Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jacques Demers at USA TODAY,
There was only one true genius among coaches and that was the great Scotty Bowman.
What makes the rest of us coaches look like geniuses in the playoffs is great goaltending.
Pitching is at a premium at the World Series. You usually don’t win a Super Bowl unless you have a great quarterback.
And you just don’t win Stanley Cups without great goaltending. You need that stopper.
With the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs over, the National Hockey League has trimmed the number of referees that will work the second round.
The list of those staying on is headlined by Paul Devorski, Don Koharski and Bill McCreary, all of whom have worked more than 1,500 regular season and playoff games.
Notably absent from the second round is referee Kerry Fraser, who has also worked more than 1,500 regular season and playoff games.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The most inspirational hockey performance on Tuesday wasn’t Jeremy Roenick’s heroics in leading the San Jose Sharks to a Game 7 victory over the Calgary Flames or the Philadelphia Flyers dodging the Alexander Ovechkin bullet to get to the second round.
It took place that morning at St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic School in Whitby, Ont.
A game of ball hockey was played between the Grade 8 students and their teachers there but this was no run of the mill student-teacher activity. This was a full-scale game-day presentation that could put some NHL teams to shame and this was an event with a higher purpose, of that there is no doubt.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Do you hear the theme from “Happy Days” playing in the background? Holy back to the future, McFly. Not only did the Avalanche advance to the second round on the backs of oldies-but-goodies like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote, but they also get Jose Theodore to channel himself circa 2000 to draw old arch-nemesis Detroit in the second round.
continue for a series breakdown and the other matchups are available on the right sidebar at ESPN…
via the AP via Yahoo,
Coach Bruce Boudreau has been given a contract to stay with the Washington Capitals, a reward for leading the team from last in the NHL to a Southeast Division title.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said Wednesday: “He’s our coach. He’s under contract ... for a long time.”
added 2:28pm, more on the Caps at Capitals Insider...
Flashbacks To: 1950, 1996, 1997
April 23, 1950 • In the first Game Seven overtime in Final history, left winger Pete Babando, assisted by center George Gee at 8:31 of the second overtime period, gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win and the 1950 Stanley Cup title.
Four years later, another Detroit left winger, Tony Leswick, repeated Babando’s overtime feat in Game Seven of the 1954 Final. Since then, no player has scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime in the seventh and deciding game of the Final.
from The Hockey News,
Whether it’s recent or from seasons long past, each of the four conference semifinal matchups see rivals set to do battle once more; Detroit and Colorado rejuvenate their history from the ‘90s, Montreal and Philadelphia were two of the most potent franchises of the ‘70s, while Pittsburgh-New York and Dallas-San Jose will pick up where they left off from a division-heavy regular season schedule.
While there were upsets in both the West and the East - according to the seeds, anyway - the top two teams from each conference are still alive.
Below you’ll find breakdowns on each of the four second round series and, coming off a five-for-eight performance in the opening round, THN.com’s picks to move on.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
But even in doing so, San Jose left several questions floating, the kind that inevitably dog a favored team emerging from a series that went longer than it should have. Those questions provide a juicy subtext for their second round collision with the Dallas Stars, a matchup that gets underway Friday at the Shark Tank.
Is Ron Wilson up to the challenge?
There are few NHL coaches who can feel secure about their continued employment after their season ends in April. Carrying the burden of expectations that come with a division championship and years of playoff disappointments, Wilson was not one of them.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Chicago Blackhawks’ sensational pair of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews is joined by Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, who played pivot for Ovechkin for most of the season, as the trio of finalists up for this season’s Calder Trophy.
Nobody should be surprised any of these three candidates have reached this point of their career. They were all top-level draft picks in recent years.
from Jeff DiNunzio at Sports Central,
Last week, some dude most of us have never met wrote an obituary about the National Hockey League. Here’s the thing about writers: we all think our opinion is important. Sometimes it is; but usually it’s not. In this case, Sean Crowe — who, for whatever reason, refers to himself as SeanMC (are you a DJ?) — offered his take on the NHL’s demise, and argued that something must be done to resuscitate this mortal game. It’s true; the NHL has assassinated the last of its remaining prominence.
Although many readers’ comments boast the obvious — like one observed, “This story would’ve been more credible if it was written in 2006” — the truth is that Crowe’s “opinion piece” is shaky.
Original post regarding Sean…
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.
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