Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has relieved Head Coach Ron Wilson of his coaching duties. The Sharks general manager also announced that team will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.
“Ron helped foster a new era in San Jose Sharks hockey with some record-setting regular season performances,” said Doug Wilson. “However, ultimately we have decided that it is time for a different voice and a different approach to lead this team. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished as an organization but we feel that this team is capable of achieving greater success. I want to thank Ron for his level of commitment and desire to make our organization successful. Our entire organization wishes him well.”
added 9:40pm, from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
If his motivational strategies had worked, Wilson would have been applauded. But after four-plus seasons of attempting every possible ploy, what could Wilson have done differently next season to get a different result? I am sure that’s what team management was thinking. I can’t disagree.
Still, you won’t catch me saying “Good riddance.” I will miss Wilson, though he won’t believe that. We had our differences. We dug in for some, shall I say, spirited discussions when he disagreed with something I wrote.
via the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
“When the intensity rises, we like our chances in that regard, too,” Turco said. “We don’t think much of them on a personal, character level. We think that’s to our advantage.”
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
The Flyers are down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals to those upstart Pittsburgh Penguins. Truth is, can anyone say they’re surprised? The Penguins have a better, all-around skill set than the Flyers.
On the other hand …
As Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren said Monday, “We’re 0-2. We have to play better if we expect to win a game.”
Flyers’ defenceman Braydon Coburn is “doubtful” for Game 3 Tuesday at the Wachovia Center. He has no structural damage to his left eye.
“We’re still waiting to hear how his eye is,” Holmgren said. “Right now, it’s swollen shut. There are no fractures. He’s doing better. We have no reason to think there’s anything wrong with the eye.”
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com:
Can the Stars make a sudden turnaround and take control of the series? Sure they can, but I don’t see it happening. Led by coach Mike Babcock, the Wings are on a roll and are determined to erase the memories of losing to the Anaheim Ducks in last year’s Western Conference Final.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have showed they can adjust to any style of play their opposition throws at them. The Flyers are trying to be physical with the young Pens, but it hasn’t worked for them to this point. Talent-wise, the Flyers just don’t match up with Pittsburgh and must play perfect games from here on out in order to extend this series past five games.
Once again, the Flyers can make a make a comeback, but I don’t see it happening.
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
This is NHL playoff justice. Anything short of an ax-murder is likely to be ignored. But don’t blame the current dispenser of justice, Colin Campbell. It has always been this way.
There has been the occasional exception. When Gary Bettman was in the first few months of his regime, he didn’t understand hockey tradition very well (insert your own cheap shot here) and seeing Dale Hunter deliver a cross-check to Pierre Turgeon after a goal, decided that Hunter had earned himself a 21-game suspension.
But since then, the NHL has followed a firm policy. First of all, suspensions, when they occur, are much shorter than they would be for a similar incident in the regular season. Secondly, every effort is made to keep the stars in the game.
At one time, the league used to defer playoff suspensions. One of the more notorious examples was the vicious slash that Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall delivered to Edmonton’s Kent Nilsson in the 1987 Stanley Cup finals.
From the Nashville Predators:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent forward Martin Erat to a seven-year, $31.5 million contract.
“Martin Erat is a perfect example of this organization’s philosophy,” Poile said. “He came to us as a seventh-round draft pick, and grew steadily into an elite player when given an opportunity to succeed. He has continued to take on more responsibility and is an integral part of our team moving forward. We look forward to his leadership and production for the next seven years.”
From Damien Cox in The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Sure was nasty watching the fine young Philadelphia defenceman, Braydon Coburn, take a puck in the face Sunday night in Game 2 between the Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
He was cut badly near the eye, and may or may not be able to play in Game 3.
Surely, it could have been worse. Yet wasn’t it also preventable?
Given where the injury was, it would appear a half-shield would have blocked the puck from hitting Coburn in the face. But he doesn’t wear one, and so he was lost for the game, and maybe more.
*And more on this topic today from Greg Wyshynski at the Yahoo! Sports blog, Puck Daddy
Interview today with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Q I apologize for opening with a Provincial question, but do you have any reaction to what happened to Joel Quenneville at Colorado?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Good for Joel. He’s a hot commodity now, and he’s out in the market. I think he’s a heck of a coach. I think he does a good job. He got his team two of the last three years out of the first round.
An interview today with Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien.
Q. Can you describe the conversation you had with Georges Laraque after the end of last year when you told him what you wanted him to be like physically, and what role in order to fulfill a role here?
COACH THERRIEN: Well, if there’s someone who knows Georges really well, it’s me, because I coached Georges in Juniors. I know what he’s capable of. We won a Memorial Cup together. He was an impact player on our team. That was a guy that we were looking to bring to our club. I thought we really did a great job to bring Georges in, but the Georges Laraque that I saw last year was not the Georges Laraque that I knew.
I told him at the end of the year that he needs to be in much better shape. He could be an impact player, and he took care of himself over the summer. Reported in great shape, and got a great season as far as I’m concerned.
An interview today with Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett.
Q. Talk about tonight, going into play and how do you guide your team not to play too desperate because your backs are against the wall?
COACH DAVE TIPPETT: We have to come in, and our focus now is to come play the best game of the series. We thought our team struggled with energy the first game. The second game we thought we did stuff that’s more indicative of how we did in the playoffs so far.
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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