Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tennessean,
Coach Barry Trotz and his assistants have guided the team to 38, 49 and 51 regular-season victories, respectively, the past three seasons. But Predators General Manager David Poile has not exercised the option year on the coaching staff’s contracts and has said he won’t discuss new deals until the season is over.
That would seem to indicate playoff performance will weigh heavily on the staff’s future. Nashville has reached the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, losing in the first round as an eighth seed in 2004 and as a fourth seed last year.
“If the organization is happy, it won’t be a problem. If they’re not, they’ll move in a different direction.’‘
The series against the Sharks would appear to be as pivotal a time as any in the history of the Predators: so much reward for victory, so much concern with a loss.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The hockey in the Vancouver Canucks-Dallas Stars playoff series will not be boring. This, evidently, is a vile canard perpetuated by media types and fans who don’t appreciate the finer points of tight-checking, low-scoring . . . ZZZZZZZZ . . . sorry, dozed off there for a moment just thinking about it.
Where were we? Ah yes . . . system-oriented, defence-first, technically precise, goal-free hockey.
Boring? It’s not boring. Alternatively entertaining, maybe. Excitementally challenged. Possibly. But boring? Hardly.
from Todd Jones at the Columbus Dispatch,
When do we get to have some fun around here? Soon, the Jackets always say. Soon. Trust us.
This is an era of parity in professional sports. In the past 10 years, there have been six different Stanley Cup champions, five NBA champs, seven Super Bowl champs and seven winners of the World Series.
Those four sports have had 53 franchises in their championship games or series in the past decade. Everyone eventually has a parade except Columbus.
We don?t need to hoist the Cup yet. We just want a chance at it. Soon, the Jackets say. Soon. Trust us.
Wings’ Bloggers’ Playoff Pick’em
Here’s how the contest works:
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The best part of the hockey season begins tonight—yet we are on the outside looking in.
It is a most unfortunate place to be.
It must be different in a place such as Columbus, where there have been no playoffs, and hockey isn’t all over your television, and you don’t have a fantasy playoff draft, and you have to never think about what game is being shown on any given night.
But this is Hockey Country—and this is a market that lives, dies and emotes on a far too personal basis about everything that is Maple Leafs. And by not being good enough to make the playoffs, it isn’t only that Leafs fans aren’t always certain where to turn, it’s that they have been essentially robbed of the opportunity to be part of hockey at its very best.
Just in case you don’t know what teams play tonight.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So why, apart from their recent pattern of stumbling in the early playoff rounds, is there so little love for the Red Wings?
Kirk Maltby, who has played for Detroit since 1996, doesn’t know for sure, but he’s heard the doom-and-gloom naysayers.
“It’s funny, we were talking about this a couple of weeks ago,” Maltby said.
“I have XM radio in my truck and I listen to it all the time. At the beginning of the year, you had all these people calling in, trying to make predictions. People were saying we would be sixth or eighth — make the playoffs, but just slide in and then don’t do too much damage at all.
“I was kind of shaking my head….”
from the New York Post,
“It looks like [Wade] Dubielewicz will keep playing,” Nolan said after the team practiced. “More than likely (it will be Dubielewicz). Ricky’s not in our thought pattern right now.”
That would change should DiPietro stay symptom-free and pass a neurological test, which could happen as soon as tomorrow. If that did occur, he still would need practice time before returning to game action.
“Rick’s trying to get back, but all our whole focus has to be on the guys we have,” Nolan said.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Do the Devils have that extra gear on offence? Can Lou Lamoreillo’s squad kick it up a notch? I think the new coach is concerned about it, and that’s why he decided to go behind the bench.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, by contrast, does have that extra gear. This series is going to be a lot closer than people think because of Tampa’s extra jump up front.
read on...Bob touches on many of the firs round matchups…
from Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail,
He is only 23 years old, but feels almost elderly when talking about Sidney Crosby, the 19-year-old star he will face tonight when Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins visit Spezza’s Ottawa Senators in the first game of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Both were child prodigies in a game in which the majority of Canadian parents would rather see their sons play a single exhibition game in the National Hockey League than become prime minister.
Both were being written up in major newspapers by ages 13 and 14, Spezza making a quick leap from peewee hockey in Mississauga to bantam and, at 15, off to the major-junior leagues.
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 email@example.com