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GM Of The Year

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHL has another award which it has no clue how to decide its winner with the GM of the Year award.  The problem is that it is usually necessary to determine how well a GM is doing by looking at his record over many years.  When you give the GM of the Year award, you wind up giving it to the GM of the most improved team, which is much like the way the coach of the year is often determined.

The inaugural nominees are Don Maloney of the Phoenix Coyotes, George McPhee of the Washington Capitals and David Poile of the Nashville Predators.  It is widely believed that Maloney will win the award, just like Dave Tippett will win coach of the year.  Both will win the awards because Phoenix was the most improved team.  I do not believe the idea that Phoenix’s improvement is due to having both the best coach and the best GM in the league.  It is just a simple way to give out an award to somebody who is in the right place at the right time.

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Flyers Must Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

If Peter Laviolette is right, if desperation is more powerful than momentum in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Flyers should be locks to win Game 4 on Friday night at the Wachovia Center.

They couldn’t be any more desperate.

Facing the disgrace of a series sweep on their home ice, it would be surprising if the Flyers didn’t find a way to win at least one game. The sweep-avoiding win seems like a fairly common phenomenon. Nevertheless, according to WhoWins.com, which tracks such things, teams leading three games to none in a series complete the sweep about 65 percent of the time.

continued

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Wings Won’t Win The Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Wings averted being swept from the playoffs by vaporizing the San Jose Sharks 7-1 in Joe Louis Arena last night. Gripping Detroit this morning is heady talk of being the third team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a playoff series.

It’s not going to happen. This Red Wings team is on the backside of its dynasty. The end is nigh.

Here is a sign: Last week, veteran analyst Daryl Reaugh, sitting in the Versus booth during Detroit’s first-round series with Phoenix, turned a phrase that rang so true: “Detroit leads the league in one-minute penalties.” It was an ingenious way to describe the Wings’ stealth weaponry - the picks, screens, interference, hooks and holds they are so adept at engineering without drawing a whistle.

Things have changed. Some of those overlooked, one-minute penalties have turned into run-of-the-mill, two-minute minors. The Sharks had 20 power plays to 10 for the Wings through the first three games. The Sharks won each 4-3.

read on

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How Much Pressure Can Be Applied?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

They have to do a better job of converting on their power-play opportunities, they have to cash in on more of their chances and they have to improve their chances of doing that by putting some physical pressure on Antti Niemi.

But how much when you have no concept of what’s going to be called? To be sure, nothing has been in this series, but that doesn’t mean to say that the next two referees in here tonight won’t have an entirely different view of the very clear rules on goalie interference in the rule book.

You only have to look at the Washington-Montreal series, and Mike Knuble barely touching the pad of Jaroslav Halak with his skate, to know that anything can be called.

Roberto Luongo would not even have noticed the infraction for which Evgeni Malkin was called Thursday.

And then again, nothing can be called all, depending upon a whim or how the officials feel like making things up that night.

more

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Dan Carcillo, Please Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Don Cherry on the actions of Dan Carcillo.

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  Tags: dan+carcillo

Refs Questioned In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

There was plenty of good reason for whining and moaning at Bell Centre Thursday night, and not by Sidney Crosby.

The Habs were screwed over big-time by the refs in the first period of what would become a stunning 3-2 victory over the Penguins. Up 1-0 on the softest goal given up by a netminder in these playoffs, Montreal held the lead for all of 53 seconds — until Ruslan Fedotenko’s tackle of P.K. Subban at the Penguins’ blue line allowed Max Talbot to make good on a breakaway.

“I knew Fedotenko would make a contribution at some point this spring,” mused one Pittsburgh writer.

A half-minute later, Hal Gill was sent off for holding, and with the Penguins on the power play, Crosby tripped Roman Hamrlik in the Habs’ zone.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Habs Playing Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Montreal 3, Penguins 2. Disbelief, limitless.

The Canadiens actually would shovel 16 shots at Pittsburgh in the final period, but it hardly mattered after the opening flurry. Their defensive poise, which frayed badly at even-strength for the first time in the series, returned, goalie Jaroslav Halak made a sprawling save on Sidney Crosby with about 10½ minutes left and Evgeni Malkin couldn’t cash a breakaway with four minutes to go. This would be Pittsburgh’s first road loss of the spring.

“If you’d said at the start it’d be two out of three going into Pittsburgh (for Game 5 Saturday),” Mike Cammalleri said, ” I would have said, ‘Why not?’”

Now here is more math that works in Montreal’s favor: although the Penguins have just five goals in the past three games (including an empty netter), 11 Penguins have scored in the series. Not one of them is Crosby.

more

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A Fast Mule Is Untouchable

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

“I don’t know if I felt any different,” said Franzen. “The puck just seemed to go in off my stick a lot.”

The puck seemed to follow Franzen around all night.

“He was all over it,” said linemate Todd Bertuzzi. “He had some really good speed in the neutral zone. When The Mule’s got speed like that, he’s basically untouchable. It was good to see. We’re going to need it again.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Stevie Y wants to become a GM; we’d love to have him as a GM,.  I keep telling Kenny, ‘Hey, I want to move you up to president.’ He goes, ‘I don’t want to be a president, I want to be a GM.’ So he’s going to stay there as GM.’‘

-Mike Ilitch, Owner of the Detroit Red Wings.  More from Ansar Khan at Mlive.

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

All Options Open For Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Spin,

It now appears that one way or another, the Phoenix Coyotes are going to be playing games in Canada next season.

That could occur if the Ice Edge Holdings group, now back in the game, is able to purchase the team, as that group is still believed to want to hold at least five games a season in Saskatoon and the rest in Arizona.

Or, the entire kit and kaboodle could yet end up in Winnipeg with the rebirth of the Jets. It’s not impossible Manitoba could welcome the team it lost as early as later this month.

Wild. Crazy. But nothing seems too bizarre for this oddball situation any more.

continued

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