Kukla's Korner

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Playoff Thoughts

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

The matchup I can’t wait for? Chicago and St. Louis. Old Norris Division rivals; speed versus hurt; ample anger on both sides and one team can hold its ability to win Cups over the other championship-challenged franchise. Yes, please.

The fact Tampa Bay goalie and Vezina candidate Ben Bishop is sidelined seems to have made Montreal the consensus pick in that matchup. I follow that logic, but Tampa is an aggressive young team and the Habs defence can get twisted in knots easier than some realize. If Carey Price isn’t significantly better than Lightning fill-in goalie Anders Lindback, look out.

read on for 14 more...

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Randy Carlyle Met With The Media Today

from TSN,

Randy Carlyle could only speak for the moment when asked about his future as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, addressing the media on Tuesday for the first time after his team's season ended short of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“I'm here today,” he said when asked whether he would be back with the club for the 2014-15 season.

“In this business you take on the responsibility of wins and losses, he continued. “You put your best foot forward and try to be honest and forthright with people and that's what we're trying to do as a hockey club.”

Carlyle's future has been the subject of great speculation in the wake of a disappointing season for the Leafs. A March free-fall saw the team plummet from third in the Eastern Conference to a 38-36-8 finish, good for the eighth-worst record in the League.

continued

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Picking The San Jose Sharks

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The easy assumption is that the Bruins could get by the Red Wings, Canadiens, or whomever is left for the Conference Final without facing the gauntlet while the Western champion has to muddle through Chicago and St. Louis; San Jose and Los Angeles; just to be left standings for one round.

By form, the rested Eastern champ, Boston, should beat the weary Western champ, be it the Blackhawks, Kings, Sharks, or whomever else. But by form, Colorado and Anaheim shouldn’t have ended up in first place.

Which leads me to my Stanley Cup pick: The Sharks.

Why? In this first season of trying to figure out the new playoff format, why not have the team win we can never figure out?

more

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Eugene Melnyk On The Senators

from Ken Warren of Senators Extra,

“Paul is our coach, he’s going to be our coach going into next year,” said Melnyk, who suggested that there could be other changes within the coaching staff and hockey operations department.

While he cleared up MacLean’s status, the water is still muddy as far as Spezza is concerned.

“Jason understands what his role was and is,” said Melnyk. “He’s a professional and understands that he could be here today and gone tomorrow, or he could stay long term and be with the team for many years. (His future) is dependent on on what other pieces we need to put together.

“He’s one of 20 plus players. You can’t put all on his shoulder.”...

At the same time, however, Melnyk says that doesn’t mean he’s going to spend to the NHL salary cap. He insists the best avenue to success is spending money “behind the scenes”, scouting properly and on developing players from within.

“It’s very, very easy to increase payroll,” he said. “Any idiot can do it. Lots of idiots do.”

more

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Team USA Names Peter Laviolette As Head Coach For IIHF World Championship

from USA Hockey,

Peter Laviolette (Franklin, Mass.) has been named head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team that will participate in the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship it was announced today by USA Hockey. The event will take place in Minsk, Belarus, May 9-25. Team USA is the defending bronze medalist in the event.

Laviolette has previously represented the United States in international competition on numerous occasions in several different capacities. He most recently served as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia, and was the head coach of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in Torino, Italy. Prior to that, Laviolette was head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the IIHF Men's World Championship in back-to-back years (2004, 2005), leading the United States to the bronze medal in 2004.

continued

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  Tags: peter+laviolette

Flyers Sign Andrew MacDonald To A Six Year Extension

via the Philadelphia Flyers,

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have signed defenseman Andrew MacDonald to a multi-year contract extension today, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

MacDonald was acquired by the Flyers around this year's trade deadline on March 4 from the NY Islanders, and since joining the team, has four assists in 19 games and recorded over 20 minutes of ice-time in 14 of those games, including a Flyers-high of 28:49 at Pittsburgh on Apr. 12.

The 6-1, 190-pound defenseman led all NHL players in blocked shots this season with 242 and was one of three players in the NHL with over 200 blocks.

He finished the season with four goals and 24 assists for 28 points in 82 games between the Islanders and Flyers.

 

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  Tags: andrew+macdonald

Your Team Won’t Win The Cup

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

Your team isn’t as good or as complete as you believe it to be. They will not win the Stanley Cup.

And here’s why your favorite team will come up empty this spring:

Anaheim: Because the stats community says you’re doomed to fail. Your team’s 49.8 percent Corsi percentage is second-worst among Western playoff teams, which means you don’t possess the puck enough. You were upset last year and it’s going to happen again.

Boston: Your team is the clear favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. But since upsets always happen in the NHL playoffs, this means you won’t fulfill that prophecy.

Chicago: Teams don’t win back-to-back Stanley Cups anymore. Dynasties went out with parity and the salary cap.

Colorado: Aren’t you supposed to be in the draft lottery?

Columbus: Not since the earliest days of the Original Six – and of the NHL – has a franchise without a playoff game win gone on to win the Cup. You’re out.

read on

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Who Starts In Goal For The Sharks?

from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,

"I'm ready to name him," McLellan reiterated Monday. "I'm just not going to name him."

Niemi -- the Sharks' No. 1 goalie since he arrived in San Jose before the 2010-2011 season -- struggled down the stretch with three losses in five starts before Saturday, when he rebounded to make 30 saves to help lead the Sharks to a 3-2 win at Phoenix. Niemi has started all 34 playoff games since joining the Sharks, going 16-17.

Stalock has had an impressive season in spot duty, going 12-5-2 with a 1.87 goals against average. On Friday, he made 32 saves in the Sharks' 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Regarding the amount of consideration that went into the decision on who will start in net, McLellan said it's "the same amount that has gone into every other game that we've played in the playoffs and the regular season for the last six full seasons. That's the debate we have. We're a close staff. We include everybody, and we make decisions that we think are the best."

read on

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

Video- Top Plays Of The Season - TSN Style

Almost four minutes of the best plays during the regular season..

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Your Hockey Bloopers For The Regular Season

How about 15 minutes worth of hockey bloopers during the regular season?

Watch them all below...

Continue Reading »

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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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