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Pairing For Round One Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs Almost Complete

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John Tortorella Before Game 5 Tonight

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Open Post- Two Round Robin Games And One Elimination Game

NHL action starts at 12:00pm ET game ans two more games follow.

Discuss if so inclined.

Avails

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The Vancouver Canucks Are Growing Up Before Our Eyes

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

It has been nine long years since the Canucks last won a playoff series, going way back to their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2011. The only remaining assets from that team were veteran Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, a little-used rookie in 2011 who provided the heroics by scoring 11 seconds into overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild and a pass to the real playoff marathon.

“I actually picked him in the pool to score,” joked Canucks coach Travis Green, “so I’m happy about that.”

Green actually had a lot more than that to be happy about after watching his team take three straight games after losing the first game of the series 3-0. The Canucks had 10 players and a coach who had never participated in an NHL playoff game before this series and there’s something about seeing a group grow up before your very eyes that is special. But it wasn’t as much that they won the series, but how they were able to do it. They not only lost the first game of the series, they failed to score a goal and watched as their star player was abused with impunity. Those are the kinds of things that can destroy the confidence of a young group. They went out and got Tyler Toffoli at the trade deadline to help them in these situations and lost him after Game 1. And in Game 4, they suffered a number of breakdowns to give the Wild a 3-1 lead in the game, but battled back and did not back down. And they won one for their goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who had an uncharacteristically shaky game. That’s huge.

“I really thought that (Game 1) loss was more devastating than a regular playoff loss when you just roll into the playoffs, because of the build-up,” Green said. “I felt like we had to pick our team up off the mat a little bit.”

read on

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Win Or Go Home

from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

Sunday night the Leafs and Blue Jackets will play Game 5, and at the end of it one of them will be done. And after a season in which Toronto’s talent wasn’t enough to avoid having to play this game, in which they made the same mistakes over and over again, and in which they saved themselves, what do the Toronto Maple Leafs deserve?

It’s hard to say, really. All you can say is they’re going to get it, either way.

more

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NHL Short Notes

THREE HARD LAPS

Alex Tuch’s overtime winner propelled the Golden Knights to a 3-0-0 record in round robin play and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, setting up a First Round matchup with the Blackhawks.

* The Flyers also finished with a 3-0-0 record in round robin games to secure the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and a First Round series against the Canadiens.

*  The Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets will contest the only Game 5 of the qualifying round as the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers enters its final day on Sunday.


Continue Reading »

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Victor Hedman Injury

He will not return tonight.

via Sportsnet,

Victor Hedman left the ice after seemingly tweaking his ankle while defending on a Flyers rush.

 

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  Tags: victor+hedman

Hockey Notes On A Saturday Night

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- I have no problem with John Tortorella’s short post-game availability after the collapse in Game 4. He had nothing to say. The questions he was asked weren’t particularly effective. His interview ended quickly. He wasn’t rude. He wasn’t nasty. I do have a problem with Tortorella not being available on Saturday. That’s bush.

- Elimination Friday was a fabulous day of hockey and had the feel of excitement that comes along with a great day in the NCAA basketball tournament. That was the good part. The bad part: So long Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Roman Josi and Evgeni Malkin. In one day, the two biggest stars in hockey were gone along with the likely Hart and Norris Trophy winners.

- I keep hearing that Dale Tallon will be out as GM of the Florida Panthers. I hope it’s not true. And if it happens, I hope it’s because he wants it to happen.

- One secret to watching post-season hockey: Discovering a player you didn’t know that well, who is way better than you believed him to be. My early choice: Anthony Beauvillier of the New York Islanders.

more

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Hockey In The Bubble

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Let me be the first to observe that there has never been a week like this in NHL history.

The teams that finished 22nd, 23rd and 24th in the overall standings are in the Stanley Cup playoffs ,and a team that finished in the top 10 is alive in the lottery for the first-overall draft pick. The stuff about the bubble, COVID-19 testing and protocols, and no fans in the building(s)? Old news.

At approximately 10:15 Friday night, it was common wisdom that the Maple Leafs were a structural disaster and would obviously have to re-examine the wisdom of devoting $40.5 million of cap space — essentially half of the club’s allotment — to four forwards.

Fifteen minutes later, those four forwards — Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander — had been on for the three Toronto goals within the final 3:57 of the third period that erased a 3-0 Columbus lead and created the overtime in which the Leafs completed the most stunning comeback in playoff history to stave off elimination....

more including topics like this...

The Puddy Tats of Florida, now coached by the estimable Joel Quenneville, have not won a playoff round since 1996 and are looking at six more years of Sergei Bobrovsky at $10 million apiece.

Are you really so sure that Aleksander Barkov, 25 in September, is sticking around when his contract expires in two more years?

I’ve heard it too from a number of sources the last couple of months. The folks at Sixth Avenue are lobbying for Peter Chiarelli to snag another shot as an NHL team’s general manager, and I guess I’d have to ask why?

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Open Post- Two Round Robin Games Today

These round robin games have not gained as much as attention as the qualifying games, but it is still hockey.

Discuss if you wish.

via the NHL PR department, 

*The start time of the Round Robin game between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights is 3 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on NBC in the U.S. In Canada, the game will be on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

*The start time of the Round Robin game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning is 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on NBC in the U.S. In Canada, the game will be on Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360 and TVA Sports.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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