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Steve Simmons Says

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- I figured Ken Hitchcock to be the perfect coach to bring structure to the Edmonton Oilers, until they won the Connor McDavid lottery. Now you want a coach who can bring structure to the Oilers AND develop a superstar. The job just got more complicated.

- Thomas Vanek, lousy in last year’s playoffs in Montreal, is goal-less this year in Minnesota.

- What if Steve Yzerman had chosen Seth Jones ahead of Jonathan Drouin in 2013 NHL draft? How much different would this very good Tampa Bay Lightning team look then?

You can’t call Drouin a bust yet — it’s still early and clearly there’s a lot of internal disagreement between where the player sees himself and how the Lightning views him. But Jones has been a ready-made NHL defenceman who keeps getting better.

Add him on a second pairing behind Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman and on the Tampa special teams and how much would the Lightning change in terms of talent and size?

more on the Drouin/Jones topic plus additional hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Use The Video Review Process

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

There is no reason that another NHL playoff game should end with a goal scored following a missed offside call the way that Game 1 of the Tampa Bay-Montreal series did on Friday night.

Literally, there is no reason. Commissioner Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors must have the authority within its panoply of overreaching powers to institute immediate video review for, a) either every goal scored in the playoffs, or, b) if starting slowly is the idea, every overtime goal from now until the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June.

Yes, Plan B.

It always is interesting to note what embarrasses the league. When the powers-that-were-and-still-are didn’t care for Sean Avery’s antics in front of Martin Brodeur in Game 3 of the Rangers-Devils first round in 2008, the NHL invented a rule pretty much overnight to address the matter.

But a tainted overtime goal? Not so much.

continue plus addtional hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Wow Alex Ovechkin

The Rangers did win 3-2 today to even the series at one, but what a goal from Alex Ovechkin to make the game close.



added 3:30pm, NBC version is below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Open Post- Today’s Stanley Cup Playoff Game

The Washington Capitals will try to go up 2-0 in their series with the New York Rangers.

Puck drops just after 12:30pm ET and is on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA.

Discuss the game if you wish.

added 5:46pm, In case you missed the game, a 3-2 NYR win, the highlights are below...

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Script Needed

from Stan Fischler of the Daily Freeman,

It’s too bad that a Hollywood script writer wasn’t around to choreograph the Stanley Cup Playoffs now into the second round.

In the fantasy world of Tinseltown, the National Hockey League screenplay would have had the Islanders beating Washington last Monday night in D.C.

Had that once-plausible script become reality, The Greater New York Area would be going gaga (not as in Lady) over a New York-New York hockey rivalry which is as good as it ever could get.

But — as far as I know — we still live in a non-Warner Brothers real world, the Islanders are packing their way out of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum while the Rangers have resumed their quest for The Cup.

Actually, in their own star-spangled way the Capitals are a more Hollywood team than the Rangers.

When it comes to hockey’s marquee goal-scorer, Washington Alex Ovechkin not only holds center stage but covets the limelight like Justin Bieber.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Home Team in Caps
Tampa Bay 2, MONTREAL 1 (2OT) – TBL leads series 1-0
CHICAGO 4, Minnesota 3 – CHI leads series 1-0
Nikita Kucherov scored the decisive goal at 2:06 of double-overtime and Ben Bishopmade 43 saves, including 13 after regulation, to power the Lightning to a 1-0 series lead against the Canadiens.

* The Lightning improved to 10-7 in 17 all-time playoff overtime games, including a 9-3 record on the road. They have won both of their overtime contests this postseason, also in Game 4 of the FR at DET.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Too Late

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,

This is a tale about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Definitely the wrong time.

The NHL insists Blackhawks fans are victims of their geography. That’s why we Midwesterners — or Children of the Corn, as commissioner Gary Bettman thinks of us — are getting stuck with all these 8:30 p.m. starts for Hawks playoff games, according to the league.

