Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Anaheim Ducks,
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray discussed the dismissal of head coach Bruce Boudreau and the state of the franchise on Friday, April 29....
When did you first determine that this move had to be necessary?
I started worrying in Games 1 and 2. I started really worrying. We sort of rallied, although I didn’t think we played that well. I thought our goaltender played really good. And then we won three in a row. Game 6, we didn’t play well whatsoever. As I said, the right passion was there in Game 7.
It’s easier to replace a coach than it is to replace 20 guys, but when you look at your two best players – their performances in these Game 6s and 7s over the last three seasons, is it a matter of having to change the core in any way?
There are definite concerns in that area. The core has to be held responsible. They have to be better. Maybe I haven’t been hard enough in the last few years, but they’re going to hear some different words this time.
What are you looking for in your next coach, and when would you like to have one in place?
I’m not in any hurry whatsoever. Yesterday, I met with the family. We had talked the night before after the game. I went down to San Diego, and I just decided, in fairness to Bruce, that this happen now.
added 12:29pm, Press release is below...
from Elliott Teaford of the OC Register,
He was the Ducks’ highest-paid player this season at $8.625million and he delivered with 34 regular-season goals, tops on the team. But he didn’t score a single goal during the Ducks’ seven-game loss to the Predators, chipping in four assists for his only points.
At game’s end, after the Ducks lost their fourth Game 7 at Honda Center in as many seasons, Perry sat in front of his locker in full uniform as a pack of reporters descended upon him. He spoke softly about his frustration and praised the Predators for their defensive effort against him.
“I’ve got no excuses, that’s the way it went,” he said. “They swarm and push you against the wall and pin you there. It’s tough. They play strong defensively. They’re a strong defensive team. They know how to box out and they did it all series.”
Of Game 7, Perry added, “It’s tough. It’s not the way we wanted to start, but the second and third periods I thought we threw everything at them. A bounce here, a bounce there, and it can be a different story.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"It means a lot," Predators goalie Pekka Rinne said after leading his team to a 2-1 Game 7 win on Wednesday night. "It shows a lot of character. I think as a group we can learn from this series. It's a really good team we played against. There's a lot of good things we can take from this series.
"Just moving forward I think we're a better team already after this series and after this Game 7.''...
"We'd rather fly under the radar, and just kind of do our own business," captain Shea Weber said. "It's kind of the way we go. We don't need to be in the limelight. Hopefully we can keep proving that we're a good team.''...
It is beyond belief as a storyline. But it is reality. And it's hard not to think it may not cost Boudreau his job, even though some of his star players must shoulder the blame for this series loss as well.
"I have no idea," Boudreau said when asked about potential changes. "I haven't thought about it. As far as my future, I just come to work every day until I'm told not to come to work. And I think the team, especially the last half of the year, they believed what the expectations were and what they were supposed to be. The playoffs are a tough thing. There are 16 really good teams, and especially in the West, any of those eight teams that made it were good enough to win it.''...
"At least we went out there and gave it our all," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We tried everything we could to get that next goal. At least you can leave the ice knowing you left it out there in the end.''...
Corey Perry held his head in his hands in the Ducks' locker room Wednesday night. His despair was visible. No goals in seven games is certainly one of the reasons Anaheim is headed home too early.
Game highlights are below...
added 7:35am, handshake line video below too...
Game 1, Round 2- NY Islanders @ Tampa Bay 7:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Game 7, Round 1- Nashville @ Anaheim 10:00 PM ET NBCSN, TVAS, SN, FS-W, FS-TN
Feel free to discuss tonight's games.
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
There was a certain looseness to the Predators' morning skate Wednesday at Honda Center.
Energy was high and not blatantly nervous. Smiles were present. It was as if the Predators weren't preparing for a Game 7, the first in their history, and the magnitude of the situation before them.
"Honestly, it's another game," Predators captain Shea Weber said, summarizing the team's mindset ahead of Wednesday's winner-take-all matchup against the Ducks. "It's a big game. Obviously both teams really want to win, and the team that wins is going to go on to the second round.
"There's no point in making too much of it. You put too much pressure on yourself in these situations and you don't perform. I think you've got to come with your best effort. Everyone thinks that their best effort in a team atmosphere, team setting will do the job. Hopefully that'll happen tonight."
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
As difficult as the Ducks keep making this for themselves, they sure are making it easy for some of the rest of us.
Normally, advancing something as Titanic as a Game7 would require coming up with a creative idea for a column.
With the Ducks, however, I already came up with my idea ... almost a year ago.
The Register could simply rerun what I wrote before the Ducks’ most recent Game7, changing all the “Blackhawks” to “Predators” but retaining the general theme, and I could get an early start on my next hangover.
My column of May30, 2015, explained how the Ducks had no chance of beating Chicago in the finale of the Western Conference finals because, among other reasons, Game7 just isn’t a game this core group seems capable of winning.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
One game with the whole hockey world watching.
Consider how rare an opportunity that is for the Nashville Predators, a team that hardly ever gets a chance to showcase itself on national TV.
If they do, it's because they're the team other people see when they're watching highlights or reading a box score. So often, the afterthought franchise.
The pesky Predators have forced their way into the national spotlight, with a chance to knock off a team many picked to win the Stanley Cup. Come Wednesday night, they will the face the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of their first-round series at 10 p.m. ET in Anaheim, the last game of the NHL's opening round,
from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,
It was better this way, even if it didn't seem like it at the time.
The Nashville Predators will play in a Game 7 for the first time in franchise history, because they won a playoff game while trailing 3-2 in a series for the first time in franchise history, because they were flat-out better than the Anaheim Ducks on Monday at Bridgestone Arena.
And because their goaltender, Pekka Rinne, was flat-out clinical in the 3-1 win, rising for the first time in this series to the level of counterpart Frederik Andersen.
But the best part of this whole thing for the Predators was the worst part. A few lost seconds at the end of the second period, the kind of sequence that had shaken them in recent days and turned their eye-opening 2-0 series advantage into an eye-rolling 3-2 deficit.
Highlights from game 6 are below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
For the Nashville Predators, it's new territory they can't wait to experience. For the Anaheim Ducks, it's an all-too-familiar setting they wanted so badly to avoid.
Without question, the pressure in this series has shifted with Game 7 on tap, a first in the history of the Predators.
"Excited. You dream about it growing up. You're playing road hockey or you're playing on the pond, it's always Game 7 and an overtime winner," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "Hopefully, it's for us. It's an exciting time."
Weber's empty-net goal sealed a 3-1 win Monday in Game 6 to force the maximum. There is one final game to go in the opening round of the playoffs, with everyone watching.
It's a scenario Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne was giddy just thinking about during the day, but he tried not to look past the task at hand.
"Even though you try to just think about this game, Game 6, this afternoon I was thinking about Game 7, and now it's here," he said. "It's a great feeling."
Helene Elliott of the LA Tems reminds us...
The Ducks haven't won a Game 7 since they defeated the Calgary Flames in the first round in 2006. Since then they've lost four series that went the limit...
more on the Ducks/Predators....
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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