Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Here are five things to watch for in Thursday night’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins:
1. The Henrik Zetterberg-Sidney Crosby showdown, Part IV
The Wings’ star center has had the better of the Pens’ star center so far, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock believed that 24 minutes, 19 seconds of ice time was too much for Zetterberg in Game 3 as he chased the matchup. So will this free up Crosby in any way Thursday night?...
2. Red Wings’ fatigue?
It’s the team’s fourth game in six nights. Detroit entered the Cup finals banged-up. Will the Wings hit the wall Thursday night, or did the day off Wednesday give them enough time to recharge their batteries? We think too much has been made of this. They’ll be fine.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche has hired Joe Sacco to be its new coach and will announce the move at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Pepsi Center.
Sacco has coached the past two seasons with the Avalanche’s AHL franchise, the Lake Erie Monsters.
Previously, Sacco, 40 was an assistant coach for the Lowell Lock Monsters. He is the youngest head coach in the AHL.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today the appointment of Joe Sacco as the club’s new head coach. Former Avalanche player Sylvain Lefebvre was named assistant coach.
Q. Jordan was playing well versus Carolina, was everywhere on the ice. Now we don’t see him as much. Not as successful. What’s going on with his game?
COACH BYLSMA: I thought Game 3 was much improved over Game 1 and Game 2 from Jordan. Again, each team poses a different kind of obstacle down low in the offensive zone, which is where Jordan is really good. And some teams are physical, some teams are a little more passive?zone type of defensive zone coverage. For a guy like Jordan, who needs physical contact to be good down low, to protect the puck, it’s not there. And it’s just been a bit of an adjustment from the last series to this series.
Another area where the game is tough against Detroit is the neutral zone. They have guys back, four guys back a lot. So the speed through the neutral zone that he did get in other series, it’s tougher to come by right now. So those are areas that we all have to fight through.
He was better in Game 3, and he assured me he’d be better in Game 4 today in morning skate.
Q. Can we assume from the fact that Pavel’s still out there that he’s probably not playing tonight?
COACH BABCOCK: I wouldn’t assume anything. Pavel already told me that he’s warming up and planning on playing. Now, we’ve had lots of plans over the years. We’ll see what happens.
Q. Well, you let us in that Draper was playing yesterday. So you have not made a decision on Pavel and it’s going to be game time, correct?
COACH BABCOCK: I’m not making the decision. When Pav’s ready, he’s playing. He’s making that decision or the doctors and trainers. When he feels he’s ready to go, and that foot allows him to have some pop, he’s playing.
Right now we have Draper going in, we have Abby coming out.
Wonder if they work with ‘rosey’ colored glasses?
Download the shades here (pdf file).
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Even amidst the Stanley Cup final and with the Calgary Stampeders—the defending Grey Cup champions—about to open camp, tongues wagging over a double-double in this city are wondering when Sutter will make his decision over a new bench boss.
It could be today or tomorrow.
It could be—as he said during the press conference—around the time the NHL Entry Draft is held, June 26-27.
Still, it makes sense the wait is happening for a reason.
There hasn’t been a concrete decision from Brent Sutter as to whether he’ll return for one more season with the New Jersey Devils—at least, not that we know.
Since the Flames wouldn’t have to provide compensation if Brent leaves the Devils and joins the Flames, as per the NHL bylaws, it very well could be a case of waiting for all that to shake down
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Canada.com,
Through all the manoeuvres, Pierre Lacroix continues to steer the vessel for owner Stan Kroenke, even though the former GM is as culpable as anybody for the slipping franchise, which picks third in the June draft.
But, with his two Stanley Cup rings, Lacroix is bulletproof.
Lacroix’s telling quote Wednesday that Sherman will be “under his supervision” as the new general manager sounds like Sherman will be a puppet for the powerful Lacroix, who chose not to hire Jay Feaster, the 2004 Stanley Cup-winning GM in Tampa Bay who used to run the Avalanche farm team.
If Sherman, who looked after contracts and the salary cap, is under Lacroix’s “supervision,” does that also mean Lacroix will be hiring the new coach? Does that mean that 39-year-old Sherman, who was in charge of the Avs’ merchandise stores in 2001 when they last won the Cup, is only keeping the seat warm for somebody else?
from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,
In a sports world that seems to change almost weekly, here is an interesting trend: fans watching their favorite teams while connected to thousands of others who share their passion, without ever having to leave their couch. Think of it as the ultimate sports bar, only you have to fetch the beer yourself….
As a moderator/blogger for the Free Press, I noticed the number of fans who seemed to be online looking to connect to something beyond them. On the surface it seemed counterintuitive, a distraction—even the fastest typists who use nothing but acronyms must divert their eyes from the TV to post. But then it started to make some sense, especially when considered in the context of the explosion of Facebook and Twitter.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
And in this morning’s (Wednesday) Toronto Sun, these two paragraphs appeared in a story focusing on trade talk:
“Another GM getting a lot of attention is San Jose’s Doug Wilson. Sources say he has gotten numerous calls about captain Patrick Marleau and centre Joe Thornton after a first-round exit from the playoffs, thanks to the Ducks.
“Wilson insisted he isn’t going to move either player, but he wants to make moves.”
Now what should get your attention is that part about Wilson insisting that Marleau will be playing for the Sharks next season. If true, that would be big hockey news in San Jose.
But I talked with Wilson this afternoon after he got home and he said the report is inaccurate. He said he never said that to anyone and, in fact, didn’t field any questions at all from the Sun reporter present, Ottawa-based Bruce Garrioch.
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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