Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at The Maven,
DETROIT VS. CALGARY - The fact that the Flames virtually backed into a playoff berth should be taken lightly. Calgary has the goaltending and Jarome Iginla. Detroit’s legacy lately has been playoff choke after choke.
This one is my favorite upset vote. I can foresee Chris Chelios falling all over himself and Matt Schneider not able to keep Detroit’s defense intact. More than anything, I have this feeling of upset and that’s all there is to it! CONCLUSION: CALGARY IN SIX.
more picks from Stan…
from Scott Morrision at CBC,
Perhaps he had a premonition. Or perhaps it has been that kind of year, so what else would Paul Holmgren expect?
But these are the words the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers uttered on the eve of Tuesday’s draft lottery:
“It stinks. We’re the worst team, we should get the first pick.”
End of conversation.
So what happens? Even though the Flyers had a 48.2 per cent chance of winning the number one pick, the Chicago Blackhawks moved from fifth (based on the standings) to first through a weighted lottery.
from David Shoalts at the Globe and Mail,
Mats Sundin should have a new contract by June 15, according to Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson.
And Ferguson expects to keep his job long enough to award many more contracts in future National Hockey League seasons.
“I plan to be here for a long time and will operate in that fashion,” Ferguson said Tuesday afternoon in answer to speculation his bosses at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment might fire him after the Maple Leafs missed the NHL playoffs by one point for the second consecutive year.
from the Detroit News,
The Red Wings likely will begin the playoffs Thursday against Calgary without forward Todd Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi, who suffered a concussion in the next-to-last game of the regular season against Chicago, wasn’t on the ice for the second consecutive day Tuesday, and coach Mike Babcock didn’t sound encouraged about Bertuzzi playing in Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena.
“In my mind, he’s not available at this point,” Babcock said after Tuesday’s practice.
Its tour of San Francisco was a bit more genteel, with a ride on a Cable Car and stops at some of the city’s tourist landmarks.
There’s actually a book dedicated to the Cup’s exploits titled, “Why is The Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux’s Swimming Pool?”
read on...plus a slide show and video…
Hey AO, you can’t touch the….
from the Globe and Mail,
In his first installment, The Scout previews the 16 teams who have qualified for the spring race to Lord Stanley’s goblet.
It’s in the second race that the quest for the Cup really begins. Fourteen have fallen, 16 remain.
Here’s a look at the 16 survivors, their strengths, weaknesses and those qualities that will help them win or guarantee their failure.
Detroit Red Wings
Strengths / Weaknesses: The Wings fly into the playoffs with big wins down the stretch. They’re riding a high. Yet, as coach Mike Babcock knows, winning the Western Conference regular season title doesn’t equate with playoff success.
continued... all 16 teams covered…
via the Pittsburgh Channel,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans are invited to gather downtown for a playoff rally at noon Wednesday in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and county Chief Executive Dan Onorato are hosting the rally. There will be free food and music.
Onorato’s office said students are encouraged to bring signs and banners to decorate the courthouse and the City-County Building. The signs can either be brought to the rally or dropped off at the guard station adjacent to the Forbes Avenue entrance of the courtyard.
via the Detroit News,
Come back to detnews.com after 1 p.m. today for a story and photo of the unveiling in Detroit of the statue of former Red Wings great Gordie Howe.
The Wings plan to unveil the statue at 1 p.m. at the Gordie Howe Entrance of the Joe Louis Arena. Howe, the Wings’ all-time leading scorer, is expected to attend the ceremony, which is closed to the public.
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
Strong. Competitive. Skilled. With that great package of intangibles, coupled with discipline and determination and passion, Forsberg is a winner. And it just so happens that the months that Weight talked about are the most pressurized times of the season down the stretch and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“When I think of him,” Blues coach Andy Murray said, “I think of skill, strength, competitiveness and that insatiable stamina he has. There’s not a player in the NHL that plays such long shifts ... and is as good in the final 15 seconds as he was in the first 15 seconds.”
via the Globe and Mail,
Ottawa head coach Bryan Murray was asked Tuesday whether he anticipated a match-up between Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan and Pittsburgh enforcer Georges Laracque during the upcoming series between the Senators and Penguins.
“Not unless they get into a fight in the press box,” joked Murray, who sat out McGrattan for all 10 of Ottawa’s playoff games a year ago.
from the Montreal Gazette,
A few months ago, Lecavalier received an email from the organizer of an outdoor recreational league he played in as a youngster on the island off the northwestern tip of Montreal. The league was still using the same sweaters Lecavalier and other players wore 20 years ago.
In no time, a shipment of 36 new Tampa Bay Lightning sweaters, half black and half white, each with the No. 4 and the name “Vincent” emblazoned on the back, arrived in Ile Bizard, to the delight of the children and organizer Ken Acton, who said proudly: “The kids on this island never forget.”
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