. “He’s playing a huge role for our team. … The Detroit Red Wings are going to see a lot of Darren Helm over the years with the way he can skate and the calmness that he has with the puck.”
PHOTO PLAY: A computerized photo circulating in the Penguins’ dressing room on Wednesday showed Petr Sykora, standing in the batter’s box a la Babe Ruth, and predicting a home run.
Sykora told teammates during one of the overtime intermissions Monday that he would score the winning goal, then did exactly that in the third period. It was the third multiple-overtime game-winning goal of Sykora’s playoff career.
HI, I’M MICHEL …: Babcock made a joking reference Tuesday to how Penguins coach Michel Therrien has publicly lobbied the entire series for more obstruction penalties.
Babcock made the comment before criticizing the officials for calling two goalie interference penalties on his team during Game 5.
Therrien was asked Wednesday if working the officials via the media is part of coaching gamesmanship.
“This morning I’m trying to walk around, introduce myself,” Therrien said. “I’m the other guy I guess. The complaining? There’s two different things. Mike’s complaining about calls, And we’ve complained about the non-calls. So that’s two different things.
“And we’ve been told at the beginning of the series that they’re going to protect the goalie. Obviously, you know, he didn’t have any complaint when (Chris) Osgood got bumped and he fell down on Ryan Malone (and drew a goalie interference penalty in Game 2). Didn’t hear any complaint.”