Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Lopresti of USA TODAY,
We are not here to offer deep analysis on the road to the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Pssst ... that’s the trophy that goes to the team that wins). Far from it. Just some basic tidbits, for those who have trouble remembering that Columbus, Ohio, has a hockey team.
NHL Playoffs for Dummies. Which I am.
No. 1. If you like overtime games, you’ve come to the right place. Last spring, nearly one in every five playoff games went extra periods. San Jose and Dallas had a marathon-on-ice, where three games went into overtime and the clinching sixth game lasted four overtimes.
Sportsnet has learned that Craig MacTavish is done after eight years as the Edmonton Oilers head coach.
At a noon (mdt) press conference, Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini will announce that the coaching search is on in Edmonton, after the Oilers missed the playoffs this spring for the fifth time in MacTavish’s eight-year tenure.
It is believed that MacTavish stepped down from his post, and was not fired by the Oilers.
added 2:06pm, Watching the video stream of the press conference, Tambellini confirms, “Time to move forward.”
from Neil Best of Watchdog at Newsday,
Charles Wang to WFAN regarding the trials and tribulations of owning the Isles: “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t do it.”
Not surprising, since he said the team is losing $25 to $30 million a year.
He also called the Nassau Coliseum as “dump.”
click for the link to listen to the audio interview…
from Bruce MacLeod of Red Wings Corner,
Coach Mike Babcock just said that Cleary will be in the lineup for Thursday’s Game 1….
Cleary didn’t skate today. He suffered an injury during Tuesday’s practice, likely when Niklas Kronwall checked him into the boards. Cleary said that he went for tests, yesterday.
“It showed there’s something there, but it’s not a big concern,” said Cleary. “It’s more precautionary than anything.”
“I should be ready to go, shouldn’t be a problem,” said Cleary.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Later, they might simply remember this as the spring the kids took over the playoff garden.
Or maybe they’ll remember it as the spring the bloom returned to places like Chicago or Boston or St. Louis.
Or maybe there’s simply no way to separate the two; maybe they are inexorably linked.
Whatever your vantage point as these NHL playoffs begin, this stands as a seminal moment for the NHL in its fourth playoff season since the lockout, a nod to a new wave of talent and a return of the old markets.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Stanley Cup Final
Pittsburgh vs. Detroit: I am blindly loyal, if not necessarily perspicacious. Start with the Red Wings, stay with the Red Wings. The Penguins are not the callow team that took Detroit to six games in the final last year, but now the goaltending gap between the teams narrow. Detroit’s poise and will win some tight games. Red Wings in seven.
read on to find out how both teams end up in the SCF again.
via Puck The Media,
Thanks to Schuyler Baehman of the NHL’s Communications Dep’t and all-around good guy (and who’s Twitter feed you should check out) for sending this along to us, as we’ve been hoping for this for quite some time:
In the first time of NHL Network U.S.’s history, it will broadcast a Stanley Cup Playoff game by airing live Game 2 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Conference Quarter-Final match-up between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Detroit Red Wings from Detroit on Saturday, April 18 @ 6pm ET.
Locally, Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Ohio will broadcast this game live as previously scheduled. NHL Network will be blacked out in those local markets.
from CBC Sports,
It’s hard to imagine a future Hall of Fame goaltender who holds the record for all-time wins and sports a minuscule 1.96 goals-against average in 169 post-season games would enter any Stanley Cup playoffs as an underdog.
But that is the scenario for Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, at least in the eyes of former National Hockey League netminder Kelly Hrudey.
“I think Marty Brodeur can be a weak link,” the Hockey Night in Canada analyst told viewers on the eve of Wednesday’s Round 1 series opener between the Devils and visiting Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“What teams identified about three years ago in the playoffs is if you throw pucks at his feet that he has a lot of problems.
“We saw it in particular, even though New Jersey beat Tampa a couple of years ago, he gave up a ton of goals from everywhere. Tampa certainly weren’t shy [to shoot] from the corners. For whatever reason he’d have a hard time getting to his posts, so much so I thought he was injured.”
I was just on The War Room on NHL Home Ice XM 204 and we talked about the playoffs.
I always enjoy talking hockey with Dan Blakeley and Mick Kern and appreciate the duo for coming to me and allowing my thoughts to be heard.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
With apologies, as always, to David Letterman, this devoted puckhead presents “My Top 10 Reasons the Ducks Will Stun the San Jose Sharks in the Opening Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs”:
10. The Ducks have the road-ice advantage.
No, I’m not joking. Granted, the Sharks had a phenomenal home record at H.P. Pavilion (32-5-4), but did you know the Ducks won more road games than the Sharks during the regular season? You can look it up. The Ducks won 22 away from home; the Sharks, only 21.
The Ducks also won convincingly in their last meeting in San Jose, a 5-2 romp a week ago Saturday.
“That was big,” Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks’ leading scorer, said earlier this week after practice. “We gained a bit of confidence going in there and winning. It’s going to help in the playoffs.”
9. Sharks center Joe Thornton, a former NHL MVP, gets all the publicity, but did you know Getzlaf (25 goals, 66 assists for 91 points) outscored Thornton (25-61, 86 points) during the regular season? Didn’t think so.
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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