Kukla's Korner Hockey
Am I the only who feels it is kind of slow in the hockey world on the day before the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs start?
Well, this will kill 2 1/2 minutes of the day....
Saves of the week in Sportsnet style.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today the first 15 players of the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship May 1-17 in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic. The initial group of players includes one goaltender, six defensemen and eight forwards.
The group is highlighted by defenseman Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes), a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. In five previous IIHF-sanctioned events, Faulk has helped the U.S. to three medals (2013 men's worlds-bronze; 2011 world juniors-bronze; 2010 U18 men's worlds-gold). The U.S. roster will also include 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalists Jake Gardiner (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeremy Morin (Columbus Blues Jackets), and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalistsConnor Murphy (Arizona Coyotes) and Mike Reilly (University of Minnesota).
from Eric Engels of Sportsnet,
"I'll be surprised if he's there [Wednesday]," said Therrien, who's still waiting on the team's doctors to give Pacioretty clearance for game action.
He refused to rule out Pacioretty's appearance in the lineup as a possibility.
Considering Pacioretty's progress since suffering a suspected concussion on April 5th--he skated for two consecutive days before practicing with teammates over the next two--it seems entirely likely he'll be back sooner rather than later, and upon his return, the real question will be what can he be expected to contribute offensively?
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Patrick Kane will indeed play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday in Nashville, a mere seven weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken clavicle suffered Feb. 24, when he was cross-checked into the boards by Florida’s Alex Petrovic. Kane took some contact over the weekend, practiced with the team on Monday, had an X-ray later in the day and was cleared by team doctors.
Now, with his hair long in the back and the trademark three steps shaved into his temples, Kane is ready to go.
“It’s exciting,” he said after Tuesday’s practice at Johnny’s IceHouse West. “It’s been a long 50 days here, so it’s a credit to a lot of hard work from the doctors and the trainers, and just listening to them and trying to heal as fast as possible.”
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
The fates of general manager Doug Wilson and head coach Todd McLellan are uncertain, with McLellan’s status the first question that is likely to get answered over the next few days.
But McLellan, whose reputation has remained as solid as ever despite the circumstances, wasn’t ready to commit to the final year of his contract just yet.
It’s not difficult to see why, and it starts with what happened immediately after last season’s playoff debacle.
Minutes after the Sharks blew their 3-0 series lead to the Kings, McLellan indicated that the coaching staff wasn’t able to get through to the players anymore.
CALGARY, Alta. – Jim Nill, general manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team, announced Tuesday that Todd McLellan (Melville, Sask./San Jose, NHL) will be Canada’s head coach at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, scheduled for May 1-17, 2015 in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Peter DeBoer (Dunnville, Ont.), Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Carolina, NHL) and Jay Woodcroft (Toronto, Ont./San Jose, NHL) will join McLellan behind the bench as assistant coaches.
“This is a coaching staff with extensive experience in the NHL and knowledge of the international game, as well,” said Nill. “As a management group we are excited to work with this staff, and look forward to building a roster and representing Canada in the Czech Republic next month.”
Nill is working with a management group comprised of George McPhee (Guelph, Ont.), Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Phoenix, NHL), Pat Verbeek (Sarnia, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL), Claude Loiselle (Ottawa, Ont.) and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
- Things are going to change quickly over the next couple of weeks, as the draft lottery determines some futures and other teams lose in the playoffs. Buffalo knows it is getting one of the two centres, but what about Arizona? What does it mean for the Coyotes if they fall to third? Will it change the futures of Don Maloney, Dave Tippett or Shane Doan? At three, you’re getting a good player, but not as impactful as Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. The Coyotes go under the radar, but the more research you do into their season, the more you realize how deep this year’s results were felt by Tippett and Doan. (GMs like Maloney take a longer view than coaches and players.)
- Word on potential San Jose changes could come down at any time, but a few sources indicate one of Doug Wilson’s suggestions is creating another layer between him and the coaching staff. He becomes President with a GM in the middle or something like that. If Todd McLellan is let go, he’ll be a hot commodity. So would Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien if out in Boston. Should that happen, Cam Neely is expected to have a greater role, with Don Sweeney alongside him. At some point, Ray Shero is going to become a factor in all of this.
- There’s no escaping the Eric Staal questions. He’s heading into the final season of his contract, and there are teams hopeful he is willing to move into a situation that is closer to contending. Francis says he’s got no indication of that, but it will be a topic as we get closer to the draft.
from Eric Duhatshek of the Globe and Mail,
Calgary’s fortunes will depend heavily on how they handle the Canucks’ dynamic offensive duo of Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
“Year after year, they’re very offensively powered,” Flames forward Mason Raymond said of the Sedins, with whom he played for the first six years of his NHL career. “The power play is definitely where they do a lot of their work, but all over the ice, they can be dangerous, so you’ve got to be aware of them, and make their lives as miserable as possible.”
With team captain Mark Giordano still out indefinitely because of a biceps tendon injury, it will fall to Calgary’s shutdown defence pair of Dennis Wideman and Russell to neutralize the Sedins.
Hartley put Wideman and Russell together as a defensive pair in the third game of the regular season and they’ve been lights-out good for Calgary ever since, developing the sort of chemistry that matters as much – or more – to defence pairs as it does to forward lines.
“With us, with D pairs, you have to know what the other guy is going to do and where he’s going to be, especially if you’re under pressure with the fore-check,” said Wideman, who has previously played in 44 NHL playoff games. “A lot of times, I know where Russ is or where he’s going to be, so I can just put a puck there and have confidence that he’s going to get it out, or make a play.”
Young teams that make playoff breakthroughs often falter in the opening round. On the night the Flames eliminated Los Angeles from playoff contention, Kings captain Dustin Brown compared the Flames to last year’s Colorado Avalanche, a team that unexpectedly won the tough Central Division, but couldn’t carry regular-season success into the playoffs.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
When the Ducks open their first-round Western Conference series against Winnipeg on Thursday night, Perry and Getzlaf will chase after the silver chalice for the sixth time.
“Times like this don’t come around too often,” Perry said. “We have a great team. But also we haven’t gotten out of the second round since we won in ’07. Those are tough things to swallow. You think it’s going to happen all the time.
“At the end of the day, you only get so many chances at this. You got to go out and you got to do it and you got to earn it. There’s no better time than now. That’s kind of what we’re thinking.”
The two are linked with this common thought – that this is their best look at putting a second Cup on their already envied resumes.
Getzlaf and Perry are big believers in the moves by Ducks general manager Bob Murray last summer – most notably trading for center Ryan Kesler – and feel that they’re better equipped to get through the Western Conference minefield.
In the captain’s mind, the difference is these Ducks have learned from past failures and respond better to adverse situations.
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Five takes before the Winnipeg Jets wrap up their preparations on home soil Tuesday morning and then fly the friendly skies south to Anaheim…
1. It’s fascinating – almost shocking – how the Jets have become such a trendy pick as the Stanley Cup playoffs are about to begin. They’re big, fast and skilled and riding a hot goaltender, but they are also matched up against the top seed in the Western Conference.
That hasn’t stopped a lot of media types from making them their upset special against the Ducks. ICYMI, on Monday night TSN’s Hockey panel discussed which Canadian team has the chance to go the deepest into the playoffs.
Aaron Ward picked Montreal but both Bob McKenzie – as respected a hockey journalist as there is in the biz – and Jeff O’Neill picked the Jets. In fact, O’Neill went so far as to predict the Jets to WIN THE STANLEY CUP.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org