Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tennessean,
But here was Trotz, speaking with authority about the Predators’ playoff possibilities.
“We found out what the absolute mathematic probability of getting in is, based on the equations of all the teams playing each other,” Professor Trotz said after the Preds’ 2-1 shootout victory over Chicago. “It’s a lot higher than a lot of people thought.”
What gives? I guess when you’re coaching a team that entered the day with five losses in its previous six games, you’ll latch on to any sign of hope, even if it’s a bunch of statistical mumbo-jumbo authored by some schmuck in Saskatoon with a six-pack of Molson and a Ouija board.
Turns out, however, that the data is courtesy of Ken Roberts, who writes software for Interface Technologies in Raleigh, N.C.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Nolan confirmed his contract situation yesterday. “They haven’t offered an extension,” Nolan said. “There hasn’t been a discussion of it.”
Contacted yesterday on a scouting trip in Ontario, general manager Garth Snow said he had no comment. Team spokesman Chris Botta, citing team policy, said the organization would have no comment on contract issues involving management.
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Hard to think of a better goal at the Saddledome this season than Dion Phaneuf’s coast-to-coast job against the Wild on Saturday night.
continued with youtube video…
from Fire & Ice,
It was at least 10 minutes after the final buzzer before Devils coach Brent Sutter emerged from a closed-door locker room meeting with his players following a disastrous 7-1 loss to the Penguins tonight at Mellon Arena.
Sutter had plenty to be angry about, particularly in the five-goal third period. But it really started with Ryan Malone’s shorthanded goal with 3:46 left in the second that gave the Penguins the lead for good.
“You’re tied 1-1 in a hockey game and you give up a terrible shorthanded goal from a 3-on-1 break from the hash marks in their zone,” Sutter said. “I really though that changed the complexion of the game and from that point on we made a lot of mental mistakes. We had a lot of breakdowns. We weren’t very strong between the ears for the rest of the game.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
And for at least one afternoon — when Forsberg had two assists in a home victory over Dallas on March 8 — it seemed that any doubts about the wisdom of the signing were about to be dispelled.
Since then, though, it has been a mess and a four-ring circus that, especially when considered in the context of a bizarre run of injuries to other high-profile players on the roster, has contributed to the Avalanche’s inconsistency and inability to not only jump to the top of the mediocre Northwest Division but stay there.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: While the official explanation — the sport’s “plague,” a groin problem — almost certainly can pass legalistic muster, the bigger problems that have bedeviled Forsberg since his return to the lineup remains the same old problems.
His foot and ankle.
from the Dallas Morning News,
Calm as ever, Les Jackson issued a matter-of-fact challenge to the Dallas Stars on Saturday after they blew another third-period lead and lost a 4-2 game to the last-place Los Angeles Kings….
“I think every team in the league goes through this. It’s just frustrating when you’re in it, because there’s an answer and you just don’t see it,” Jackson said. “The answers are there. We just need to get through the tough periods and keep going, that’s all.”
Jackson said he doesn’t feel the acquisition of Brad Richards at the Feb. 26 trade deadline has upset the chemistry of the team. Richards has nine points in nine games (five in his debut), but the Stars are 2-7-0 since he arrived.
“When players come in, there’s always a time element of adjustment, but he’s only one player on the team,” Jackson said. “There’s other guys who have been here a long time and can take this team and carry it – and they have to step up.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
There are several coaches on the hotseat as the regular season winds down; as many as 15 could be looking for work if their teams don’t make the playoffs or underachieve in the post-season.
While it’s highly unlikely that many coaches would be walking the unemployment line, there are several situations to keep an eye on:
St. Louis: Andy Murray has two years left on his contract, but the Blues are fading down the stretch, putting his future in doubt. The finger is being pointed at Murray.
more and of course, some rumors…
The Montreal Canadiens received some bad news Saturday when they learned that defenceman Mike Komisarek will miss the next three weeks with a lower-body injury.
The injury will keep the 26-year old blueliner out of the Habs lineup for the remainder of the regular season and possibly the beginning of the playoffs.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So it’s Lidstrom-Brodeur, 1-2, or perhaps 1 and 1A on this ballot, with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin third for the way in which he has lifted that club during Sidney Crosby’s injury absences.
But what about the brilliant Alex Ovechkin?
Well, he’s still got two weeks to get the young, talented Capitals into the playoffs, and if he can do that, this ballot will need revision.
Otherwise, picking an MVP off a non-playoff team just doesn’t pass the smell test.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
He tore himself apart and rebuilt from scratch. He began working out almost fanatically. He lost weight and added muscle. He tracked down and found old game tapes of how he had played in his prime with the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins and he studied the tapes, took notes and then set out to put what he had learned into practice.
If one of his sporting idols, Woods, could take apart his swing and rebuild it, then Kovalev would do the same in hockey.
Not only would he adjust the way he played and fix the shape he was in, he would recast his attitude. Sullen and angry the season before — partially blaming himself for the disastrous addition of another Russian, Sergei Samsonov, to the Montreal lineup — he came into this season determined to serve as a mentor to the younger Russians in the organization
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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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