Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Hyde of the SunSentinel,
The names keep changing. The roles keep shifting. The primary question stays the same:
Do the Panthers know what they're doing?
With Sunday night's firing of coach Gerard Gallant, the purge is nearly complete of the smart hockey lifers that gold-fingered general manager Dale Tallon assembled before being kicked upstairs last spring.
The old-school hockey minds have given way to hockey analytics almost completely now. Maybe this team wins now. Maybe it gets healthy and shakes off a slow start. Probably in the short term, as Tallon assembled so much talent it can't be completely screwed up no matter who's in charge.
That brings up the question: Who is in charge? To announce Gallant's firing Monday, four Panthers officials were needed on the teleconference with media. Four. One more and they'd have a starting lineup Tuesday night in Chicago for the first game of their next chapter.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The response I got to Gallant's firing from team executives and coaches around the league was a universal shaking of the head. A coach who was nominated for the Jack Adams Award last season is gone just 22 games into the 2016-17 campaign -- while his team is over .500 and has battled key injuries since the get-go.
The fact that photos surfaced of Gallant having to hail his own cab in Raleigh, N.C., after being told he was fired -- well, that just adds to the level of outrage for many.
I suspect that Gallant knew from the moment former GM Dale Tallon was "promoted'' to president of hockey operations last spring that he was on the clock. Gallant had been Tallon's coach. And now Tallon had been punted from the day-to-day hockey decision-making.
You can't fire a coach right after he's been nominated for coach of the year, can you? But the Panthers canned Gallant. For no justifiable reason.
SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon announced today that Panthers General Manager Tom Rowe has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
Rowe replaces Gerard Gallant, who was relieved of his duties yesterday.
Assistant coach Mike Kelly was also relieved of his duties.
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel at Miami Herald,
The Florida Panthers fired coach Gerard Gallant on Sunday night and general manager Tom Rowe will assume the coaching duties, according to a source.
The move was made Sunday night after the Panthers' 3-2 loss at Carolina. The Panthers fell to 11-10-1 through 22 games, good for only 10th in the Eastern Conference, but just two points out of a wild-card playoff berth.
Gallant confirmed via text that he and longtime friend and assistant coach Mike Kelly had been fired.
Phone calls to Rowe, assistant co-general manager Steve Werier and president of hockey operations Dale Tallon haven't been returned. Bill Torrey, the Panthers special advisor to Rowe and alternate governor, was unaware of the changes as he was tending to a personal matter.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
You said you don't want to let negative feelings creep in. Is that an issue for you this season? Is that a challenge you're trying to overcome now?
"Always. There's always negative feelings, but to stay positive is really important. That's not a big part of my day, worrying about little things that happen here and there. It's there and in the back of your mind, but I'm a positive, confident person creeping on the edge of cocky. I feel that's where I need to be."
What are you learning about trying to come together after so much changeover in the defense corps this past offseason?
"Of course it takes time. It's chemistry, right? We played two full years with those other guys. Now that they're gone, we're learning and we're going to play six years with the new guys, maybe more. It's been just over one month. To let things fall too heavily on all of our shoulders, it's not worth it. It's more focusing on positive things that happen every day, lifting each other up rather than worrying about, with all due respect, what you would say or anybody else?
"I feel we've definitely been turning a corner since we got Juice back, Jussi Jokinen. As Nick Bjugstad comes back, and once [Petrovic] gets better and [Huberdeau], we're going to be a great team. We know we're already a great team. We have the structure. We have the personnel to do it on the power play, on the penalty kill, at 5-on-5. We know we can. That's the kind of confidence and swagger that we have."
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
If the hockey gods have a sense of drama, they will make sure the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers finally play each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs this season. Fans would go crazy to see two Florida teams play and the players would dig into that rivalry as well.
On Monday, the Panthers defeated the Lightning 3-1, the Panthers' Reilly Smith scoring the winner in the waning minutes of regulation, goaltender Roberto Luongo finishing with 34 saves to snap a personal four-game losing skid.
These two teams will battle for Atlantic Division supremacy all season. The win by the Panthers (6-6-1) over the Lightning (7-5-1) should be exactly what they needed to push them in the right direction. The Panthers have been getting contributions from forward Vincent Trocheck, who has six goals and two assists for eight points in 13 games. Adding Jonathan Marchessault during the offseason was huge: the former Lightning forward is leading the Panthers with seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 13 games. But Florida needs more contributions throughout the lineup to set up this playoff matchup. Make it happen, hockey gods.
continue for some Rask and Trouba talk...
Regarding Lightning/Panthers, only an announced crowd of 11,000+ and game highlights are below...
You have to wonder how many goals he would have if he had not missed three NHL seasons to play in the KHL.
Florida TV call is below...
via Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
The officials waved it off, even before Trocheck collected the puck and put in the second effort. The Lightning started to celebrate and leave the ice.
"We thought it was done," Stamkos said.
But the goal was reviewed and it was ruled that Trocheck kept the "puck in motion towards the goal before his shot attempt." Rule 24.2 says, "once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete."
"It was close," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "After watching it now, it's a toss of the coin. But in the end, it all worked out. There's no controversy."
The Lightning did go on to win the game later in the shootout.
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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