Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
Before he hit the road, McKenzie (BM) took time to answer 20 Questions from National Post, talking about minor hockey grudges, giving the finger to newspapers and the time a Canadian hockey legend wanted to drop the gloves in the visiting dressing room.
1. Where do you think you would have landed had The Hockey News not offered you the job as editor-in-chief in 1982?
BM: I probably would have been a cop. When I graduated Ryerson, all I wanted to do was be a hockey writer for one of the Toronto dailies … I was desperately trying to get hired full-time by the Globe, the Sun or the Star, to cover hockey. I wasn’t having a lot of success, and I was getting frustrated. I used to leave the Globe and Mail after a rewrite shift and I’d walk out the front door, and I’d turn around and give the Globe the finger. Then I would get in my car, I would get on the Gardiner and, as I was going by — the Star on the right-hand side, the Sun on the left-hand side — I’d give each of them the finger every night because they hadn’t hired me.
2. What would have made you a good police officer?
BM: Oh, I don’t know. It’s a good question. I don’t know if I would have been.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Tampa Bay @ NY Rangers, series tied 3-3, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVA
NBC Channel Finder
Sportsnet Channel Finder
RANGERS, LIGHTNING DECIDE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL IN GAME 7
A berth in the Stanley Cup Final is on the line when the Rangers play host to the Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden. Both clubs are contesting their second Game 7 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs – the Rangers defeated the Capitals (in overtime) in the Second Round (2-1 W), while the Lightning eliminated the Red Wings in the First Round (2-0 W).
The Rangers have won six consecutive Game 7s dating to the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. OTT. That is tied for the longest such streak in NHL history, a mark set by the Red Wings from 1949-64 and equaled by the Bruins from 1983-94. The Rangers also have won each of their seven all-time Game 7s at Madison Square Garden; they are the only team in NHL history that has played at least four Game 7s at home and won each contest.
Press release is below...
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
“I’ve done quite a bit of growing the last year looking at the game, so I plan to bring that to the coach I’ll be with the Sabres,” Bylsma said in First Niagara Center. “There is, I think, a bright future ahead for this team.”
The Sabres insist they are better already because of Bylsma. They conducted on-and-off chats with him for a month before finalizing a reported five-year, $15 million contract.
“We improved today by hiring him,” General Manager Tim Murray said. “His record as an NHL coach speaks for itself.”
Bylsma arrived in Buffalo as the most accomplished coach since Scotty Bowman brought his five Cups to town in 1979. Bylsma went 252-117-32 during six seasons with the Penguins, accumulating a points percentage (.668) that is the best in NHL history among coaches with at least three years of experience.
It takes outstanding players for a team to be that good, and Bylsma had them with the Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are in the argument for best player in the world, and Pittsburgh’s lineup had other All-Stars while Bylsma was on the bench.
The Sabres believe their young prospects will be just as good. Having someone who knows how to coach and handle elite talent is a plus for the organization.
“I’ve coached star players in Pittsburgh, and that’s going to be the case with the young talent that’s coming to the Buffalo Sabres,” said Bylsma, who repeatedly said it’s just as important to develop a winning environment. “It wasn’t something you had just because you had certain players on your roster. That’s something that we have to immediately get into the Buffalo Sabres’ organization, get into our DNA, get into who we are and how we play, and develop that culture with this group.”
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
It would be one of the all-timers.
If the Lightning beat the Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers never lose Game 7s, it would be the greatest victory in franchise history this side of June 7, 2004, the night the Stanley Cup was held high over Lightning heads.
If the Lightning beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist tonight at the Garden, it might be like that night in Philadelphia in 2003, when Ronde Barber silenced Eagles fans and demons as he ran that interception back to seal a Bucs trip to the Super Bowl. It would be a moment that would live forever in Tampa Bay.
It’s the kind of challenge the Lightning need to embrace with heart and soul if their season is to continue on to the Cup finals. The task is not impossible. It will just take 20 men with an idea that they just can’t shake: This is our time.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Anyone care to submit a predication for tonight?
from David Pollak of Working The Corners,
Q: Other than Brent Burns with Team Canada, and Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton in an under-18 tournament two decades ago, is there anyone else on the Sharks you’ve coached before?
A: No, no. Everybody gets a fresh, clean slate and that’s the way it should be. When you go through a tough year like last year, I think that’s what the players want and I think the benefit of having a new coach is you can provide that.
Q: The Sharks missed the playoffs for first time under Wilson. What’s the primary thing that needs to change to make this team more successful?
A: I’m going to roll up my sleeves here this summer. I don’ t think there’s one thing. I think there’s a lot of things.
I want to talk to the players. I’ve had some good conversations with Doug. I want to watch some more game film. I’ve got some ideas in my head but I can’t box it up for you in one package here.
I can tell you I believe it’s fixable. The biggest thing that’s going to be fixed and the most comforting thing to me is the character of this group. You have a lot of proud people here that aren’t too happy about where they were sitting at the end of last season.
My history with that is if you’ve got character and you’ve been through that you’re ready to push back. I think we’re going to see that.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Here are five keys to the Lightning winning Game 7:
1. Short memory: In the past two playoff series, Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop proved skeptics wrong about whether he could step up to the challenge of the postseason. This series is no different, and the 28-year-old goalie must have a short memory after Game 6, in which he was yanked after surrendering five goals on 26 shots. Bishop, like many in the Lightning’s young core, has yet to go this deep in the playoffs, so it’s hard to account for the toll, mentally and physically, these games exact. How he responds will reveal what sort of character and competitor the Bolts have between the pipes. It’s not all on him, either, as it's incumbent upon his teammates to bounce back, as well.
"I think, in a matter of seven or eight minutes there in that third period, we gave up more scoring chances and turned over more pucks, more than we did in all of Game 5 combined -- the 60-minute game," Cooper told reporters after Game 6.
read on and watch Tortorella below...
SAN JOSE — San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced that Peter DeBoer(deh-BOHR) has been named the eighth head coach in Sharks franchise history. In keeping with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
This season will mark DeBoer’s 21st consecutive season as a head coach, serving at both the NHL and Canadian Hockey League levels.
“Peter is a well-respected leader who possesses all of the characteristics we were looking for in our next head coach,” said Wilson. “He’s an extremely intelligent and innovative individual who likes to play an aggressive system. Peter has a track record of extracting the most out of his players and is willing to make tough decisions that are based on achieving team success. We’re extremely excited to have him leading our group.”
The press conference is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm, watch 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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com