Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
One step back for two steps forward?
Well, the chances of that theory becoming a reality for the Winnipeg Jets vastly improved on Saturday as the results of the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery were unveiled in Toronto.
With only a 7.5% chance of securing the top pick, the Jets still managed to jump up from sixth to second overall and will have an opportunity to dramatically alter the fortunes of the franchise after missing the playoffs this past season.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said things started to get interesting at ninth overall and especially at sixth, when the Jets logo wasn't turned over by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
“At least you knew you weren't going to move backwards in the order and (at six), that's when the heart starts pumping and the legs start shaking a little,” Cheveldayoff said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “I couldn't even tell you who was the team that came up.”
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan joins Hockey Night in Canada to talk about winning the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is, in fact, as good a concept as the “Let the boys decide it” approach to officiating that apparently is again codified as league policy.
A referee who doesn’t want to decide the game by very definition is, in fact, deciding it. Everyone would agree on that.
Beyond that, why not allow the boys to decide it all the time? Why have referees on the ice at all? Especially if they’re not going to call Matt Martin for tripping the unfortunate Vincent Trochek or Tom Wilson for kneeing Conor Sheary or Kris Letang for going Paul Bunyon on Viktor Stalberg’s mouth?
more topics including the playoff brackets...
from Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog,
In Saturday night’s Game 2 loss to the Penguins, they were dominated for at least 40 minutes, appeared ill-equipped to handle Pittsburgh’s high-flying offense and couldn’t stay out of the penalty box. They went 14 minutes without taking a shot at one point, misfired on the few dangerous chances they did generate and coughed up the home-ice advantage they had worked months to secure. They gave up the winning goal to a popular former teammate, activated one of their ugliest bits of history and now have to hold their breath as the NHL scrutinizes a bad hit by one of their best defensemen.
The good news? The Caps will travel to Pittsburgh tied 1-1, rather than in the 2-0 hole they probably deserve.
But they’ll leave Washington knowing they’re on a path to trouble, that the showing they made in Saturday night’s 2-1 loss won’t be close to enough against the league’s hottest club. The Penguins hadn’t lost consecutive games since mid-January. To win a second straight at home, the Caps needed to start quickly and keep the Penguins from flying through the neutral zone. They needed to rely on their size advantage, make life difficult for rookie netminder Matt Murray and play crisply in their defensive zone.
They needed, in other words, to play better than they had in Thursday’s Game 1 win. Instead, they went backward, offering their worst performance of the postseason. Ignore the final score, because it should have been worse.
Watch the game highlights below...
Watch the hit below...
added 9:33am, another video added below, with multiple broadcasts...
FEHR BURNS FORMER TEAM AS PENGUINS EVEN SERIES WITH CAPITALS
Eric Fehr – who spent nine seasons with the Capitals over two stints with the club before joining the Penguins in 2015-16 – scored the game-winning goal with 4:28 remaining in regulation to propel the Penguins to a Game 2 victory, evening their Second Round series 1-1.
* Fehr, who was drafted 18th overall by the Capitals in the 2003 NHL Draft, spent nine of his first 10 NHL seasons with the club recording 87-87—174 in 419 regular-season games and 5-1—6 in 37 postseason contests.
* Fehr – who scored his first goal against his former club (regular-season and playoffs) – registered his second career game-winning goal in the postseason, both of which have been scored in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (also Game 4 of FR at NYR).
* Matt Murray (23 SV) improved to 11-1 in his last 12 decisions dating to March 6 (regular-season and playoffs), including a 4-1 record in five starts during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.74 GAA, .939 SV%, 1 SO).
* Per Elias, Murray became the first rookie goaltender to win four of his first five career playoff starts since Michal Neuvirth (WSH) did so in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. NYR (4-1).
* Evgeni Malkin (0-1—1) provided the primary assist on Fehr’s winner and has collected at least one point in all six games since making his return to the Penguins lineup in Game 2 of the First Round vs. NYR (3-6—9).
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- The easy part was firing Boudreau. The hard part for Anaheim will be finding a better coach. Boudreau’s regular-season winning percentage is .659 in the NHL, best in history. Behind him, a guy named Scotty Bowman at .657 ... Boudreau is 1-7 career in Game 7s, which got him the axe. The best Game 7 coach in hockey, Darryl Sutter of the Kings: His record is 7-2. For the record, Mike Babcock is 4-4 in Game 7s.
- I like the way Larry Brooks does his job. And for most of his career, I like the way Dan Boyle played in the NHL. But the blowup the other day between the two was understandable, but not excusable for a player in decline. I’ve watched other athletes unable to deal with their own career mortality. It isn’t comfortable. By nature, athletes tend to be dishonest about their own abilities. Boyle wore that in his season ending interview in New York.
- Just to settle my own curiosity, I did a 20-year look back at first picks in the draft and came up with this number: Only eight times in the past 20 years has the first pick definitively turned out to be the runaway best player selected: Those eight players — McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Joe Thornton.
more on the last note plus other hockey topics...
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean talk about the hottest topics from around the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Maatta has not returned.
Below a fan video with Mike Milbury commentary.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
The Toronto Maple Leafs will pick first in the 2016 NHL Draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday.
The Winnipeg Jets were awarded the No. 2 pick, and the Columbus Blue Jackets won the No. 3 selection.
The Maple Leafs had a 20 percent chance, the best odds, to win the No. 1 pick in the draft, which will be held June 24-25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. They are the first Original Six franchise to have the No. 1 pick since 2007, when the Chicago Blackhawks selected right wing Patrick Kane.
The Maple Leafs are likely to use the pick to select center Auston Matthews of Zurich in the National League A, the top professional league in Switzerland. Matthews (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters eligible for the draft. The 18-year-old won the league's Rising Star award and was second in voting for most valuable player in NLA after scoring 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games.
If chosen No. 1, Matthews would be the first American-born player since Kane to be selected first.
added 9:15pm, NHL release is below...
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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