I suspect it’s a we-don’t-live-in-New-York-and-thus-don’t-matter problem, but if I say that, I’ll probably have a college professor declare that I have an inferiority complex about being from Chicago.

The first game of the Blackhawks-Wild series started at 8:30 p.m. Friday, as will Thursday’s Game 4 in Minnesota. That will make it five 8:30 starts out of the first 10 playoff games for the Hawks – three of them on school nights.

Oh, and by the way, although the start time says 8:30 p.m., the action actually begins at 8:45 because of all the pregame buildup on TV. Judging by the bags under your eyes, I can tell you know that already. Judging by your kids taking up any other sport than hockey, I can tell you know that already too.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The New York Rangers Need A Win Today

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

You could feel the heat rising with every word that came out of Alain Vigneault’s mouth during the coach’s press briefing following the Rangers’ practice on Friday.

Fourteen hours after his team’s last 1.3-seconds Game 1 defeat to the Capitals, Vigneault’s anger was palpable, his normally calm, light, buttoned-down demeanor escalating into a series of verbal challenges thrown at his team to be better, sharper and more aware for Saturday’s Game 2.

Play to the end, urged the coach, whose constant message of whistle-to-whistle did not translate on Thursday, when the Rangers fatally decided to play whistle-to-red light on the winning/losing sequence.

Be better against the Nicklas Backstrom-Alex Ovechkin-Joel Ward line, demanded Vigneault, who called the number of “good looks” generated by that unit “unreal.”

Get more involved in the offense, the coach instructed his defense. Finish your scoring chances, he prodded his team, which has recorded two goals or fewer in five of six playoff games, getting one in the first 60 minutes of each of the last three matches, a number Vigneault said “Won’t cut it.”


Note the game starts just after 12:30pm ET today and is the only game on the NHL schedule today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Habs Can’t Beat The Lightning

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

One game does not a series make. And one double-overtime loss doesn’t end the Canadiens’ season.

It was, however, the Canadiens sixth straight loss to Tampa since Pacioretty’s series winner. The Lightning won all five regular-season games against the Canadiens in 2014-’15. And Nikita Kucherov’s goal, just over two minutes into the second OT period Friday night made it six straight – in a game the Canadiens should have won.

While the Canadiens completed their opening-round elimination of Ottawa last Sunday night in Kanata, the Lightning had to battle back from a 3-2 series deficit against Detroit, finally knocking off the Wings in a seventh-game squeaker Wednesday night.

As the series against Tampa began, the Canadiens were the rested team. And as overtime wore on, the rested team should have had an advantage.

That might have been the case had the game lasted longer. But Kucherov ended it before the Canadiens could register a shot on Ben Bishop in the second OT period.

Most of the stats favoured the Canadiens: a 44-35 shot advantage, 34 blocked shots to 27 for Tampa Bay, a 43-32 margin in hits, 55 wins in 89 faceoffs.

But we all know the only stat that counts is the final score.

read on

Below, watch Sportnet's 'Mashup' of the game...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Not The Best Game For The Minnesota Wild

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

The Wild held one obvious and one possible advantage entering the second-round playoff series with the Blackhawks.

The obvious advantage: Devan Dubnyk had played like one of the top three goalies in the NHL for four months, while the Blackhawks had benched Corey Crawford before reinstating him.

The possible advantage: The Wild’s defensive system has thrived since Dubnyk’s arrival.

The latter betrayed the Wild in the first period, and the former betrayed the team when it mattered most.

The Wild’s usually-reliable defense handed Chicago three goals in the first period, and Dubnyk whiffed on a long shot in the last minute of the second. The Wild lost 4-3 instead of finishing what might have become the most remarkable comeback in franchise history.

“I just have to work harder at the beginning of that play,” Dubnyk said. “I have to get down and move to where I can see the puck the whole way.

“I didn’t see it until it was six or eight feet out, and I put my glove where I thought it was going, and I missed it. Simple as that.”


Game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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