Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
The NHL has no plans to expand the playoff pool to more teams.
The Colorado Avalanche were 13 games over .500 and couldn’t find a spot in the competitive Western Conference playoff party and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes had decent seasons but commissioner Gary Bettman is satisfied with the current format which sees 16 of 30 clubs make it to the post-season.
“The fact is that you wouldn’t necessarily have these exciting races in the regular season if you expanded the number of teams in the playoffs,” Bettman told The Canadian Press on Monday.
Sidney Crosby took part in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. I think everybody knew that the Penguins with the young talent they had were going to be good, but I don’t think anybody knew they would be good this quickly. Can you give us your idea why the Penguins have come together so quickly with the young players they have?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think it’s been a long time. Starting in goal, I think you have to have a great goalie in order to be successful. Marc has done a great job. Jocelyn, when he’s had the chance to go in, has. Starting there, I just think the young guys that we have really put the pressure on themselves to learn quick. I think everyone has the right attitude on our team, you know, just put a lot of pressure on themselves to learn faster than maybe typically younger guys would have to learn. They’ve really made an impact at a young age. Our veterans, guys like Recchi, Gonchar, Roberts, guys like that have really stepped up and led the way. I think it’s been a combination of things, but all those things combined.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
So in evaluating each goaltending tandem, here are some different elements to consider:
Who has the biggest drop-off from their starter to their backup? Not surprisingly, that would be New Jersey and Vancouver, as Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo, respectively, render their goaltending partners to paid observer status. If either was ever hurt, could any of us really expect the little-used Scott Clemmensen of the Devils or the equally inactive Danny Sabourin of the Canucks to win a game, never mind a series?
Conversely, teams such as the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks have nearly interchangeable excellence between their two netminders.
The NHL has selected the 20 referees and 20 linesmen who will work the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs, with one veteran referee surprisingly left off the list.
54 year-old Kerry Fraser, the longest serving referee in NHL history, did not make the cut this year.
read on for the list of officials…
NEW YORK (April 9, 2007) – Starting today on NHL.com, celebrities from the television, motion picture and music industries will write exclusive blogs and provide original video content to offer fans a unique perspective of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Through NHL.com, the official web site of the National Hockey League and the leading online community for hockey fans, each celebrity will offer insight on their favorite team’s quest for the Stanley Cup. In addition, using Pure Digital’s new Flip Video™ - the only camcorder that connects directly to YouTube – the bloggers will capture and instantly share the original video content on YouTube at youtube.com/nhl. The Playoffs begin Wednesday night.
When the NHL’s schedule doctor, Steve Hatze-Petros, begins the first drafts of what the playoff schedule will look like about a month before the season comes to a close, there are almost 30 teams still alive in the race….
Hatze-Petros sat down with NHL.com during his busiest and most hectic time of the year to talk about what he goes through in constructing the playoff schedule every spring.
How do you go about organizing the playoff schedule?—“We start keeping track of potential matchups in the playoffs about 30 days in advance. When you’re 30 days out, you wind up seeing probably every combination that could possibly happen. Our preparation on a daily basis is getting a new schedule out with the possible matchups.”
As long as Spector keeps on picking the Wings, his blog at Fox Sports will get linked, lol!
Actually, I try to stay away from many of the predictions, since we all have our own opinion your picks are as good as the “experts”.
But do check out Spector’s picks, very well done and a lot of thought put into them.
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down every first round matchup and has this to say about the Ottawa/Pittsbugh series…
It might not be what the big brains at the NHL would like to see, but the Senators’ experience and talented back end prove the difference in a surprisingly short series. Ottawa in five.
more on that matchup plus you will find links to every series on the right sidebar of that page…
The Stanley Cup Matchups. Details at ESPN.com.
Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames
Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks
Buffalo Sabres vs New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lighting
Atlanta Thrashers vs New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins
(Complete schedules forthcoming.)
Updated 12:30pm EDT:
The National Hockey League today announced the dates, times and national broadcast information for the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Quarterfinal round, which begins Wednesday, April 11.
2007 FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
From the Detroit Free Press,
Every issue that bothered the Wings last season has been addressed. In goal, they went from untested Manny Legace to proven Dominik Hasek. Up front, they added grit and size by trading for Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder. Leadership-wise, Lidstrom took over the captaincy with expected fluidity. "We're a better team than we were last year, even though we don't have as many points," forward Dan Cleary said. "I like our team. I just feel that, top to bottom, we can skate and we're a lot more physical. I think we're more gritty as a team. I believe we're more playoff-ready."More
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