Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
After lollygagging through the first three rounds of playoffs with nonsensical extra off-days thrown in willy-nilly, the NHL is prepared to play Games 1 and 2 of the Cup final on back-to-back nights, because NBC is weak in prime time on Fridays and Saturdays, and will deign to telecast both games if the NHL doesn’t mind twisting itself into a pretzel to co-operate….
If they play on the 5th and 6th, and go every second day from that point on, they would play Game 3 on June 8, Game 4 on the 10th, and so on, meaning a possible Game 7 on the 16th, a day later than the NHL’s written-in-stone pledge to have the season end by June 15.
So in order to keep its promise, the league would have to schedule another back-to-back within the series….
If the league’s owners had the stones they were born with, they might actually rise up and challenge the commissioner once in a while when his desire to be bigger than he (or the league) really is — regardless of the cost to its dignity — makes hockey look pathetic.
But he has led them this far, and they have drunk his Kool-Aid. Evidently, they are unwilling, or unable, to rally in the name of common sense.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Devils coach Brent Sutter told The Post last night that the firing of Mike Keenan by elder brother Darryl Sutter in Calgary “has zero impact” on whether he will return behind the New Jersey bench next season….
“Absolutely not. It has nothing to do with my thinking,” Sutter told The Post. “I’m employed by the New Jersey Devils, and that’s the way I look at it.”...
There have been rumbles that GM Lou Lamoriello would not be heartbroken if Sutter decides not to return for the third year of his lucrative contract. One wise man suggested that if Sutter isn’t coming back after next season, Lamoriello might want to cut the cord now.
But Lamoriello surely would want compensation from a team that might sign Sutter, a first-rounder is the going rate, especially if the coach was to go to Calgary.
more & I recall reading that compensation for a situation like this is no longer allowed…
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
They simply call him “Geno,” which doesn’t have much of a menacing—or marketing—ring to it. A native Russian, he still speaks halting English and shies away from media interviews.
But it was Malkin who was the NHL’s leading scorer this season, winning the Art Ross Trophy. It is Malkin who could be the league’s MVP. It is Malkin, at 22, who is making many wonder what’s next and how high the center’s professional ceiling can be.
More than that, it is Malkin, No. 71, who quickly is becoming the Carolina Hurricanes’ No. 1 headache in the Eastern Conference finals.
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
The only thing wrong with the Kornwall hit was that someone truly deserving of such a masterpiece such as Jordan Tootoo, Steve Ott, Matt Cooke, Sean Avery, Ben Eager, Adam Burish or Robyn Regehr wasn’t on the receiving end of it.
The puck came around the boards to Havlat and shortly after it arrived in his skates, Kronwall rammed into him with his shoulder, as if he were Jack Lambert, Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Scott Stevens and Brian Herosian all rolled up into one ball of explosiveness.
It was a brilliant open-ice hit and, at first, neither referee raised his arm to call a penalty on the play, though that should have happened,...
The apologists at the NHL’s website said that Kronwall “appeared to have left his feet” making the hit.
more and thanks to a KK reader for the screenshot.
added 9:32am, from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
But in a playoff season in which the NHL has gotten so many calls wrong time after time, Kronwall’s was arguably the worst miscarriage of justice outside the inexplicable non-suspension of Carolina forward Scott Walker for his goon sucker punch on Boston’s Aaron Ward.
Who actually made the call? What was the explanation? The NHL needs to explain itself on this one. And apologize for screwing up so badly.
“It was a hard hit and a dangerous hit when you still haven’t touched the puck,” Quenneville said.
Havlat did not return to the game and is listed with an upper-body injury.
“He looked better after the game,” Quenneville said. “We’ll see how he presents himself (Saturday). We’ll call it day to day.”
Babcock bit down hard on his tongue when asked whether he thought the NHL might take further disciplinary action against Kronwall.
“I’d be shocked,” Babcock said. “I’d be absolutely shocked. You know what? No, I’m not allowed to say that.”
Then he said it anyway. “Players have bad games,” Babcock said. “Coaches have bad games, but (officials) are not allowed to have bad calls or games.”
more on the game last night…
frm Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Bobby Holik told The Post yesterday that he is retiring from hockey after 18 NHL seasons, 11 of those with New Jersey.
“I’m done. I’m retiring,” Holik said from his home in Wyoming. “I miss being with my family every day. I knew when the season ended, but I wanted to leave and get home first, and not make a big deal of it.
“A player is what I was. Now I’m a husband and a father.”
Patrick Sharp with the game-winner early in the first OT.
added 11:31pm, Video highlights from Versus added below…
Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings delivers a hit to Martin Havlat that resulted in a five minute interference call and a game misconduct to Kronwall.
added 10:02pm, Empty Netters chimes in…
That said, Kronwall’s a head hunter who has a history of leaving his feet to deliver hits. And he charged Havlat. Versus commentators Ed Olczyk, Brian Engblom and Keith Jones kept saying Kronwall didn’t leave his feet to deliver the hit. They must have depth perception issues because this is what we saw:
Kronwall was up in the air for maybe a split second, but that doesn’t matter. According to Rule 43 of the NHL’s rulebook:
“43.1 Charging - A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner.”
Reporting live from my hospital bed, waiting to check out.
Sources tell TSN the Calgary Flames have fired head coach Mike Keenan and will announce the move shortly. Details to follow.
added 6:09pm, Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today that Mike Keenan has been relieved of his coaching duties with the team.
“Our team did not meet expectations,” said Sutter. “Following detailed evaluation over the past three weeks, and taking into consideration all factors affecting our season ending result, we believe this is a necessary change required to allow our team to continue toward our objective of winning the Stanley Cup.”
“The Calgary Flames organization appreciates and respects Mike for accepting the opportunity to come to Calgary and are thankful for his efforts over the past two years.”
Other members of the Flames coaching staff remain subject to further review and evaluation
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
However the Phoenix Coyotes’ bankruptcy proceedings go this week, the public scrap has become a zero-sum game for the two sides.
The release of private documents has embarrassed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, lifting the cloak of secrecy he and the league use to keep faltering franchises in line. The guerrilla attempt by Jim Balsillie to buy and relocate the Coyotes’ franchise to Southern Ontario has distanced him from even his most sympathetic supporters within the league.
But with no ceasefire in sight, the sides keep firing away. The release last Sunday of unprecedented Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. commercials supporting Balsillie’s makeitseven.ca website has ratcheted up pressure on the league, portraying it as anti-Canadian and self-serving.
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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