Kukla's Korner Hockey
Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe has more information on the series of ads the Bruins have been running.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Seven coaches were fired in midseason, and two more — Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota and Craig MacTavish in Edmonton — parted ways with their respective teams after the season ended.
But the shuffling is far from over, not only at the coaching level but also in the front office. There are varying degrees of unrest in at least a dozen NHL franchises. In some cases, the chance of a change is remote, but in others, it is almost inevitable. Here is the way the league unfolds at the moment.
Boston: General manager Peter Chiarelli has been negotiating a new deal and it’s not far from being signed. But he is being mentioned as a potential replacement for Doug Risebrough in Minnesota and could opt for a new challenge. He’s not likely to head west, but it’s a possibility.
Calgary: The word around the league is that barring a long playoff run, coach Mike Keenan will get fired.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Will it be a lucky seven for Nicklas Lidstrom in Las Vegas?
Lidstrom, the Detroit Red Wings’ star defenseman and winner of six of the last seven Norris Trophies as the NHL’s top defenseman, is in the running for a seventh on June 18 when the NHL Awards are handed out in Vegas at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel (VERSUS, CBC).
The other finalists as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association are Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara and Washington Capitals dynamo Mike Green.
from CBC Sports,
Being down two games and staring elimination squarely in the eye is tough enough, but for Philadelphia, the task is even more daunting: The Flyers have lost their last five playoff visits to Pittsburgh and have won just twice in Mellon Arena in the past two seasons.
Last year in Game 5 the conference final, the Flyers were trounced 6-0 by the Penguins.
The Flyers are prepared for the Penguins to come out strong from the opening faceoff Wednesday night.
“We expect them to come out really hard in the first few minutes and try to put the game away early and try to get us to quit early and I don’t think any of us are going to do that,” Flyers winger Mike Knuble said.
“We’ve all been there before, we won’t get caught off guard.”
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN The Magazine,
In the NHL’s looooong postseason, great coaches make every short second count. So we asked Cup-winning bench bosses Mike Babcock (Wings, 2008), Randy Carlyle (Ducks, 2007), Ken Hitchcock (Stars, 1999) and John Tortorella (Lightning, 2004) for the secrets to using every trick to their advantage.
00:40 — STOP AND GO
Detroit assistant coach Paul MacLean is never without his stopwatch, clicking it each time the Wings make a line change. “We use our own time,” says Babcock, eschewing the arena stat sheet. For playoffs, he wants short shifts—40 seconds, tops—making sure stars like LW Henrik Zetterberg stay fresh enough to sustain the tempo his two-way game demands.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The war of words between the Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks has caught plenty of attention around the NHL.
But not to the point the league has fired off a memo to all parties involved to cease and desist.
A published report stated the NHL’s senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, sent a letter to both teams to curb the on-ice chirping and post-whistle scrums.
Only problem, it didn’t happen.
“I did NOT send one,” Campbell replied yesterday in an e-mail.
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,
Earlier this year, the depressed economic climate was enough for the Ducks to freeze ticket prices for next season.
But fans are feeling the pinch more than ever this season.
That was the main factor for the Ducks’ playoff sellout streak ending at 20 games Tuesday, according to Tim Ryan, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“You don’t have to look any further than the economy,” Ryan said.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
This evening, as the Sharks attempt to even the series, Marleau must again be the impact player he was in the Game 3 victory two nights ago. As a leader, he also must help push the team’s collective thermostat up a notch higher.
But with the soft-spoken and even-keeled Marleau, there is always the question about whether he has the passion to spearhead a playoff charge. I think the passion simmers beneath the sunscreen. We’ll find out if I’m correct soon enough.
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Is Fleury’s brilliance in frustrating the snot out of the Flyers better described as a miracle of elastic athleticism, or a celebration of athletic elasticism, and shouldn’t that second one be elasticity, as elasticism is more likely one of the thousands of ancient Eastern religions?
Happily, what Fleury did to the Flyers in a South Philadelphia cauldron called Game 4—stopping 34 shots in the final two periods, 16 of them on the power play, some via whirling, spinning, impossible reactions only he can imagine—always emerges in the hockey glossary in one of only two spots.
Again, you have the option.
Was it a case where “he stood on his head?” Or was he simply “unconscious?”
For help with this option, you may refer to this rough transcript of our conversation yesterday, starting with your reliably annoying columnist.
“Can you stand on your head?”
Fleury: “I could try.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Sixteen years, including the lockout year, have passed since the Canadiens won it all in 1993. Gainey had joined the organization as an executive vice-president and general manager in 2003. It was a year in which the Canadiens had failed to make the playoffs for the fifth time since they had won their 24th Cup in 1993 - with the promise of a five-year rebuilding plan.
At the time, he had said: “I can’t separate myself from my history. I was with some great teams in Montreal in the ‘70s and the ‘80s. Those of you with better memories will remember I was with some not so good teams in the ‘80s. But this is new. The city has changed since I left Montreal. The team has changed. I’ve changed. We’re gonna have to get to know each other again.
“We’re going to take the younger players and we’re going to improve them and we’re going to make them better. We’re going to push the players to do the things that need to be done to be a good team. It’s about tomorrow,” he said. “It’s not about the 1970s ... the 1980s or the 1950s!”
Gainey’s ‘tomorrow’ has come and gone. The dream is in tatters.
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.
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