Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail:
Dan Bylsma is the new kid in town, the flavour of the month, the rookie who in his first full season as the head coach of his own team, has gone from running the Pittsburgh Penguins’ minor-league affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to getting the parent club to within four wins of a Stanley Cup championship.
Not bad for a former NHL journeyman who was once turned down for a job by a Minnesota prep school because of his comparative lack of experience, but now has a chance to be the first rookie coach since Jean Perron in 1986 to lead his team to a Stanley Cup.
From the CP via TSN:
On Friday, Tallon said he spoke with Allan Walsh, the agent for Martin Havlat, about retaining the forward who could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
“Marty has stated that he wants to stay here and we want Marty back. We’ll just keep working at it and see if we can get it done,” [Dale] Tallon said.
“We’re going to address the free-agent situation here and put the best possible team on the ice again next,” he added.
more on Havlat and other potential free agents on the team
From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
read on Pittsburgh blogger roundtable also available here, featuring yet another KK blogger, Tony of The Confluence.
The Wings face the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second consecutive year, in an attempt to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup. We invited some of the best and brightest Red Wings bloggers to take a seat at our roundtable and preview the finals, discuss the Penguins player they most fear and to give their impressions of Penguins fans.
Joining us for the roundtable are Christy Hammond of Winging It In Motown; Matt Saler of On The Wings; George James Malik of Snapshots; blogging pioneer Paul Kukla of Kukla’s Korner; Tyler from The Triple Deke; and the man, the myth, the legend ... The Chief from Abel To Yzerman.
Coming up, a spirited discussion about confidence, concerns and occasional use of the term “bandwagon.”
from Carl Bialik of the Daily Fix at the Wall Street Journal Blogs,
Detroit Red Wings fans who feel inexplicable disappointment about their decorated team’s performance this decade now have an explanation for that feeling: The Red Wings, by one new measure, have been the most successful NHL playoff team since the 2000-2001 season, but also one of the most disappointing.
Tom Awad, writing on Puck Prospectus, used playoff results from the last seven seasons to examine how far a playoff team can expect to advance, given its regular-season record. For each season, Awad calculated the average number of points in the league, calculated for each team how far it deviated from that average, and then plotted that against playoff success, awarding more points for each series won, with a bonus for needing fewer than seven games to advance.
via Elliotte Friedman’s Twitter,
Datsyuk: “I feel more better.” (Not making fun, just quoting.) Game time decision for tomorrow. If I had to bet: Game 3.
from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
If in two weeks or so the Detroit Red Wings win their fifth Stanley Cup in 12 seasons, we’ll have had the privilege of being witnesses to a remarkable period in hockey history.
Not only will the Wings have cemented “dynasty” status, but a case could be made it’s the NHL’s greatest sustained franchise achievement ever….
Another tentacle to this octopi-embracing juggernaut is the number of Hall of Famers who may be in their midst. By our count, we could be seeing as many as eight. Here’s the breakdown:
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Finally, if you’re looking for a couple of players out of the limelight who will thrust themselves into the glare with a special contribution, consider Valtteri Filppula of the Red Wings and Chris Kunitz of the Penguins. Both play significant minutes and during key situations. They’ve had good moments already during this playoff run, but with a single goal each, they are poised to really break out and make a difference. If either finds the net regularly with the Stanley Cup at stake, they will usurp the accolades reserved for the stars.
This should be fun. Enjoy.
more on the series…
from Damian Critodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
What was it like working with owners Barrie called “owner operators”?
“Last year, I did not feel comfortable at all,” Lawton said. “We had three people making decisions, everybody knows that, and it leads to a discombobulated effort. As an organization we sat down and straightened that out. Last year, I was exuberant for the opportunity. Now, I’m excited for the structure we have.”
A structure in which Lawton, 43, of Cumberland, R.I., gained influence.
He is a sounding board on business matters for Koules, who handles much of the day-to-day running of the team and Times Forum. He also apparently is the tie-breaker on hockey matters if Koules and Barrie disagree.
“Those guys have told me I’m the final word,” Lawton said. “That’s what they’ve communicated to me. That doesn’t mean I don’t notify them or I don’t keep them abreast of it. ... But at the end of the day, the way it’s set up is that’s my call.”
Koules acknowledged, “We’ve given Brian the authority to take the lead role in everything we do from a hockey operations standpoint.”
more including some Vinny talk…
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
1. Sidney Crosby’s Name on the Stanley Cup:
Alexander Ovechkin may still be the bigger star, crossing over to mainstream sports fans in a way Crosby doesn’t. But within the NHL, there’s no player with greater renown right now than the Penguins’ captain, thanks to his remarkable postseason run and unparalleled leadership in bringing his mates back to the finals. To end that run with his first Stanley Cup would be a defining moment. And to have a star of his magnitude lifting the Cup over his head is an image the NHL is ready to plaster across the globe.
read on for 19 more points….
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 firstname.lastname@example.org