Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca,
4) Is there an NHL team that looks dumber or cheaper than the Buffalo Sabres right now?
Former Sabre Danny Briere, who practically begged the Sabres to give him a reasonable contract offer last season, is leading the league in playoff scoring and is a big reason that the Flyers still have a chance to go from worst to first in a single season. The Sabres made it clear they had no interest in signing Briere (though for the record they did make a token effort hours before free agency opened, an effort that reminded many of their “attempt” to re-sign Ted Nolan as coach a decade earlier).
more… observations gleaned from this year’s playoffs
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
In fact, the team chemistry is such that head coach Michel Therrien does not want to change it even though veteran forward Gary Roberts is healthy enough to return to the lineup. Roberts, who played a big role in the first two games of the first round of the NHL playoffs before suffering a groin injury, was told in the morning that he will not play in Game Three of the Eastern Conference semi-final against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
With the Penguins holding a 2-0 series lead and Adam Hall playing well in Roberts’ place, Therrien decided to leave things as they are.
“We want Gary Roberts back in the lineup but we want him back at the right time,” Therrien said. “If we bring him back, who are we going to take out? We have great chemistry right now.”
from Duffer’s Dabbles at the Windsor Star,
A prominent National Hockey League source insists that the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs will be Colin Campbell, currently the senior executive vice-president and director of hockey operations for the league and the man who metes out discipline to miscreant players. Campbell, a former player and assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings who was coach of the New York Rangers from 1994-97, has no previous experience as an NHL GM. If Campbell is the man, look for ex-Leafs coach Mike Murphy to be promoted from his role as senior vice-president of hockey operations (Toronto) to replace Campbell at the league’s head offices in New York.
more hockey talk…
NEW YORK—Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin are the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the player judged “the most valuable to his team,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists. The winner will be announced Thursday, June 12 during the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special, which will be broadcast live throughout Canada on CBC and the United States on VERSUS from the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
Update 3:20pm ET: At Sportsnet.ca, Chris Nichols analyzes the choices.
from James Mirtle,
Fifty-seven games into the 2008 playoffs, and goal-scoring hasn’t dried up at all. In fact, it’s right where we left it in the regular season, a 5.44 goals per game pace that, by playoff standards, is pretty darn high.
I’ve only put together figures for the past seven years, but those alone are telling:
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Because the Penguins are blessed with a handful of the game’s most talented players, the coach’s role in the team’s successes will always be undersold. “Ah, anyone could coach those guys,” the radio call-in guys will suggest. But if the team falters, the blame will fall squarely on Therrien’s shoulders.
“I’m not afraid to make changes and keep the players on their toes, too,” Therrien said. “To be a Stanley Cup champion, it’s demanding.”
He’s trying to teach his players that.
“They’re young. They could easily lose their focus because they’re young,” Therrien said.
So he’s on them. Constantly.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
Subsequent playoff failures, when the fickle finger of blame found itself, more often than not, wagging in Turco’s direction changed his outlook, changed his approach, even changed his persona.
Like most of us, he simply didn’t know then what he knows now.
“For me, the complete understanding of what I need to do for this hockey club has come to me,” Turco said in San Jose, where the Sharks threw everything they had in his direction and it still wasn’t enough. “I’ve always known that stopping the puck and moving it and giving these guys confidence is what I’ve wanted to do, but I’m just at a better place now.
“You always wish you’d known more things when you were younger, but there’s nothing I would change now that got me to this point.”
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Just throwing this out there, but do you think Price might have an injury to his catching hand? Either that or maybe he’s breaking in a new catching glove and it’s not going well at all. In any event, Price appears to have forgotten how to keep the puck in his glove and his rebound control has gone out the window, as well.
Canadiens apologists can talk all they want about how Price, perhaps, didn’t have a clear view of the Flyers’ first two goals, but the fact remains the Canadiens are simply not getting the kind of goaltending they need to win this or any other playoff series. You outshoot a team 34-14 and all your goalie has to do is not lose the game for you. Price lost the game for the Canadiens, simple as that.
Of course, he’s not alone in accepting blame for the Canadiens troubles, since the passenger car seems to be accepting more and more occupants as the playoffs go on.
from the Contra Costa Times via Inside Bay Area,
It was just minutes after their embarrassing 5-2 come-from-ahead Game 2 loss Sunday night to the Dallas Stars, and the Sharks were grasping for hope—or a Stanley Cup lifeline.
What they grabbed onto reminded me of a scene from the movie “Animal House” when it looked like the animalistic Delta house was going to be shut down. Two fraternity brothers discussed the crisis.
“What are we going to do?” one asked the other.
Moments later, they arrived at the answer together.
There you have it.
That’s the Sharks’ lifeline, the No. 1 answer to their hockey crisis, the key reason why they believe they can climb out of this two-games-to-none hole they’ve dug and get back into the series.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The 65-year-old Quinn, who led Team Canada to gold at the U18 world championships earlier this month in Russia, told the Sun yesterday he’s healthy, happy and “not ready to retire.”
“I’m on the record as saying if there’s an opportunity, I would welcome the chance to coach in the NHL again,” said Quinn, whose last NHL coaching stint ended after the 2005-‘06 season, when he was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. “I’m not ready to retire. I still feel good. My health is good and if there’s an opportunity I’m not going to pass it up.
“I’m not sure what’s happening in Ottawa and I haven’t had any discussions with anybody there. I do know they’ve got a strong team there and a talented group. I know the people there and I know how hard they’ve worked and what a great job they’ve done. I’ve never been the type of person to go canvassing for a job, that might have to be something I consider.”
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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