Kukla's Korner Hockey
from JoAnne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
When the purge of long-serving Edmonton Oilers employees began, amateur scout Chris McCarthy figured his days might be numbered. But it didn’t make the departure any easier.
McCarthy got a call last Thursday informing him that his tenure with the club was over. He had been on the scouting staff since 1992. Working from his home base in Boston, he covered the United States, with most of his focus on the east, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario and Europe. In short, there weren’t a lot of regions and rinks he hadn’t scouted….
Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said on Monday that the intent was not to shrink the size of the scouting staff, but to restructure the group.
“We’re continuing to change the way we scout — from an amateur perspective and a professional perspective,” said Tambellini.
He would not indicate if there would be more personnel changes. The contracts of scouts Brad Davis and Mike Peluso are up at the end of June.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Goaltending and depth.
It has the Flyers at death’s door, with the series shifting now to the Wachovia Center and the Hawks on a 7-0 run on the road.
“I’m not sure we should be frustrated,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, with hope in his voice. “I don’t think we got outplayed … probably out shot them, out-chanced them a little bit and didn’t get the result we were looking for.”
If you would have told the Flyers they would score five goals in Game 1 and not take a single penalty, Laviolette would have bet the Rocky statue that his team would win. If you told him that through two games, the Hawks first line of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Dustin Byfuglien would combine for a grand total of one assist, he would have been thinking sweep.
Instead, all of those things occurred and the Flyers are going home in a mighty big hole. Down to a team that has now won seven straight playoff games and 10 of its last 11. Chicago is on a 13-2 run since a slow start to Round 1 against Nashville.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that former Blue Scott Mellanby has re-joined the organization as Assistant Coach to Davis Payne’s staff. He is currently a Pro Scout with Vancouver and will serve that role until July 15th.
“I’m excited to add a quality person like Scott to our staff, who was highly respected as a player on and off the ice,” said Head Coach Davis Payne. “He has great knowledge of the game and will be a valuable addition to our staff.”
“In my current role with Vancouver I have scouted many Blues games and feel this team, with this talent, is headed in the right direction,” said Mellanby. “St. Louis is my home and my family and I are thrilled to be back in the Blues organization.”
“Steve Yzerman could be the best thing that ever happened to Vinny Lecavalier. What Vinny really needs right now is direction from a man like Steve.”
-Jacques Demers. More on Lecavalier from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
A source told Booth Newspapers on Monday that Lidstrom has decided to return for another season. The club is expected to finalize a one-year contract extension this week with the six-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s top defenseman.
added 10:30am, from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,
Wings officials will announce later today Lidstrom has agreed to a one-year deal. The exact amount was unknown, but it is believed to be near $6 million.
In case you missed Coach’s Corner last night.
Also, Ron MacLean picked his highlight of the night…
via Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
In Marc Antoine Godin’s La Presse story (translated) on the scout sackings, a source speculates that the Canadiens will cut costs by using video instead of human beings freezing in junior and college rinks.
The Canadiens now employ nine scouts, some of whom probably are waiting for the other show to drop.
The Leafs have 24 scouts, including four pro scouts (the Canadiens have one, Doug Gibson) and five in Europe (Canadiens have one, Hannu Laine, based in Finland).
We’ll know more today if Pierre Gauthier meets the media at development camp in Brossard.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
In that first period, Carcillo was on the ice more than Gagne, the Flyers’ best goal scorer; more than surprise-of-the-playoffs Ville Leino , more than Arron Asham . The Flyers managed an absurd three shots on goal. Chicago had nine.
So the intention, clearly, was to make the Blackhawks pay a higher physical toll, especially early. And that might have been effective except that the Blackhawks delivered more punishing hits than the Flyers did. The stat showed 20 first-period hits for Chicago, including a game-high four by the bus called Byfuglien, and 13 for the Flyers….
It turns out the Blackhawks can play the Flyers’ game better than the Flyers can play the Hawks’ game. Game 1, with its scoreboard-taxing 11 combined goals, showed what happens when the Flyers forget to play sound defense. Game 2, scoreless until that stunning half-minute late in the second period, showed what happens when the Flyers forget to play offense.
Playing time returned to normal after that first period and, surprise, the Flyers outplayed the Blackhawks for long stretches. Gagne was on the ice about twice as much in the second period as the first. So was Leino. The Flyers outshot Chicago, 15-13, in the period.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Blame the ice at the United Center if you want. It’s awful, and a muggy, rainy day in the Windy City on Memorial Day didn’t help the conditions.
But the hockey so far has been mediocre at best. A sloppily played Game 1, with 11 goals scored, was followed up by low-scoring but nonetheless sloppily played Game 2.
Maybe the shift to Pennsylvania for Games 3 and 4 will alter the dynamics of what we’ve seen so far. Otherwise, it appears Chicago’s “C” game is going to be enough to beat the Flyers.
The Hawks are getting better goaltending, with Antti Niemi coming up with 33 saves in Game 2, including 16 stops in the third period, and unlikely scoring heroics from non-star players.
Scott Burnside and Pieree LeBrun of ESPN discuss game 2 and questioned the conservative play of the Flyers.
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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