Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
The Phoenix Coyotes are in the NHL playoffs for the first time in eight years. Their spot was clinched when the Calgary Flames lost to the Boston Bruins, 5-0, today.
The berth in the playoffs is a red-letter day for a franchise that was thrown into a turmoil due to bankruptcy, a drawn-out court scenario that could have sent them to Canada and the stepping down of coach Wayne Gretzky.
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Boston Bruins center Marc Savard said he is still experiencing lingering effects of the concussion he suffered on March 7 when he was hit in the head by Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke.
“I’m just trying to feel normal again and I don’t feel that way right now,” Savard told a press conference prior to the Bruins’ game with the Calgary Flames Saturday afternoon. “I’m getting outside, getting some fresh air, but I’m not where I need to be.
“I miss playing hockey. I miss my buddies. Hopefully. I’m back soon.”
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,
After the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night, a game that saw its share of altercations and trash talking, Oilers coach Pat Quinn addressed the media and talked about the need for players to be tough.
Said the Old Time Coach: “You got to go get those things. Some small guys will do it, some guys won’t. On the other side, there’s chickenshit, there’s chicken big guys, too, you know. They got four or five guys on their team (the Ducks) that probably got some yellow and brain stains in their drawers tonight when they thought it was going to get a little tough.”
“We haven’t had a 40- or 50-goal scorer, and it’s made a big difference. We thought we had two on the roster, maybe three, with (Andy) McDonald, (Paul) Kariya and (Brad) Boyes. But it hasn’t been the kind of year that we thought it would be.”
-St. Louis Blues Owner Dave Checketts. More on the Blues from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
from b.orr4 of Japers’ Rink,
What I’ve done with the chart below is compare the Caps roster from Game 7 against Pittsburgh last season to the guys who played in the last game against Pittsburgh this season. ( I took the liberty of inserting Scott Walker in place of Laing). I’ve listed their ages and the number of playoff games they had been in before last year’s playoffs and the number they have going into this year’s playoffs. What struck me immediately is just how much more experienced this current team is vs. last year’s. Aside from the average age increasing by almost a year, last year’s team only had seven players 30 or over. This year’s squad has nine. More importantly, last season there were only eight players with double digit playoff games under their belt. This year, there are 17.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
An underachieving season has not put Paul Holmgren’s job in jeopardy.
Holmgren will remain the Flyers’ general manager even if they continue to stumble and do not make the playoffs, Peter Luukko said yesterday.
Luukko is president of Comcast-Spectacor, the Flyers’ parent company.
“He is safe,” Luukko said. “Paul’s doing a great job.”
from Bryan Mullen of the Tennessean,
Finishing the season ahead of the Red Wings in the standings would be a significant milestone for the Predators….
The Red Wings have totaled more than 100 points in nine of the past 10 seasons. They’ve won two Stanley Cups and reached three Stanley Cup finals during the Predators’ lifetime.
So despite being ahead in the standings, the Predators are not saying they have finally surpassed the Red Wings. They know Detroit was decimated with injuries this season for long stretches — a group including forward Tomas Holmstrom (broken foot) and defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee), who are back playing again.
“We can look at it as an achievement as to where we stand, but I don’t think this year is indicative of the true Red Wings,” Predators goaltender Dan Ellis said. “It’s almost like a milestone with an asterisk. They weren’t healthy all year. And it’s not like they were missing muckers. They missed their best players for a large portion of the year.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Almost two months into the Phaneuf era, one that seems almost certain to continue with the 24-year-old being named captain next fall, it’s fair to say the Leafs would make the deal again any day, and twice on Sundays.
Phaneuf hasn’t been a spectacular success, and still is looking for his first goal. The Leafs are 10-7-1 with him. The Flames are 10-8-1 without him, a stat that suggests neither club has benefited more than the other from the swap so far.
That said, it’s hard to find a hockey person who thinks this was anything but a peculiar, one-sided deal. You could argue that the Leafs haven’t missed and won’t miss any of the four players sent to the Flames – Ian White, Matt Stajan, Jamal Mayers and Niklas Hagman – while Phaneuf has been a godsend, a blue-line stud who has played more than 25 minutes in each of the club’s last nine games.
Fisher received 5 for boarding and a game misconduct. Too much?
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.
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