Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Those potentially on the hot seat:
Dave Tippett, Dallas Stars
Probability of getting the ax: Medium to high.
• You have to believe Tippett has to get the Stars out of the first round to hang on to his job. He has had three seasons to get this club back to the level it was at during the Ken Hitchcock years, and—despite very good regular-season results—Dallas has been unable to make big noise in the postseason.
read on for more…
from Mark Bradley at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogs,
The Thrashers have never played a postseason game. That changes next week. The NHL playoffs are different from the NBA’s. Any team that gets in has a realistic (as opposed to a theoretical) chance to play for the Cup. The Thrashers could surprise everyone and be playing not just next week but next month.
If that happens, Atlanta will tune in. This is, as we know, a bandwagon city. But I’m guessing the first round will get little attention from the masses because the bandwagon hasn’t really budged
from the NY Post NHL blog,
Someone at 1251 Avenue of the Americas deserves a raise. And it ain’t Bettman. It’s the ingenious pencil pusher on the 47th floor responsible for scheduling the regular season. Have you taken a look at what’s happening in the East? What foresight! Who did that guy sell his soul to?
If some underpaid gofer ran a computer program last spring to generate the matches to be played out tonight and Saturday, I don’t want to know about it. Especially if it was some snot-nosed Ivy Leaguer out of Cornell. I want to believe the scheduler is a butterball of a man with a combover and horn-rimmed glasses who looks like he should be a cog in the wheel of Mission Control circa 1972 rather than sitting in a Manhattan skyscraper.
Some of you may know NHL teams will be undergoing a website transistion for next year.
The Hurricanes have started and all of the teams will have this basic format by the start of next season.
What do you think?
added 3:00pm, The Canes provide some information about the new look…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
In fact, it’s no stretch to say you could take any playoff-bound Western Conference team and make a very good case for them to start quizzing civic authorities about ideal championship parade routes.
In Vancouver, Roberto Luongo has been so dominant and Hart-worthy, he’s on the verge of being canonized as the patron saint of puck-stopping. In Calgary, Miikka Kiprusoff is rounding into form at just the right time. In Minnesota, Marian Gaborik is converting cynics into sycophants since returning from injury.
much more on all playoff bound teams…
from the Calgary Sun,
The extra work has paid huge dividends for Huselius and the Flames. Heading into tonight’s crucial game in San Jose, the left winger has obliterated his previous NHL career highs with 33 goals and 43 assists in 78 games.
Toss in the fact he’s been flagged with only 26 penalty minutes and it’s understandable why the Flames believe they have a legitimate Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The team will soon be handing out packages to the media stating his case.
“I’ve heard people talking about it but I don’t know what to say,” said the mild-mannered Huselius. “It’s an honour to be mentioned in that category.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
“We treated our fans to some of the best hockey they’ve seen in well over a decade last year, and this year we’ve rebounded with probably the worst hockey they’ve had in over a decade. We just have to find a little balance.”
The search begins right now and, judging from what he’s seen over the last 18 games, Lowe will need a bigger shopping basket than he originally anticipated. Management said they’d learn a lot about their players during this stretch, and they have. But much of it isn’t very good.
“We have, in our minds, a clearer picture of how we see our team coming together next season, what holes we need to fill, besides the obvious ones.”
from the LA Times,
Selanne was called for using an illegal stick, which nullified the four-on-three advantage. The Ducks couldn’t score in overtime and San Jose put in both of its tries in the shootout to get a 3-2 victory at Honda Center….
Selanne said he was surprised by Wilson’s maneuver. He acknowledged the illegality but also blamed the poor ice surface.
“It might be a little wide. But there’s a reason why it’s wide. That’s because the NHL makes great ice and you need a stick this wide to receive a pass in this league,” Selanne said sarcastically.
As he said that, Selanne held his hands a foot apart. Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle sought to shift the blame away from his star winger.
more (reg. req.)
from the Toronto Star,
Islanders fans love Wade Dubielewicz, mostly because they can chant his nickname – “Du-bie, Du-bie” – whenever he makes a save.
They’ll love him even more if the Goalie Who Came Out of Nowhere can pull off the next to impossible and rally the New York Islanders into the playoffs….
He’s listed generously at 5-foot-10 – maybe with skates on – and he’s more a reaction-type goalie. Think Mike Palmateer. Or maybe Yoda.
On his mask, he’s painted Islanders history – Bobby Nystrom celebrating and Denis Potvin hoisting the Cup – as well as the Star Wars character.
“I don’t really look like a goalie, and Yoda doesn’t really look like a Jedi warrior,” he said.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
This Penguins fun is a different kind of fun than the “old” Stanley Cup-winning Penguins used to have which was more like the fun you’d see at 11 o’clock at, say, McNabb Arena on a Monday night.
The old birds would skate around in practice without helmets or shoulder pads and coach Eddie Johnston would blow his whistle a couple of times. Tom Barrasso would scowl at somebody and 20 minutes later somebody would undo Mario Lemieux’ skates for him.
These new Penguins are having fun, too, but it’s the fun that comes when some kids realize they have a chance to do something special for the first time. Fun for them; fun for those of us who watch.
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.
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