Kukla's Korner Hockey
Don Cherry says the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia series is over…
Watch ‘Grapes’ on ESPN below…
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
After beating the Penguins five times out of eight—and four of four at home—in the regular season, after getting past scoring machine Alex Ovechkin and Washington in the first round, after knocking off top-seeded Montreal in the second round, they have no answers against the Penguins.
At least that seemed to be the prevailing emotion after Philadelphia dug a hole that precedent suggests it will have a difficult time climbing out of.
“I don’t know if I completely have an explanation right now,” winger Joffrey Lupul said after the Penguins trapped, clogged the neutral zone and stifled the Flyers, 4-1.
“We didn’t get many chances, and when we did, we missed the net or they blocked shots. We’re working. We’re in there. We’re skating. But they’re just doing a good job defensively.”
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers asked the question 20,000 times on the 20,000 orange T-shirts they gave their fans last night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins answered it just once.
“Why not us?”
Because the Penguins are better.
The Flyers’ season is not over, of course. But after falling behind three games to none, the outcome of this best-of-seven series is no longer in doubt. Miracles happen. Four miracles in a row do not, at least not against these Penguins.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers were without their top two defencemen last night, but it was their offence that was missing in action.
The Flyers mustered only 18 shots on goal in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead in the NHL’s Eastern Conference final.
Martin Erat’s new seven-year, $31.5 contract with the Nashville Predators has been rejected by the NHL.
All that means is that it is likely to be re-jigged to conform to the CBA and re-submitted for approval. Erat’s contract was rejected because it violates a clause in the CBA that regulates year to year fluctuations in salary.
For example, if you take the first two years of contract, the higher salary in those two years can’t be more than double of the lower salary. After that, the salary can’t fluctuate up by more than 100% of the lower salary and can’t fluctuate downward by more than 50% of lower salary.
On that basis, Erat’s contract doesn’t cut it on a number of levels.
The contract is expected to be approved after some changes, but geez, Nashville—probably a good idea to get that sort of thing figured out before releasing the details.
Update 11:38am May 14: John Glennon in The Tennessean reports the problem appears to be nearly resolved—
The Predators and forward Martin Erat have shifted some of the terms in Erat’s seven-year contract to conform to the standards of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement. Both sides have signed the new deal and are now awaiting its approval by the NHL.
The Boston Bruins have signed a three-year extension with forward Chuck Kobasew.
Kobasew will earn $2 million next, $2.5 million in 2009-10 and $2.5 million in 2010-11.
Q You were in this situation in the last round against Colorado. Is the message exactly the same to your team going in the fourth game with a 3-0 lead, as it was then?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I mean, it’s a different series. It’s hard to say that. It worked out well last time. I think part of the reason it did was we were mature, stayed focused and played a really good game. And I think that’s what we have to do here, is we’ve got to be really focused.
And we tried to get that back on track here today. They’re going to have a huge push, we understand that totally. In saying that, we have to push them as hard as we’ve pushed them all series, and harder. And we’re optimistic. We’re capable of doing that. So we’re going to prepare hard, and then try to play real well.
And tried to look at the mistakes after last night. I thought the second period we got turning the puck over too much and the momentum went the wrong direction. We can’t let that happen tomorrow.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It isn’t so much a myth about the Detroit Red Wings as a half truth — the reason for their consistent, year-over-year success is that they choose well in the later rounds of the NHL entry draft.
Yes, the players that make a difference offensively for the Red Wings now were all selected in the afterthought regions of the NHL entry draft. Pavel Datsyuk was 171st overall in 1998; Henrik Zetterberg 210th in 1999; Tomas Holmstrom 257th in 1994; Johan Franzen 97th in 2004.
But drafting players is one part of the equation and developing them is another, and this is where Detroit doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves for the organization that it has in place.
You can cross the Great One’s name off the list of potential candidates to take over the hockey operations of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wayne Gretzky will be staying in Phoenix.
“I have always been a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and wish them luck in the future. Right now my focus is on the Phoenix Coyotes and developing our young talent,” Gretzky told NHL on TSN’s Darren Pang.
Gretzky was responding to rumours linking him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team he grew up cheering for in Brantford, Ontario.
added 4:22pm, Here is the rumor…
Interviews today with the Dallas Stars’ Mike Modano and coach, Dave Tippett.
Q How is your head?
MIKE MODANO: Good.
Q Do you think you’ll be in for Game 4?
MIKE MODANO: Yeah.
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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