Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
And so the Rangers are now 5-0 in potential series clinchers at the Garden over the last four years, and the common denominator to the team’s success is the uncommon goaltender named Henrik Lundqvist.
It’s on to the second round for the Blueshirts following Friday’s Game 5, 2-1 overtime triumph over the Penguins on Carl Hagelin’s goal from the right at 10:52. It’s on to the second round for the fourth straight season, a perhaps modest achievement, but not really, not in this NHL, not when the Rangers are the only team in the league to win at least one round every year beginning in 2012.
“It’s not a new feeling, but it’s not like you shrug your shoulders,” said Lundqvist, who turned in a sterling 37-save performance in withstanding the Penguins’ most stern challenge of this first round. “You don’t get too far in front of yourself, but you really appreciate the moment.”
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
There they go again, your St. Louis Blues, the most appropriately named franchise in professional sports. I can’t figure them out. Can you? Why do they insist on giving us the blues? They don’t need a better coach or game plan; they need to go sit on Dr. Phil’s couch. Maybe he can holler at them.
With a wonderful chance to take a crucial 3-2 series lead over the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday night, the Blues scored early and then skidded on their own flop sweat, losing 4-1 before a full house of oh-no disbelievers at Scottrade Center.
Instead of returning to the Twin Cities with an opportunity to put the Wild down and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Blues will seek to avoid elimination from the tournament for a 47th consecutive season.
With the galloping Wild up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, perhaps this will motivate the Blues to play their best hockey again. For some reason, the Blues require desperation for adrenaline, and their wake-up call is the sound of a crises. The Blues absolutely refuse to make it easy for themselves.
And of course it makes no sense. By now, any attempt to psychoanalyze the Blues will result in even more confusion and frustration.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
So even though the Penguins don't want to end the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era, I'm not sure they're going to have a choice in the matter.
It's not that the franchise centers are unhappy. (They are, but they've been that way since last summer). They've lost faith in the direction of the franchise. And I'm not sure what can be said — especially to Malkin — to make things right.
Something has to be done in the wake of the Penguins' 2-1 series-ending overtime loss to the New York Rangers in Game 5 on Friday at Madison Square Garden that eliminated them from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Otherwise, the Penguins might have to sell another early playoff exit and a trade they'd rather not make.
Co-owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux could have a lot more to consider than whether to let pride — or stubbornness — get in the way of doing what's best for business. They must hire a new general manager, one who understands the NHL's not-so-new salary-cap dynamic, a hockey boss with autonomy to make hockey moves.
Because this isn't what Crosby and Malkin signed on for when each agreed to a second long-term contract at below market-value salary.
The Penguins are unrecognizable. They've gone from the marquee to the second stage. Or, put in hockey terms, from Stanley Cup contender to playoff pretender.
via the CP at NHL.com,
With 2:03 left in Ottawa's 5-1 victory on Friday night, Prust moved into the crease and brushed against Anderson, who responded with a stick jab in the back. Prust then began spearing the goaltender in the midsection and a skirmish broke out.
Prust was called for roughing and cross-checking and Patrick Wiercioch got a roughing minor, while P.K. Subban and Eric Gryba got 10 minute misconducts for a lively wrestling match.
"There's certainly frustration on their part," said Cameron. "A sure sign of frustration is when they're taking cheap shots at your goaltender, who's a real good player for us.
"Cheap, extremely cheap. Prust, I've known for a long time. I think he's a respectable guy. A real good player for a long time. But that was cheap what he did tonight."
Prust did not speak to the media after the game and coach Michel Therrien made no comment.
Anderson was unfazed by the incident.
"He's going to the net hard. It's just a battle of emotions there," said Anderson. "I'm fighting for my ice, he's fighting for his ice. I got a little stickwork, but no harm, no foul."
Watch the incident below...
The recap package put together by Sportsnet,
The NHL's version is below...
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss the Jets’ elimination, Ottawa’s attitude against Montreal and the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson.
NEW YORK -- Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded "to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position," the National Hockey League announced today.
The general managers of the 30 NHL clubs submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
from Curtis Pashelka and David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Two hockey analysts with ties to the Sharks have very different ideas about what General Manager Doug Wilson should be seeking in his next coach.
"A coach is going to have to be able to come in there and be a fence-mender a little bit," said Drew Remenda, longtime Sharks broadcaster until this season and a onetime assistant coach for the team. "The coach coming in, he'll be solid in Xs and Os -- and everybody who gets a shot is -- but his communication skills are key."
NBC analyst and former Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick suggested Wilson should hire someone a bit rough around the edges to replace Todd McLellan, who left the team by mutual agreement last week.
"They need someone with a firm hand, someone who is not afraid to challenge the players verbally," Roenick said. "I thought Todd was a great player's coach. If there was one thing that I wish he did more was be a little bit more verbal and vocal on a fiercer side."
There are some players, he added, "that need to be motivated, that need to be kicked in the ass on more of a regular basis. When they disappear for four or five games, it's not acceptable."
I really enjoy these types of videos.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
This is the time of year when we get to hear phrases like “overall body soreness,” and watch as NHL coaches wince and shake their heads defiantly when asked about injuries.
This is playoff time, the time of secrecy and subterfuge and subterranean X-ray rooms manned by men who carry cyanide pills just in case they’re captured.
Really, it’s all so silly.
There is no hiding the fact it makes a reporter’s job significantly harder when the specifics of a player injury are kept hidden, so of course I’m frustrated. But by not disclosing all information available, you’re really keeping it from the fans, the people who pay all of the bills. All of them.
I understand teams think the more information they give out, the better it is for the opposition. If you don’t know how hurt a guy is, you can’t really game plan for him. But if they were honest with themselves, they would know injuries are not hidden from those within the league. It’s one big web — coaches talk to other coaches, who talk to agents, who talk to players, and very little is kept entirely under wraps. If just about everyone the ice knows what an injury is, why shouldn’t the people in the stands?
Transparency, then, is the answer.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org