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Category: NHL-Teams

Notes Before Game 5 SCF


In the 20 previous Stanley Cup Final series tied 2-2, the club winning Game 5 has won the Stanley Cup 14 times (70%). The six clubs that successfully overcame a Game 5 loss: the 1950 Detroit Red Wings, 1964 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1971 Montreal Canadiens, 2001 Colorado Avalanche, 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Year Stanley Cup Champions After Losing Game 5 (tied 2-2)
1950 Detroit Red Wings * (vs. NY Rangers)
1964 Toronto Maple Leafs * (vs. Detroit)
1971 Montreal Canadiens (vs. Chicago)
2001 Colorado Avalanche * (vs. New Jersey)
2004 Tampa Bay Lightning * (vs. Calgary)
2009 Pittsburgh Penguins (vs. Detroit)
* lost Game 5 at home

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kovalchuk Would Look Good With The Avs But GM Says No Big Name UFAs

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

It’s probably the smart thing to do, the more sensible path, the safest course. But, I don’t know, I’d still have a hard time passing on some of the NHL free agents who might be available in less than a month if I was the Avalanche general manager. Passing on making a bid for Ilya Kovalchuk, for me, would be akin to Carrie Bradshaw passing on a new pair of Manolo Blahnik pink suede strappy sandals in the store window.

Kovalchuk, an immensely talented Russian winger, is expected to be out there on free-agent day, and the Avs have salary cap room the size of Montana. But as we learned last week from the NHL general managers’ meetings in Philadelphia, Avs GM Greg Sherman put the kibosh on any hopes his team would go on a Bradshaw-worthy shopping spree.

Is Sherman bluffing? Sure didn’t seem like it when I asked him right after he departed a massive ballroom inside the Ritz-Carlton. Sherman shook his head and had an “it ain’t gonna happen” look when asked whether the Avalanche would be pursuing big-name players on free-agent day, July 1.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Coach Talk In Columbus

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

As soon as word leaked that the Blue Jackets had offered wunderkind Guy Boucher the job as coach, questions started flying like snowflakes in a blizzard.

How can the Jackets take a chance on a man who has only one year of pro coaching experience? Do they have the personnel to play Boucher’s innovative system? Will Boucher’s system even work in the NHL?

How embarrassing would it be if Boucher, who would seem destined to field other NHL offers, declined the Jackets’ offer? Why would a guy in Boucher’s position turn them down? Would fan favorite Kevin Dineen still be interested if Boucher said no? Is Dineen even the second choice?

The offer dishes out generous helpings of both excitement and anxiety. For general manager Scott Howson, often criticized for being too conservative and too patient, this is a bold, aggressive move.

But is it the right one?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Flyers Unbeatable The Deeper The Series Goes

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Let’s say this right at the top. If the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, it will be because they were a good enough team and true enough champion to fend off the most relentless band of hockey warriors this sport has seen in a long, long time.

The champagne will taste all the sweeter because the Blackhawks will have earned that Cup the hard way.

That said, here’s why the Flyers look and feel like a team on the verge of winning its first championship in 35 years. Here’s why, as the puck drops Sunday night on Game 5 in Chicago, the Flyers deserve the absolute faith and respect of their fans.

Here’s why: Every step of this long, long road, the Flyers have gotten better and stronger and more fiercely determined. The later it gets - in games, in series, in the tournament - the more prepared they are to meet the rising challenge.

In four series now, the Flyers’ record in Games 1 through 3 is 5-7.

In Games 4 and beyond: 9-0, and counting.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Player Movement Talk

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• There aren’t a lot of teams lining up to trade for Oilers Sheldon Souray because of his $5.4-million cap hit for two more years. One possibility may be the San Jose Sharks, who need help on the blue-line, especially if Rob Blake retires and they lose his big shot and $3.5-million worth of salary. The Sharks would likely offer defenceman Kent Huskins and forward Torrey Mitchell in return….

