Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
The Lightning recently made a hire that owner Oren Koules said is about centralizing the team’s brand in its dealings with sponsors and suite and season-ticket holders. Even so, bringing on Angelina Lawton, wife of general manager Brian Lawton, as head of corporate communications seems awkward at first glance, especially at a time the company has laid off seven employees.
And especially when one of those cut was head of marketing Mark Gullett, responsible for last summer’s successful “Seen Stamkos?” campaign, and whose dismissal grabbed national attention when his son, Ben, posted a video resume for him on YouTube.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
You can’t help but wonder if Regier and Ruff are inching closer to the door with every loss the Sabres suffer down the stretch. Something needs to give. That much was obvious after watching the Sabres mope through the final 25 minutes Friday night in a 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Have the players quit on their coach?...
Regier has two seasons remaining on his contract. Ruff is signed through next season. They are the longest-tenured GM-coach combination in the NHL. Quinn reiterated Friday night that his first instinct is to keep both, but he wanted to wait until the offseason. He’ll huddle with Golisano before making a final decision.
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,
As I watched American Idol I had an epiphany.
No I’m not going in search of a golden ticket to Hollywood. (Although I could get into the top 12, easily, cause I’m me, and I kill on Rockband) No,what I air-debated was this; what if NHL games were decided by a judging panel and Joe Public instead of Shootouts when still tied after 65 minutes.
Or is it the most interesting premise you’ve heard in the last half century?
Just think, style would trump scoring, entertainment would beat structure, and teams would be penalized for being too safe with their choices. It would be a sensationally bizarre paradigm shift.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
As for the Sedins, there are differing opinions as to the degree to which they are bound to the Canucks.
Some say they love Vancouver and are determined to sign there. Some say the Aquilini family, which owns the team, despises Burke so much for his involvement in past lawsuits that they will want to be rid of any evidence that he once ran the franchise.
It’s suggested the Sedins are liked by the Vancouver hockey public, but not loved. A weak playoff performance this spring would open the door for their exit.
The likeliest scenario, it would seem, is that the twins only become available to the Leafs if the Canucks wave goodbye first.
Even then it might not happen. The Leafs, you see, are as wary as any team about taking on contractual commitments beyond next season that will put them in a bind if the cap falls.
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
In 1986, Hitchcock and Burns met in the most intense of environments, the Memorial Cup, junior hockey’s version of the Final Four.
Hitchcock, who coached the Kamloops Blazers, was a former sporting goods salesman from Edmonton, Alberta. Burns, who ran the Hull Olympiques, was the police officer still walking the beat in Gatineau, Quebec.
Neither had played professionally. Both had belonged to a workforce bereft of pampering and privilege. The detail-oriented, demanding coaches formed an immediate bond.
“Coaching for a living was a goal; wherever it went, it went,” Hitchcock said. “We both could have stopped at junior and been happy.”
Below find the expanded NHL Standings as of this morning…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
All season, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire has grumbled that the Wild often enters games with too many “passengers.”
Friday night, after the Wild’s playoff hopes took another Sopranos-like whack to the head during a 4-0 loss in New Jersey, Lemaire grabbed one of the passengers off the bus and threw him underneath the wheels.
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky derailed the evening with two mind-boggling goof-ups on his first two even-strength shifts of the second period.
“You can’t make mistakes like that, not when you’re on the road, playing against a good team,” Lemaire said. “To me, they’re mistakes you have to avoid. You do this once a year—and one time!
“I hate to blame a guy for a loss. The team overall didn’t play good enough to win. But these mistakes, they just don’t help.”
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Their March swoon allowed the surging Vancouver Canucks to leap-frog the Hawks in the race for home-ice advantage. But with a game in hand, the Hawks had their chance to reclaim fourth Friday night with the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center, a team the Hawks had defeated three previous times this season.
But when things are going bad, it doesn’t matter who comes to town as the Hawks fell 5-4 in a shootout in a back-and-forth contest before a crowd of 22,151. The loss was the Hawks’ fifth consecutive and seventh out of their last eight games, but they did manage a point to pull even with the Canucks in the West with 12 games remaining.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Turns out you can quantify effort.
In the aftermath of last night’s 3-2 defeat to the St. Louis Blues, Flames head coach Mike Keenan had the proof in black and white.
“Probably the most telling stat for me tonight, and it is a compliment of the effort of all the players on St. Louis’ side, is they had 24 blocked shots to our six,” Keenan said. “If you look at that statistic, it’s pretty telling about A) their effort, and B) their desperation to win a game.
“I think they came out with that determination certainly in the third period when we had taken the momentum of the game away from them. They established their game and pushed us out of our game.”
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
We see the Detroit Red Wings give up five, eight and eight goals on successive Saturdays in late February and March and we’re certain that long run to the Stanley Cup last spring can’t possibly be repeated, right? For me, the analytical world we live in today has gone too close to the edge of negativity for my liking (and for the record the Red Wings were 10-1-1 in their first 12 Saturday games this season).
Don’t the Red Wings still have Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart on defense? Isn’t that still Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary up front? And isn’t it good enough that the Wings added Marian Hossa to their lineup for a shot at repeating?
Did I forget something? Oh yeah. the goaltending. But aren’t you the same fans that said the Red Wings could win in spite of having Chris Osgood in goal? In 1998? And again last spring?
read on and numerous NHL topics…
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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