Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
By the summer of 1996, there were questions about Steve Yzerman’s leadership ability while the Red Wings were regarded as a classic model of underachievement, regular-season wonders who were postseason chokers after humiliating elimination three years running to lower seeds, including a first-round loss to San Jose in 1994, a sweep in the Finals by the Devils in 1995 and the retreat in the ‘96 Westerns when confronted by the Avalanche.
But without knee-jerking, GM Ken Holland went to work, reaffirming his faith in head coach Scotty Bowman, then remaking his team by replacing Paul Coffey, Keith Primeau, Dino Ciccarelli and Mike Ramsey with Brendan Shanahan, Larry Murphy, Bob Rouse and Aaron Ward, the deal for Shanahan equally as significant to Detroit as the deal for Goring was on the Island.
Two years later, the Red Wings had won consecutive Cups on their way to three in six years and the four in 11 that have established Detroit as the NHL’s model franchise.
Which is all to suggest there is no need for Capitals GM George McPhee or owner Ted Leonsis to panic in the aftermath of the seven-game upset defeat to Montreal, no need to tear down the foundation of the league’s most entertaining and polarizing team, but it will be necessary to make significant moves to augment and transform the nucleus in order to attain its manifest destiny.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The first annual General Manager Award will indeed see the light of day this year. You may remember this was Brian Burke’s idea a few years back and, finally, after careful vetting at the proper levels, the award is a go, a source told ESPN.com Saturday. Always made sense to me; if there’s a Jack Adams Award for coach of the year, why not a GM Award?
All 30 GMs had a ballot sent to them over the past week. It’s not clear at this point, but other people may also vote on it. What’s also not clear is when the award will be presented, whether it’ll be with the other awards in Las Vegas on June 23 or at a separate function.
more hockey topics including not only is Ken Holland getting a contract extension, but so is Wings Asst. GM Jim Nill….
He’s been the most productive sniper in the Stanley Cup playoffs the previous two springs and the Detroit Red Wings are hopeful that his goal in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series with the San Jose Sharks will again ignite the fire in Johan Franzen’s deadly finish.
“It felt good,” said Franzen, who has points in all eight playoff games this spring, but just two goals. “I’ve had some really good chances lately, but couldn’t get it in the net.”
During the 2008 and 2009 playoffs, Franzen registered an NHL-high 25 goals, and has earned a reputation as someone who scores goals in bunches.
Franzen admitted he’d been pressing lately.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
The task to replace him in game two against the defending Stanley Cup champions now falls to a defensive corps that boasts a 20-year-old rookie as its best skater and puck mover – and likely power-play quarterback.
“(Subban)’s very patient with the puck, and has lots of speed. He has so much confidence with the pack, it’s what makes him so good,” said veteran Roman Hamrlik, a player whose form will go a long way to determining whether the Habs can overcome Markov’s loss.
Another who will have to find a new gear is Marc-Andre Bergeron, and offensively-gifted but otherwise limited defenceman who spent much of game one playing with Subban.
“He’s been great, he’s amazing with the puck, and has a lot of qualities as a hockey player, he skates well, he handles the puck really well,” said Bergeron, who has shared the same ice with other young blue line prodigies like Washington’s Tom Poti and Minnesota’s Brett Burns.
Martin would surely like to add the veteran presence of Jaroslav Spacek to the defence, but the Czech rearguard is still suffering from a virus and is not yet game-ready.
Savard with the game winner, Bruins go up 1-0 against the Flyers.
added 3:53pm, Watch the OT goal. Boy, Savard must feel great after missing almost two months.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
Guilty until proven innocent.
That is how most opponents treat Matt Cooke. You cannot really blame them. The Pittsburgh Penguins forward is a repeat offender who has earned a reputation for repeatedly stepping over the line. The NHL, in fact, expedited a rule on blindside hits to the head after Cooke concussed a vulnerable Marc Savard with a nasty bodycheck during the regular season.
So when Andrei Markov left Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-final on Friday with a lower-body injury after being hit by Cooke, the initial reaction was to condemn.
Earlier reports claimed Jordan Staal was out for the year after having surgery on a tendon.
Now this from a tweet from Elliotte Friedman,
I’m laughing as I write this, but Bylsma says Staal is day-to-day.
from the CP at TSN,
The Canadiens confirmed Saturday that star defenceman Andrei Markov has returned to Montreal to receive treatment for an injury suffered Friday night in a Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Markov was hurt just past the 11-minute mark of the first period when he was checked cleanly into the boards by Penguins agitator Matt Cooke. Markov fell awkwardly into the boards, threw one of his gloves into the air and writhed in pain on the ice as some of his teammates went after Cooke at centre ice.
I’m picking the home teams today, what about you?
from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,
Apparently, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has to wait until the off-season to score.
Swedish tabloids are linking Lundqvist, a Swede, with his home country’s fetching young royal, Princess Madeleine. Or, as her friends know her, the Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.
The 27-year-old princess is embroiled in a tabloid disaster, after her long-time fiancé, lawyer Jonas Bergstrom, was outed after a one-nighter with a college student.
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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