• If you were the Oilers, would you give up the first pick in Round 2 for Hawks winger Kris Versteeg, who has two more years left at $3 million a season, a salary the cap-starved Hawks can’t afford? Definitely not off his play in the Stanley Cup final, but Versteeg is only 24 years old and has the ability to be a second-line, 30-goal scorer.

• Let’s face it, the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t need Tomas Kaberle. They have Dion Phaneuf now. But they have a tough chore convincing teams to take the defenceman unless the team wanting Kaberle can get him signed to a three-or four-year contract for, say, Sergei Gonchar-type money ($5 million a year). If so, you give up a top six forward for sure, but Leafs’ fans are dreaming if they think they can get Bobby Ryan for Kaberle.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The All GM Team Plus Beware Of Buyouts

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

• With Steve Yzerman entering the managerial ranks, the Red Wings legend becomes the center of the GM All-Star Team. The rest of the lineup: Joe Nieuwendyk (LW), Paul Holmgren (RW), Doug Wilson (D), Bob Murray (D), and Garth Snow (G).

• In 2010-11, the Bruins will be free of a $1,383,333 annual cap hit because of the Glen Murray buyout. It would not be prudent to replace that dead money by buying out Ryder and assuming a $1,333,333 cap hit the next two seasons. Part of the reason the Islanders will most likely miss the playoffs again is the $4.75 million cap hit they have to absorb because of the Alexei Yashin buyout. That money could pay for the impact forward they desperately need.

more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How The Rangers Can Get Better

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

“We just weren’t quite good enough over the course of the season. But if we had won that final game, would we have been tough enough to compete in the playoffs the way the Flyers have? Could we be where they are now?

“I think so.”

But the Rangers aren’t in Chicago today, preparing for Game 5 of the Final, two victories away from the Stanley Cup. They’ve been done for weeks, one of 14 teams that didn’t make it to the postseason.

“We have to get better,” Sather acknowledged. “And the way we’re going to get better is by staying within our organization and giving our prospects the time to grow and the opportunity to play in New York.

“This has been a long process, and it’s ongoing, but as we go into this summer, our plan is to keep our own players. I can tell you one thing — we are certainly not going to overpay for free agents. If we can improve with a signing that makes sense, we’ll look into it, but we want to give our guys the first shot.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Late Night Hockey Notes

Big time storms rolling through the Detroit area and more coming, so I may as well do some late night posts while I still have power.

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• If Flyers management figures Leighton as a one-trick pony on a magical ride, they may not be willing to commit to him beyond Games 5, 6 and 7.

The Flyers have yet to say anything official about the direction in which they are heading but they will have choices in what should be an active free-agent and trade market come the end of the season.

Among the best free agents available are Marty Turco of Dallas, Evgeni Nabakov of San Jose and Chris Mason of St. Louis….

• It’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final here on Sunday night. Must-win for the Blackhawks.

• Word around is that Colorado, with all kinds of salary-cap room, has no intention of re-signing free-agent Darcy Tucker. Question is, does anybody else want Tucker at age 35, with all those miles on him?

more hockey notes…


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

“You know what Toe Blake used to say about the media, don’t you?

“When you’re losing, they can’t help you. And when you’re winning, you don’t need ‘em.”

-Scotty Bowman.  The quote really doesn’t have much to do with the story from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun via the National Post, but do read what Cam has to say about the Philly/Chicago series.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Kane Raise His Game?

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

He’s small but not a timid player, yet he’s playing like it, which may be more of an indication of uncertainty and confusion. He’s controlled the puck but seems content to circle and circle, rather than take the puck to areas where he might be more likely to score, and the Flyers are content to let him circle. He did score a pretty breakaway goal in Game 3, but that’s been it.

Four rounds of physical pounding may have taken their toll on the Buffalo native, but that just makes him the same as everyone else.

The same as everyone else, of course, is what Kane can’t be. He’s got to be special and different, and it’s possible he may not be ready to be that player in a Cup final just yet….

This is a series dominated by Canadian-born players, which leaves Kane almost alone in the American spotlight. But he’s got to want to be there. So far, it doesn’t look like a comfy fit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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