Kukla's Korner Hockey
Dough Weight not a happy coach.
from Rob Vollman at NHL.com,
There's a fierce battle for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Boston Bruins hold the second wild card with 82 points, followed by the New York Islanders, who have 80 points and a game in hand. Each team trails the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are third in the Atlantic Division with 83 points with 10 games remaining.
If the standings remain this way, Toronto will make the playoffs for the second time since 2003-04, Boston will end a two-season absence, and New York will miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs have an edge in the standings and in most statistical categories, but neither team is out of the woods yet. The Islanders have been one of the NHL's best offensive teams since Doug Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach Jan. 17, and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are five behind the Bruins with 77 points, are one of several teams within striking distance if some should fade down the stretch.
Let's break down the numbers behind each team's key advantage.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
To many, it looked like Doug Weight was on a track to become an NHL general manager more than a head coach.
But stuff happens.
And what a happening it’s been.
The New York Islanders were 11 points back of a playoff position when they fired Jack Capuano as head coach and moved Weight up to interim head coach from his other jobs as assistant general manager and assistant coach.
Since then, the former Oiler's captain has gone 13-6-3.
He’s brought the Islanders to Rogers Place clinging to the final wild-card playoff spot in the East with 71 points, one head of the Toronto Maple Leafs, two ahead of the Florida Panthers and three up on both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers.
“I would probably agree with you that in my mind, I was probably going down that path a little more and maybe I still am,” Weight told your correspondent Monday while his team enjoyed a CBA-mandated days off.
Right on his stick...
By Tim Dolan,
Being a part of the playoff push in Brooklyn won’t be taxing on the wallet this Thursday. The Islanders set to take on the crosstown Rangers in the second and final meeting in Brooklyn this season, and it will be the cheapest matchup at the Barclays Center yet.
Yes it was.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
You know that five-year contract Alain Vigneault signed to coach the Rangers in July of 2013 meant to keep him on the job through the end of next season?
Well, not any longer … or to be more precise, it is now for longer than that, with The Post learning exclusively that the Blueshirts have extended Vigneault’s contract by two years through 2019-20 with a bump on the coach’s annual $2 million income.
So no prospective lame duck behind the New York bench at the Garden on Tuesday, when the Blueshirts face the Blue Jackets and John Tortorella, Vigneault’s predecessor on Broadway. And no offseason questions about the club’s direction behind the bench.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Even when landlocked, the Islanders remain the NHL’s — and our — shipwrecked franchise.
For here they are again, on the verge of being orphaned, looking for someplace they can truly call home with the folks at Barclays Center reaching the conclusion the team will no longer be welcome in their Brooklyn arena after 2018-19, as per a mutual escape clause in the lease.
Here they are again, but where are they are going to go now? Where is the new Scott Malkin-Jon Ledecky ownership group going to take this team while maintaining a five-boroughs zip code that was always a significant part of the very point of purchasing the once-dynastic franchise?
And for how long will this latest game of musical chairs last before the Islanders are left without one and the song playing is, “Aloutte,” performed in French by a chorus from Quebec City?
There has been no cry for ransom by this ownership group that has made it clear from the beginning a return to a remodeled (and subpar by NHL standards as applies to capacity and number of suites) Coliseum is not part of the plan.
from the New York Islanders,
The New York Islanders announced today that goaltender Thomas Greiss has agreed to terms on a three-year contract.
Greiss, 31, has a 14-7-3 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage this season. His save percentage ranks fith in the National Hockey League amongst goaltenders who've played at least 10 games.
from Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg,
After two years and countless complaints, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has concluded it’s no longer worth it to host the New York Islanders.
The arena, which is already home to the NBA’s Nets and one of the world’s top-grossing concert venues, would make more money without the National Hockey League team, according to people familiar with the facility’s financials.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the building and the Nets, has since November been seeking an investor to take a stake in both. As of earlier this month, a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season -- a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said.
Barclays Center wouldn’t speak to the future of the Islanders. Tim Leiweke, co-founder of Oak View Group, which has been advising the hockey team in talks with the arena, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Islanders owners Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin.
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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