Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Question: Do you know the difference between Bobby Orr and Ryan McDonagh?
Answer: The Bruins would never have traded the rights to Orr to the Rangers in exchange for Scott Gomez.
Well, that difference among many.
And yet, as the Flyers approached Thursday’s Garden opener of their opening-round playoff series against the Blueshirts, one can be excused for wondering if Philadelphia’s coaching staff had super-imposed the No. 4 onto the back of McDonagh’s jersey given the emphasis the club seemed to be placing on the Rangers’ best player.
Indeed, coach Craig Berube reportedly had instructed his first line consisting of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek to change its preferred style of rush-hockey to a form of dump-and-crash in order to: a) protect against offensive blue line turnovers that would trigger McDonagh leading the transition; and, b) wear down McDonagh by pounding the defenseman whenever he goes back to play the puck below the goal line.
“I think everyone should have a chip on their shoulder to perform, to get the job done. Last year finished off not the way we wanted it to, so I think it’s important to go into the playoffs with that chip on us.”
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers as they prepare for the Philadelphia Flyers. More from Josh Thomson of Rangers Report.
WEISE LIFTS CANADIENS IN OVERTIME
After a back-and-forth three periods that saw neither team hold the lead for more than four minutes (TB – 3:34, MTL – 3:58), Dale Weise scored his first career playoff goal at 18:08 of overtime to lift the Canadiens to a 1-0 series lead over the Lightning.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Weise became the first Canadiens player to record his first career postseason goal in overtime since May 18, 1986, when Brian Skrudland did so nine seconds into the extra period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final versus the Flames. Last year, three NHLers scored their first playoff goal in overtime: Gustav Nyquist, Brooks Orpik and Jason Zucker.
from Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times,
You win three Cups in five seasons, including possible back-to-back Cups? You’re a dynasty. Maybe you’re not the Shangs or the Mings, but you’re more than a hiccup.
Do the Blackhawks want to play the nasty Blues in the opening round, starting in St. Louis on Thursday night?
It doesn’t really matter. To win the Cup, you beat whomever steps in front of you for the next two months. At some point, you’ve beaten everybody who’s beaten everybody else....
It’s all doable. Not easy. But possible. Likely even painful. There’s a bull’s-eye on the chest of every Blackhawks star. They are the defending champs, after all. As Kane said of being singled out for special treatment by the Blues, “I would expect that, even if I wasn’t coming back from injury.’’
No, it’ll be hard, very hard. And long.
But no dynasty was easy. And none was built in a day.
A great Inside Hockey feature by Elliotte Friedman on Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper.
Thanks to xXxCrosby87Xx for the upload...
The puck drops just after 7:00pm ET on the second season.
Here is hoping the best for the team you follow but remember, only one team get to raise the Stanley Cup.
Ben Bishop is still injured for Tampa so Anders Lindback starts and Frederik Andersen is in goal for the Ducks tonight.
Feel free to discuss the games tonight.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Columbus Blue Jackets
When you're making just your second playoff appearance in franchise history, "dark horse" is a label that applies. If they are somehow able to take down the Metropolitan Division-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, we'll upgrade them to Cinderella status. Could it happen? When you have the defending Vezina Trophy-winning netminder in Sergei Bobrovsky, that's a good place to start....
Detroit Red Wings
When was the last time you heard "Detroit Red Wings" and "dark horse" in the same breath? Still, that's what they are, as they will face the NHL's top regular-season team, the Boston Bruins, in the first round. This has been a difficult season for the Red Wings, who have gone long stretches without top players Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Jimmy Howard. But a new generation of Red Wings has emerged, led by scoring sensation Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, which has more than picked up the slack. With Datsyuk back in the lineup and Howard back to form after a rocky season, the Wings don't look like a wild-card team....
We're going to start charging Wild GM Chuck Fletcher for our services. The team has been on a tear since we wrote that the common belief was the Wild would boast the NHL's worst playoff goaltending and certainly the worst goaltending of the eight Western Conference playoff teams. The goaltending remains a potentially fatal flaw for a Wild team that has shaken off late-season stutters to play some of its best hockey of the season....
more on each of the three teams...
BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 16, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced several changes to the team’s coaching staff, effective immediately: Assistant coaches Joe Sacco and Jerry Forton have been offered reassignment within the organization’s hockey department; the contract of assistant coach Teppo Numminen will not be renewed; goaltending coach Jim Corsi will not return as part of the team’s staff next season.
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.
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