Kukla's Korner Hockey
Elliotte Friedman takes an in depth look at the resurgence of the Chicago Blackhawks in the Chicago sports scene.
(Dan) Bylsma was not a fan of Babcock as coach or person. He barely played in those two seasons in Anaheim. Now, oddly enough, Bylsma, who beat Babcock for a Stanley Cup, might end up coaching the Sabres because Babcock said no to Buffalo.
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more hockey notes...
Not sure why ref Chris Rooney was where he was....
The game starts just after 8:00pm ET on NBC, CBC and TVA.
The Ducks can go up 3-1 in the series which would then give them a chance to wrap up the series at home on Monday.
The Blackhawks certainly need this game and should bring their 'A' game tonight.
Feel free to discuss.
... the NHL policy in which draft-pick compensation now can be attached to the hiring of coaches and front office personnel after they’ve been fired with term remaining on their contracts is a disgrace — immoral, or close to it, as labor relations go.
Imagine firing someone then stopping them from going somewhere else unless the hiring party antes up. The rebuilding Oilers likely will be forced to surrender two draft picks — either a second- and a third-rounder, or two thirds — to hire fired Boston GM Peter Chiarelli and fired San Jose coach Todd McLellan. Two steps forward, two steps back.
Where is Jimmy Devallano now that we need him to announce that coaches and managers are just cattle on the owners’ plantations?
-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on this topic plus a look at the Mike Babcock hiring in Toronto.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
During the course of a casual conversation a few years back, Marc Crawford was asked if the impact of an NHL coach could be measured in wins and losses.
Turned out Crawford had given this subject some thought. Without a lot of hesitation, the veteran hockey man said: “It’s seven to eight points a season.”
So there you go, Leafs fans. Your team just paid $50 million for a new coach and, if everything goes right, they’ll improve from 68 to 76 points next season. Surely that must be worth three hours of discussion on the panel.
The Leafs, of course, have become the newest test case for one of hockey’s enduring questions: Does a coach really make that much of a difference? In signing Mike Babcock to a groundbreaking eight-year, $50-million deal, they certainly made coaches all over the NHL happy. But is Babcock the man who can end half a century of misery in The Big Smoke? Can he, through his mere presence, alter the course of this cursed franchise?
You have to admit, it’s a helluva question. We just wish we could give you a helluva answer.
via Matt Bake at Lightning Strikes,
If Rangers coach Alain Vigneault looked at reporters as if they had three heads Thursday when they asked about benching star goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Lightning coach Jon Cooper went a step farther Saturday when the thought of a goalie change was brought up.
"I'll look at you like you have five heads," Cooper said before his team flew to New York for Sunday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. "How's that? No change."
Cooper said he has plenty of confidence in goalie Ben Bishop, who's given up five goals in back-to-back games for the first time since March 2011. Bishop's defensemen took much of the blame for the Rangers' offensive success, and Cooper said Bishop has passed every test in the playoffs so far.
"I understand your question," Cooper said of a potential change at goalie. "For someone to sit here and say, are we changing (in) goal? That is asinine to me."
added 3:40pm, Watch Cooper's response below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
On the day Simon Despres would become a member of the Anaheim Ducks, he was shopping for furniture with his girlfriend. Despres noted that the trade deadline had passed and thought little of the matter.
Then his phone started lighting up with messages wondering how he felt about his impending move to Anaheim.
Needless to say, the Laval, Quebec, native was dumbfounded that he was no longer with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that had drafted him with the 30th overall pick in 2009.
At the time, mentions of the deal that saw former Penguin Ben Lovejoy returned to Pittsburgh in return for Despres considered the trade a wash, if not a slight advantage to Pittsburgh, given Lovejoy’s experience and physical nature.
Hindsight being what it is, it’s difficult to imagine this deal working out any better for Despres or the Ducks, and not just because he delivered the game-winning goal in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night.
Home Team in Caps
NY Rangers 5, TAMPA BAY 1 – series tied 2-2
NASH HELPS RANGERS EVEN EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Rick Nash registered 2-1—3, his first career multi-goal and three-point playoff performances, to help the Rangers even the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece.
* The Rangers scored five goals for the second consecutive game (6-5 OT L in Game 3 at TBL). It marks the first time they have recorded five or more goals in consecutive playoff outings since Games 4 (5-3 W) and 5 (5-3 W) of the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. NJD. It also marks the first time they have posted five or more goals in consecutive road postseason contests since Games 3 (5-1 W) and 4 (5-2 W) of the 1994 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at NYI.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Somewhere in between the three overtime loss and the three and a half hour flight back here from California, the Blackhawks lost their speed.
And with it, they may have lost the ability to dictate the outcome of the remainder of the Western Conference final.
With a crucial Game 4 looming at the United Center on Saturday night, the 'Hawks hope to return to the style that got them through the first two rounds and a series split back in Anaheim.
And to do it, they'll need to get their legs out of the quicksand and not allow the Ducks to control the flow of the game as they did in Thursday's 2-1 win.
"I think any time when you talk about winning a series, you're going to want to play your game," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We can't play a run-and-gun game.
"We're not a team that's built to skate up and down the rink all night long and trade chances. We're just not built that way. We have to execute our system and the things we want to do."
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 email@example.com