Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Ryan of the Mercury News,
So what positives can the Sharks draw from the fact that the darn puck just somehow decided on its own to go into the net more times for Anaheim?
• They can finally schedule that Presidents’ Trophy parade.
• They have always craved inclusion as one of the Bay Area’s big teams. But you can’t go winning and being all successful and hope to hang with the 49ers, Raiders, Giants, A’s and Warriors. They’d all be jealous. (Side note: Game 6 drew a 4.6 rating on CSN Bay Area, matching the highest first-round rating ever on the network. The field was wide open, the pump was primed for growth.)
• Doug Wilson needs extra time to figure out how to trade two guys with no-trade clauses.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So here is the question facing the Calgary Flames ownership group, as they sift through the ashes of another disappointing first-round playoff exit.
Did the edition of the team, coached by Mike Keenan and managed by Darryl Sutter, have the right stuff for a long playoff run, but was simply undermined by injuries to key personnel?
Or do their problems winning in the post-season run deeper, and require an organizational makeover from top to bottom.
At this early stage — only one day removed from a first-round ouster by the Chicago Blackhawks — you can safely predict one thing: The organization will conduct a complete review before the blame game starts, the scapegoats are identified and the changes come.
Late goals by Jussi Jokinen & Eric Staal gives Carolina an unbelievable victory of the Devils.
The matchups for the next round are…
Boston vs. Carolina
Washington vs. Pittsburgh
Serge Fedorov scored the game winning goal with under 5 minutes left in the 3rd period.
Tight-checking game, both goalies were outstanding but only one team can win.
from Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic,
The National Hockey League has loaned money to the Phoenix Coyotes to keep the financially troubled franchise operating, but if the team fails to pay its debt the league can take it over, according to the agreement.
The day after the team agreed to loan terms Feb. 24 with the NHL, it paid Glendale nearly $351,000 in overdue arena rent payments that dated to late summer 2008. The money also likely was used to meet player payroll.
The loan, for an unknown amount, gives the NHL more control over the future of the Coyotes - including the possible relocation of the team.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Flyers captain Mike Richards will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder Friday, the Courier-Post learned Tuesday.
According to club general manager Paul Holmgren, Richards is expected to need 10-12 weeks of recovery time.
Holmgren said he was also awaiting an MRI on Richards’ left shoulder, saying he might also require surgery on that shoulder as well. Richards, who Tuesday was named one of three finalists for the Selke Tro phy as the NHL’s top defensive forward, led the Flyers with five playoff points in six games.
from Al Balderas of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Moments after the Anaheim eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, securing their second-round series against Detroit, Red Wings and Ducks fans started beating on their respective chests, proclaiming their favorite team as the better of the two.
Yes, the Ducks have a history of beating the Red Wings in the playoffs.
Yes, the Red Wings have a history of winning the Stanley Cup. Eleven times for those who lost count.
Yes, the Ducks needed just six games to knock off the No. 1 team, not only in the Western Conference but the entire NHL.
That makes the Red Wings the new unofficial No. 1 team. But come on Wing Nuts, while the Red Wings are one of the more successful teams in the NHL, they’ve also had their share of meltdowns when it’s been least expected.
from Justin Bourne at The Hockey News,
Playoffs have brought to light a revolutionary new breed of tough guy in the NHL: The Post-Whistle Phony.
Let me preface my thoughts with a disclaimer. I myself do not claim to be a tough guy on the ice. I periodically get angry. I occasionally chirp at chumps. But my most common rebuttal holds somewhere along the line of “Yes, I realize you could kick my ass - does your coach know you’re out here?”
And I know my type exists in the NHL today. There are guys like Jonathan Toews, players who play the game to win, without the slightest interest in a high-schoolesque testosterone-off.
But, there are certain requirements to be a hockey player. You need to stick up for your teammates. You may have to fight someone tougher than you (read: wrestle) because they did something stupid and you’re the first one on the scene of the crime – even though you are acutely aware this could end badly (read: my nose is now crooked). You have to demonstrate your team’s unity.
Feel ok for a few hours, then boom can’t keep my eyes open, headache, etc….
note: Original post time was 8:39am this morning.
Woke up this morning with a sore throat and a very run-down feeling.
Maybe a little more sleep will cure that. So I will be back a little later on this morning.
In the meantime, check out the game 7 performances of the players and coaches involved in the two game 7’s tonight.
via Jeff Gordon of the Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Here is a shocker: Mike Keenan has once failed horribly with a big budget team, amid great hype.
The yesteryear coaching legend had led still another franchise to epic disappointment. This time it is the Calgary Flames – a team that Darryl Sutter retooled to meet Iron Mike’s specifications.
The Flames caught a first-round cab against the upstart Blackhawks, coached by Old Friend Joel Quenneville.
The bald-headed despot ran off skilled players, played goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff into the ice and then got outcoached when the games mattered. Nice work!
Given the high expectations in Calgary, this exit will not go over well. Knowing Keenan, he will probably try and end-around by going to ownership to get more control, at the expense of GM Darryl Sutter.
Perhaps Sutter will try to save himself by cashiering Keenan, who is a tactically incompetent coach whose motivational tactics quit working ages ago — when top players gained lifetime security with multi-million-dollar deals.
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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