Kukla's Korner Hockey
If you missed the injury, watch below...
Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro have made watching the World Championship games more enjoyable in my opinion.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Let me explain why the Penguins still will win the series in six games.
Marc-Andre Fleury will play well in goal the rest of the way. It’s not as if rookie Matt Murray played poorly Friday night when he was benched after the second period. His teammates were lousy around him. It’s just time for Mike Sullivan to go back to Fleury — the Penguins’ best player all season — after getting him some action in Game 4 for the first time since Fleury left the lineup with a concussion after the March 31 game against Nashville. The other players love Fleury, easily the most popular player in the room. They will rally around him, just as they did Friday night when they scored three third-period goals but ran out of time.
Olli Maatta, who was benched for the past three games after a series of mistakes earlier in the playoffs, will do a serviceable job filling in for injured Trevor Daley, who went down in Game 4 with what looked to be a serious left leg injury. Daley’s loss can’t be overestimated. It is significant because of his quickness, puck-moving ability and overall defensive skills. But Maatta has too much ability and too much pride not to bounce back. All of the defensemen will play better around Fleury. Letang, for sure, won’t lose his mind again, although Boyle will do everything he can to tempt him.
Kessel will continue to torment Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He scored the Penguins’ first goal in Game 4 and has points — five goals and four assists — in six consecutive games. Kessel is feeling it like never before in his career. You could see it Friday night the way he fired 10 shots at Vasilevskiy, six making it on net. You could see it the way he chirped at Vasilevskiy after his latest goal.
from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Hitchcock and the Blues were in desperate need of a spark. They needed something different and better. So with their playoff lives in serious peril, the man considered the Blues’ most valuable player of the playoffs sat and watched Allen between the pipes for Game 4 at SAP Center.
Allen wasn’t the only reason the Blues finally showed up offensively and defensively to the Western Conference finals. But there’s no denying Hitchcock got the spark he wanted with a dominant 6-3 victory over the Sharks.
“He gave us exactly what we needed,” Hitchcock said of Allen. “He’s a competitive son of a gun. We needed a battler in there. We needed somebody to really help us play better defense. We played with more passion in front of him in our own zone because I made the goalie change.
“I had to make that decision. I just felt like we were allowing them too much open space with Ells in there, and Ells was getting bombarded. We needed to just dig in a little bit deeper defensively if we were going to have a chance in this series.”
via Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,
Asked about the adjustments the Blues made, DeBoer said, "I'm sure Hitch will tell you he made all kinds of great adjustments and every one of them worked," he said. "Hats off to him."
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
A gutsy goalie change, tweaked forward lines and some altered tactics produced the momentum shift the St. Louis Blues needed to get off the mat, producing a 6-3 win Saturday over the San Jose Sharks, tying the series up at two games each.
After poring over five hours of video at the team's hotel on Friday, the veteran coach concocted the needed formula.
"Playing faster from effort and much more physical," said a rival Western Conference head coach via text message during the game Saturday night. "Tactics are simple: hard to the O-zone and have a purpose when you get there. And don't turn the puck over."
Check out the game highlights below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
From the Fool Them Once file: If the Rangers trade Chris Kreider to a Western Conference team, then general manager Jeff Gorton must attach a clause to the deal through which the Blueshirts would receive additional value — say, in the form of a first-round draft choice — should Kid K be sent back east within three years.
Call it Rule 62.
It is impossible to recall a trade of a support player backfiring as badly on a team as the Carl Hagelin deal has blown up in the Blueshirts’ faces. Not only did the Rangers lose a unique, and thus far irreplaceable, piece of the puzzle who personified a large part of their identity as a speed team under coach Alain Vigneault, Hagelin has wound up in Pittsburgh, thriving as an instrumental part of a powerful division rival.
This turn of events has to make the Rangers sick. All of it: the negligible return from Anaheim in the trade, which materialized out of thin air at last year’s entry draft and was completed within about five minutes; the switcheroo to Pittsburgh in mid-January after Hagelin had failed to adapt to Anaheim (or the Ducks failed to adapt to him); the revitalization of the Penguins, with the Swede playing the same role as a catalyst as he had in New York from the moment of his promotion from the AHL the day after Thanksgiving 2011.
continued plus more NHL topics....
BLUES OFFENSE BREAKS OUT IN GAME 4, SERIES TIED 2-2
The Blues snapped a scoreless drought of 156:59 with six goals in Game 4 – including the first four tallies of the contest – to defeat the Sharks and even the series 2-2.
* The Blues earned their sixth win as visitors in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, extending their franchise record for road wins in a single postseason. St. Louis improved to 11-3-0 in their last 14 road games dating to March 19 (regular season and playoffs).
George Stroumboulopoulos and Elliotte Friedman recap the latest news around the hockey world, including the addition of Rick Nash to the rumour mill, the status of the Kings’ assistant coaches and the status of Penguins’ Trevor Daley injury.
Focus on the defensemen tonight, including Kris Letang in selfish mode, the Trevor Daley injury and Brent Burns.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- It’s a tribute to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their coaching staff that this team without Steven Stamkos, with Ben Bishop hurt, with Anton Stralman not really ready, are still alive and within two wins of the Stanley Cup final.
- I think it was the Canada Cup in 1981 when the head coach of Sweden was asked what was wrong with his team and he said, “Too many Swedes.” And all these years later, I wonder if the problem with Team Russia in intentional hockey tournaments is “too many Russians.”
- It’s terrific that Team Canada will play for gold at the world hockey championships again. What’s not terrific or particularly impressive: Canada’s one-goal game over the leftovers who played for Team USA, save for Matthews and Dylan Larkin up front.
a few more hockey topics including why Phil Kessel did not fit in Toronto....
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.
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