Kukla's Korner Hockey
A short Q&A session with the media, talking with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland.
Q. What sort of lessons do you take from being at this point last season as you enter this series?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I think the big thing is I’ve been really fortunate to be here. This is my third time in five years, and it’s the best time of year. It’s a lot of fun. You want to prepare as hard as you can and get your team ready to go.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
...That’s why I’m going with them in the East, despite Sidney (Whiner-Diver) Crosby, Evgeni (Let’s See How He Handles The Flyers Toughies) Malkin and Marian (I Finally Woke Up) Hossa.
As for Dallas-Detroit, I’m going with the Bigger D, as in DALLAS on the basis of Marty Turco over Chris Osgood—or Dom Hasek—and their phenomenal motivation.
from Lightning Strikes,
This news release just arrived from the Lightning. No confirmation on the ACL, but the fact that the team is acknowledging surgery is likely would seem to square with the early reports. Here’s the release:
TAMPA BAY - Tampa Bay Lightning center Jeff Halpern has suffered a right knee injury that is expected to require surgery, it was announced by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster.
added 8:10pm, from the CP via TSN,
Tampa Bay centre Jeff Halpern is expected to miss the next six to eight months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, the Lightning announced Wednesday.
From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Familiarity itself doesn’t breed contempt, but seven straight playoff games almost always do. In any case, slights that have been accumulating during a lengthy history sometimes also do the trick. Given the current level of vitriol, the Penguins and the Flyers seem to have a history that started about 20 minutes after the founding of colonial Penn’s Woods.
Although Detroit and Colorado had the most disputatious rivalry of the past 15 years—a badge of honor that should be retired after that four-game pillow fight between the Red Wings and Avalanche in the second round—the matches between the Penguins and Flyers are now hockey’s most combustible and most entertaining.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
With attention usually directed to the Detroit Red Wings’ reputation as the NHL’s top puck possession team, it’s overlooked that the true uniqueness of this team is that its best scorers are also its best checkers.
The team’s two most dangerous offensive players, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, are among the three finalists for the Selke Trophy, the award given annually to the NHL’s top defensive forward.
Jeremy Roenick confirmed he’ll return to San Jose next season for another run at the Stanley Cup.
“I think it would be a shame to go one year and out,” the 19-year veteran said at the bittersweet conclusion of his first year in teal.
Roenick also echoed the dual sentiments of every coach and player in the room. He insisted the Sharks will be unfulfilled until they advance further in the postseason, but they don’t need major changes to get there.
more on the Sharks…
Update 1:46pm ET: From Charlie Teljeur, a Sharks cartoon…
The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired coach Paul Maurice, sources tell TSN.
Maurice had one year remaining on his original three-year contract.
added 11:42am, Leafs have called a major news conference for 3pm today.
Update 1:20pm ET: Some analysis from Adam Proteau at The Hockey News. To wit… Maurice was fired 3 months too late.
Update 3:06pm ET: Not much said at the press conference but a couple quotes from GM Cliff Fletcher related to the termination of Maurice and Randy Ladouceur . Specifically:
“This is the start of a new era for the Maple Leafs” and
“There will be substantial news coming from the hockey club in the next 6-10 weeks.”
From the Triangle Business Journal,
A $290 million arena that will serve as the new home to the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins got the go-ahead Tuesday from Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission. The 6-0 vote came about a month after the panel rejected a design by HOK Sport of Kansas City as being too “generic.”
HOK Sport unveiled updated designs at the meeting, including night-time renderings that show light the 18,500 seat-venue shining light from nearly every angle.
from Capitals Insider,
Although majority owner Ted Leonsis, GM George McPhee and Team President Dick Patrick have yet to discuss next season’s roster in detail, it sounds like the Caps are going to seriously consider re-signing Sergei Fedorov - for the right price, that is.
The 38-year-old Russian was a major factor down the stretch, centering both of the top two lines and logging big minutes on special teams. Fedorov also mentored Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom as the youngsters made of their first playoff push.
“He was great for us,” Leonsis said yesterday. “So I’m sure if he wants to play, and we can afford it, we’ll figure it out.”
Spector has the latest on Jagr, Shanahan, Campbell and others at his Trade Rumors section…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org