Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the CP at TSN,
Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brian Campbell has returned to practice for the first time since he broke a collarbone and a rib after a hit from Washington’s Alex Ovechkin on March 14.
The Blackhawks initially said Campbell would miss seven or eight weeks.
Campbell says he still doesn’t have a timetable to return. He won’t play Friday when the Blackhawks open the playoffs at home against Nashville.
Chris Kuc tweeted this about an hour ago…
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he hopes defenseman Brian Campbell can return sometime during first-round series.
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
This is THN.com’s Top 10 dark horse playoff performers.
10. Jason Williams, Detroit
The hard-luck Williams, 29, averaged just 56 games played the past three seasons due to injury. But he’s a seasoned veteran and one-time 20-goal scorer who played his first NHL game eight seasons ago. And Detroit will need scoring from all corners to succeed.
9. Tyler Ennis, Buffalo
Picking a raw rookie with just 10 NHL games under his belt goes against the grain a little bit. But Ennis, 20, had nine points in those 10 games and if any of Buffalo’s forwards can’t get or stay healthy, Ennis will jump into a top-six role, where the points can come in bunches.
8. Tomas Kopecky, Chicago
Kopecky, 28, is a bit of a late bloomer, but has been around successful playoff teams in Detroit. He left the Wings to play a bigger role somewhere else and although he hasn’t lit Chicago on fire, Kopecky will be out to prove he has more to offer than Detroit let him show in past post-seasons.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
As the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs get under way Wednesday night, here are 10 storylines we’ll be watching this postseason:
1. Beware betting against those Coyotes
By now, you’ve likely seen almost every hockey pundit (including me) pick the red-hot veteran Red Wings to beat upstart Phoenix in the first round. But wouldn’t it just be like the Coyotes to once again prove us all wrong? All season long, people have been waiting for them to fall apart. Hasn’t happened. Not even close. Now, they’re given very little chance against hockey’s model franchise. Could there be another great story out of the desert?
2. League discipline/head shots
Under the newly approved fast-tracked rule, NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell has the power to suspend players for blind-side hits to the head. The postseason rule of thumb has always been that one playoff game was worth four or five in the regular season when it comes to suspensions. How will Campbell react to the first blind-side head shot incident?
Dave Strader and Tyson Nash break down the series between Detroit and Phoenix.
“I want to be on a winning team. It’s three years of this and (we’re going) back to square one, so I want to be on a winning team. That’s the biggest thing. I’m not getting any younger. We’ll see how it all shakes out this summer.”
-Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. More from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Whatever drives Theodore, this postseason stands as a defining moment for many who believed Theodore’s ship had sailed. These coming days and weeks will possibly bring not just wins, but also something like redemption.
“He’s been a guy that’s said from the beginning, ‘OK, last year was last year. If I have to prove myself, I’ve proved myself my whole life.’ And he’s going to be proving himself again,” Boudreau said. “And he did it in the face of a lot of adversity this year. I give him full credit for everything he’s done.”
One thing is certain: Theodore has been thinking about these playoffs for a long time.
“For sure. A lot of people counted me out when the season started for different reasons,” he said. “It was a big challenge for me just to have a solid season pretty much since training camp. Obviously to have the chance to play in the playoffs ... that’s where you want to be, it’s in the playoffs, and now it’s finally starting. So we’ll see.”
added 11:11am, Reports from practice this morning state Theodore headed to the locker room after tweaking some body part or taking a shot to the said body part.
The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with 8 teams in action.
My question to you today is- What player will have the highest point total for the 2010 Playoffs?
via a Chris Vivlamore tweet,
BIG NEWS: Thrashers move Don Waddell to president, name Rick Dudley GM and dismiss coaching staff.
added 9:50am, Read all about from Chris at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
ATLANTA (April 14, 2010) - The Atlanta Thrashers have promoted Don Waddell to President and Rick Dudley to General Manager, according to Co-Owner Bruce Levenson. The team also announced that it will not retain Head Coach John Anderson and Assistant Coaches Randy Cunneyworth, Todd Nelson and Steve Weeks. In his new role, Waddell will focus primarily on all business aspects of the organization, and as General Manager, Dudley will be responsible for all hockey operations.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
You have seen them this week, all over the Bay Area. They live in your neighborhood. They dine at your favorite restaurant. They post tweets at the next work cubicle. You can recognize them by their eerie expression of wary hope mixed with glorious doom.
They are Sharks fans. And they are afraid, so afraid. They want to know if it’s safe to go back in the water. For the playoffs, I mean. Perhaps you are even a fearful fan yourself, asking the same question.
My comforting answer: Yes. Yes, you can. You can be optimistic.
For the next two weeks, anyway. After that, no guarantees.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
So what is Laviolette’s recipe for playoff success? It’s hard to know until you see him up close, but he offered a glimpse or two as the team finished preparations.
When he deduced that reporters were focusing on the veteran Pronger as a leader going into this postseason, Laviolette was quick to shift the focus.
“Let me just say that Mike Richards always has ratcheted it up every time there’s been an opportunity,” Laviolette said, “whether it’s been Olympics or world championships or playoffs or big games. He’s a guy that we look to. . . . When the chips are down, he’s played hard. He’s been good for us in big games. We’ve got a lot of them coming up.”
That may seem like nothing much, but Laviolette is keenly aware of the perception that Pronger is more of a captain, by nature and by accomplishment, than Richards. He volunteered his thoughts on Richards for a reason. And it is true, by the way. Richards was terrific for Team Canada in the Olympics, and he was one of the few Flyers who showed up Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Laviolette needs both men, Richards and Pronger, to make a deep playoff run.
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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