Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Nash scored the tying goal late in the third on Wednesday, his fifth in five games, to once more underscore his importance to the Columbus franchise. But while he’ll now finally get to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game, the elephant in the room is that he has one more year on his contract at $7 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Talks will begin this summer, and it should be obvious to Columbus GM Scott Howson after watching the Marian Gaborik episode play out in Minnesota and the Jay Bouwmeester situation crystallize in Florida that if the Jackets don’t have a deal with Nash done by September, there’s an excellent chance he won’t be re-signing at all.
If that’s the case, the smart play may be to trade him before next season even starts.
He’s from Brampton, so the connection to the Maple Leafs has been made repeatedly. Analysts suggest he’ll come in somewhere between Henrik Zetterberg’s $7.5 million salary and Alex Ovechkin’s $9 million on one of those whopper long-term deals, so this is his shot at a career contract. The Jackets, however, lost about $12 million last season and are probably deeper in the hole now, with playoff revenue set to possibly improve that figure.
If the Wings couldn’t muster enough fire in their bellies to take out the Predators, they sure as hell better be ready to do nothing less than sweep the self-proclaimed gifts to hockey called the Blackhawks this weekend, and they’d better be ready to do so by beating the puck out of them one shift and one battle at a time.
In the playoffs, there’s no room for mercy or politeness. You either beat your opponent to a bloody pulp or they do the same to you, and if you can kick them when they’re down, you do so, skate on. The Red Wings got “punked” tonight, and they need to take the sting they’re feeling and allow it to rekindle some punkish snarl somewhere within the depths of their hockey-playing souls.
-George James Malik of SnapShots. Read more from George.
from the Tennessean, “
We stayed alive,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s pretty good. Coming back when you’re down 3-1 (in the third period) to the Detroit Red Wings.”...
The Preds’ “tragic number’’ remains at three — meaning any combination of points gained by St. Louis or squandered by Nashville totaling three — will leave the Predators behind the Blues in the final Western Conference standings.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
As you know, to have a chance, the Wild must win its final two games. However, now, the Wild MUST win in regulation against Nashville or its playoff chances are really, really, really in even more trouble than it is now
Here’s why: If Friday’s game goes to overtime, it means Nashville gets a point — or 89 points. The Preds already have 40 wins, meaning even if the Wild won its final two games with Friday being in overtime, it would finish with 40 wins.
Then it would go head-to-head. If the Wild wins in overtime, the Wild would be 2-2 vs. Nashville for four out of eight points. However, Nashville would be 2-1-1 against the Wild for five out of eight points, and thus would win the tiebreaker.
What does this mean? If the game’s tied with say a minute left in regulation Friday night, coach Jacques Lemaire might have to consider pulling the goalie for an extra attacker to keep it from going to overtime.
more on the Wild…
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs, .
..But, listen, I’m probably going to choke up a little at the Joe Sakic retirement press conference - one that I expect to happen at some point soon.
I predicted all through last summer that Sakic would play this year. And I’m predicting now that Sakic will retire after this, his 20th season. And, as I’ve said before, I do hope I’m wrong. But I don’t think I will be.
Anyway, the news tonight was that Captain, our Captain, can’t play this weekend. We had all sorts of fun scenarios for this weekend.
added 8:52am, Joe Sakic was asked if he would be back this weekend, watch his response below.
Both Florida and Buffalo were eliminated tonight. Of course, a few positions can change, but these are your eight teams in the playoffs for the Eastern Conference.
Boston, Washington and New Jersey are the division winners.
All season long, Kings Vision has kept the camera rolling. In the final Spotlight, they take you down memory lane to show you footage that didn’t make the cut!
from Welcome to the Show,
Here is something you may have not seen involving Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. In addition to being an expert hockey tactician, Boudreau is also well-skilled in the art of doodling. Boudreau is one of the celebrities to partake in USA National Doodle Day, which everyone knows falls on May 7 this year. Boudreau’s hockey doodle is a one-of-a-kind sketch featuring the Capitals rink and the Stanley Cup with the words “The Dream” written beneath the most prestigious trophy in sports. He listed the numbers of ten current Capitals on the ice, but listed Mike Green’s No. 52 twice, presumably because Green covers more ice than any other player in the NHL. Boudreau also encourages fans to Rock the Red and calls Washington The “New” Hockeytown in his doodle.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Some reflections on the 2008-09 season.
• There are still a number of old-timers who complain about today’s game.
Bob Clarke, for instance, considers it to be basically unwatchable and a travesty. It’s not real hockey, he says. Mike Milbury decries the increasing “pansification” of the game, even though he’s no longer allowed to use that word on Hockey Night in Canada.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of hockey fans seem to love today’s game. It’s fast, it’s intense, and it still has plenty of heavy hitting. Fighting is up and so is scoring. It’s not perfect and it never will be, but it’s surely a much better product than anything we ever saw in the playing days of Clarke and Milbury, and top to bottom, it’s probably the best fans have ever seen.
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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