by Patrick Hoffman on 03/25/11 at 01:00 PM ET
As always, it is an absolute pleasure to “talk” hockey with an NHL Home Ice personality. These guys know their hockey inside it and out and prove it every single day and night with the great content they provide to puckheads everywhere.
This week, it is my pleasure to bring to you Scott Laughlin, the host of “The Power Play from Wayne Gretzky’s”. Mr. Laughlin was kind enough to share his thoughts on the concussion issue in hockey, Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the terrific playoff races going on in the National Hockey League.
PH: How do you think the NHL will handle the concussion issue now that some rules have been put in place? Do you think they’ll work?
SL: I think it’s still a work in progress. Some ideas like the “quiet room” concept leave me feeling a little bit skeptical, but the main thing is that the issue is being examined it seems at each and every GM/BOG meeting these days and that can only help.
PH: Do you think there is a place in the NHL for Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins? Do you think he will finally learn his lesson or will it fall upon deaf ears?
SL: I think there’s still a place. Like every “agitator” he can be of benefit as long as he doesn’t cross that line. He can score and help kill penalties (how ironic is that?). Will he be able to re-invent himself as a player though and all of a sudden become a clean and fair player? I doubt it.
PH: What do you think about the playoff races this season? Which stands out as the most intriguing to you? Why?
SL: Each year it seems to get more and more congested in the race for the post-season and this year (at least in the West) takes the cake!
PH: If you had a crystal ball, which eight teams would you see making the playoffs in each conference come April? Why?
SL: In the East, it’ll be Philly, Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Montreal, the Rangers, and Buffalo. In the West, Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, and Anaheim. The Stars’ heart-breaking loss to Anaheim at the AAC will cost them in the end!
PH: Any other thoughts you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
SL: Enjoy the last couple of weeks of the regular season…April 13th isn’t that far away!
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.