Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The young players - Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, R.J. Umberger - were young and struggling (and not entirely healthy). But Holmgren - remember, his old job was running the development side of the organization - was determined to stick with them. Still, it was hard. He admits to having to remind club chairman Ed Snider about how young the young players were.
“There was the uncertainty of my job - I didn’t know,” Holmgren said. “I can remember talking to Mr. Snider one time and we were getting beat on a regular basis and I remember saying to him, ‘We’re going to get lumped up even more.’ He kind of looked at me but he understood. I think I followed up by saying, ‘We’ve got some young kids who are going to turn the corner.’ I think he had a belief, like I did, that they would.”
Then, Holmgren said, “We felt we needed to stabilize certain areas of our team. Goaltending certainly was an issue.”
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Next season will be pivotal for the Dave Checketts/John Davidson Era of Blues hockey.
The Note must compete for one of the eight playoff spots in the Western Conference, thus proving that Andy Murray really is the right coach for this team. The Blues must continue building ticket sales, too, which is no small feat given the tough economy and last season’s second-half collapse.
Conventional wisdom says the Blues need to do something enormous this summer to meet both goals
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Both teams are well coached. Flyers boss John Stevens has rebounded from a (at times) difficult regular season to get his team focused and playing well while hiding perceived flaws on defence (lack of mobility) and in goal (stamina issues).
Michel Therrin has also brought his team along in a timely fashion. He’s dealt with a goaltending question (Marc-Andre Fleury or Ty Conklin) and chose wisely in Fleury. He has maximized his team’s solid firepower, but not at the expense of overall team defence. He has but one puck, but found a way to make a lot of players happy by moving it around a lot.
If you subscribed to the oft-stated theory that the playoffs are a marathon and not a sprint (and we do) then the Pens have piled up a significant advantage. You need to dispatch at least one team with relative easy to stay fresh enough (and healthy enough) to go deep in the playoffs.
Yet another NHL teleconference today featured Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco, who has posted and 8-4 record with a sparkling .173 goals-against average, and Dallas captain Brenden Morrow, who has recorded seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 12 games, including two overtime game winners in the series win over San Jose last round.
Here is the transcript of their Q&A.
Q. Marty, you’re just fresh off winning two incredible series and beating two fellow great goalies. I see right off the bat that people are already asking you about your record at Joe Louis. There’s no time to breathe. What do you make of that? Does it mean anything?
Today the NHL hosted more teleconferences, featuring coaches Dave Tippett and Mike Babcock, of the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings.
Both transcripts from these Q&A’s are below.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings have positioned themselves best for the heavy lifting that will come, largely because they’ve managed to avoid a lot of heavy lifting through the first half of the playoffs.
And because of that, if history is any indicator, the Penguins and Red Wings will meet in the Stanley Cup final with the Penguins emerging as slight favorites at this point.
The fact Pittsburgh played three fewer games than the Philadelphia Flyers through the first two rounds and the Red Wings two fewer than the Dallas Stars might not seem like much, but history tells a different story.
Today, the NHL hosted a NHL conference call making Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg available for questions. In ten post-season games Henrik has recorded seven goals and six assists for 13 points, scored two game-winners and leads the league with a plus 10 plus/minus rating.
Transcript from the Q&A is below.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the chemistry between you and Datsyuk specifically, but also with Homer as well. A lot of good players have difficulty playing with each other, but you have had a chemistry almost from the beginning. Talk about what each of you does that sort of makes this line work very well.
The Wings have the power of prayer behind them.
Watch the video below and thanks to Snapshots for the pointer…
From Paul Kukla at his NHL.com blog:
Goaltending is always under the microscope during the playoffs and holds especially true in the Wings-Stars series. Chris Osgood must be steady and avoid the “how did that one get by him” question, while Marty Turco must continue to be outstanding. You can be sure both teams will be trying to get to the opposing goalie and rattle their cages a bit. Whichever keeper maintains his focus the most should win this series.
more… on each series
Plus more from Paul at Hockey.com:
Never have I done something like this — as a matter of fact, I despise the prediction side of this business. But this time, I feel it in my bones, in my head and in my heart.
Pens/Wings will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
I don’t like to beat around the bush on Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street, so I’ll get right to the point.
On the assumption that Jaromir Jagr will NOT be a Ranger next season, Shanahan must be invited back for another term.
However, if management learns in a reasonable amount of time that Jagr wants to be back on Broadway for 2008-09, then Shanny must be given a fair “adieu.” No more, no less.
As far as The Maven is concerned, there’s no room on an invigorated—and, yes, it WILL be invigorated by younger aces—roster for two elder statesmen. One is enough.
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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