Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“God it feels good,” Murray said. “I feel good for these guys, obviously, and 19 1/2 thousand of their good friends right now. It’s pretty special.
“It just shows you that if you stick with it. and I know I sounded like a broken record to a long of you since the beginning of the year, when I said we were working our tails off . . .
“When I look back at it, I’ll probably realize how difficult it was to do it. I think we tried to be as good as we could be in each game we played and the guys were echoing the same sentiments. It’s a hard-working group of guys. They work hard in practice.
more and below, watch Chris Mason and David Backes as they discuss being in the playoffs…
Steve Ott of the Stars and Mike Brown of the Ducks had a little chat last night.
The Vancouver Canucks missed the playoffs last season but could be returning with home ice advantage in the first round as Northwest Division champs, depending on what transpires on Saturday.
Vancouver (44-27-10) can clinch their third division title in five years with a win or an overtime loss in a 12 p.m. PT start in Denver, Colorado.
Tootoo with a shoulder to the head of Fritsche, who did have his head down. No penalty on the play.
St,.Louis Blues are in the playoffs, the Nashville Predators are not.
If the Anaheim Ducks get at least one point tonight, then the Minnesota Wild will also be eliminated.
added 11:22pm, With the Calgary losing to Edmonton, the Blackawks are locked into the 4th seed in the Western Conference.
added 4/11/09 12:49AM, Ducks win in shootout. Playoff teams in the West are set.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Few hockey savants picked the Boston Bruins to bestride the Eastern Conference and emerge as a Stanley Cup contender.
A playoff team, yes, but this?
The seeds, planted in an exhausting seven-game playoff defeat against the Montreal Canadiens, germinated over the summer and sprouted to mad-science proportions once the NHL season began.
“I think it all goes back to that series last year,” all-star Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said. “We’d had an up-and-down year, but showed we could go up against a top team and not give an inch. That’s when we came together as a team.”
A healthy dollop of the Bruins success is owed to a breakout, Vezina-calibre year by Thomas, who leads the NHL in save percentage and goals-against average.
continued plus more NHL talk…
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Coaches, players and even owners have come and gone, but one man has been there from the start. Is it time to replace Don Waddell, the only general manager in Thrashers history? Waddell says he will be back with the same responsibilities he has always had. “No doubt about it,” he said Thursday night.
Here are three arguments for and against retaining him.
Reasons to make a change
No other NHL general manager has kept his job as long as Waddell with so little success. The Thrashers have played 737 games; they have won 272. Only seven active GMs have been with their current team as long as Waddell has been with the Thrashers. Three have won Stanley Cups. Two have reached the cup finals.
Ira Podell of the AP writes about thePortal at NHL.com which will become available to fans on April 13th.
via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
Winger Kris Versteeg was injured during practice in Bensenville on Friday and is doubtful to play Saturday afternoon when the Blackhawks take on the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
The rookie was skating by himself when he tripped and fell along the boards. He got up slowly and skated to the bench area while holding his right arm. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said afterward Versteeg could play Sunday afternoon when the Hawks and Wings have a rematch at the United Center.
Winger Patrick Sharp, sidelined with a left leg injury, did not make the trip to Detroit and won’t play Sunday but the team is hoping for his return for Game One of the playoffs next week.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Over the next two months, the hockey world will focus on the chase for Lord Stanley’s prize. But before we dive headfirst into that wild journey, let’s sign off for this season and look at the teams that won’t make the spring party.
We’ll touch only on the 12 teams that were officially eliminated from the playoffs as of Friday morning. Let’s start with the Western Conference, and we’ll do the East later today:
Shame on yours truly for picking the Oilers to win the Northwest Division at the start of the season, but it sounds like we contributed to some inflated egos on that team….
We were told Thursday the Stars’ front office is not thinking about a coaching change. So it appears coach Dave Tippett is likely safe, which probably makes sense. The man loses Brenden Morrow and Sergei Zubov for almost the entire season and Brad Richards for the most important part of the year—the team’s three best players—and people expect the Stars to survive that? Come on, folks; let’s be realistic….
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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