Kukla's Korner Hockey
... there’s nothing systematically wrong with the franchise. What’s the opposite of that? An entrenched foundation systematically inclined to keep Los Angeles in contention year after year? The Kings play with terrific structure, perhaps the best structure in the entire league. They have maybe the league’s best development team. The culture and identity that the team has engineered has not been dulled. There is an elite core of Anze Kopitar (27 years old), Drew Doughty (25 years old) and Jonathan Quick (29 years old). The oldest player on the team was 34. On the other hand there is also Mike Richards’ deeply concerning contract, and in an environment in which the salary cap will tighten the club’s flexibility to trim fat and surround its core with experienced pieces, there will be challenges in continuing to add to the depth that had served the team so well....
-Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider where you can read more on the Kings...
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report at TSN,
Mark Chipman - the Executive Chairman of the Board for True North Sports & Entertainment and the Jets - has worked tirelessly over the years to keep Winnipeg as a primary residence for professional hockey and in many ways, he's the reason that the National Hockey League returned to the city.
While he's keenly aware of the challenge his team is about to face in Round 1 of the playoffs, Chipman is soaking in the free-flowing elation in town. A lifelong Winnipegger, he endured the torturous days leading up to the sale of the original Jets and their move to Phoenix almost 20 years ago. He saw grown men literally cry over their beloved team the city couldn't hold on to. So while his stake in the success of the current day Jets is significant, Chipman is just as thrilled that the community and its fan base are once again experiencing NHL playoff hockey.
"Look into the eyes of our fans," Chipman told The Dreger Report. "They feel it every bit as much as I do. I've learned to never underestimate the significance of this team to our community...it really is remarkable."
read on plus the future of Todd McLellan...
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
There was exhaustion evident in Peter Chiarelli’s face and tone as he addressed reporters in an empty hotel conference room on Friday.
It was the day after the Bruins had essentially knocked themselves out of the playoffs, after dispiriting losses to Washington and Florida in consecutive days left the Bruins needing significant help to continue playing beyond this weekend.
And while the Bruins’ general manager emphasized – over and over again – that he did not want to do a postmortem on the season that should have been for his team, he essentially did just that.
“We put ourselves in this position,” Chiarelli said. “I consider it a failure. And it’s a failure on everybody’s part. But being a failure doesn’t mean there has to be a complete overhaul of everything.
“Guys fail. Teams fail. And they get back on their horse. Again, I consider it a failure, but you don’t always succeed in this business. You don’t always hit the ball out of the park all the time and you’ve got to get back and do your job and we’ve shown we can do that. But right now it’s pretty disappointing.”
The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are going to the postseason. What happened to the Kings? Hudler, Pavelec, Hammond, Habs defence and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
After losing 3-1 in Calgary Thursday, the Kings are the first Stanley Cup champion to miss the next year’s playoffs since 2006-2007 Carolina Hurricanes.
The thing is, it’s not like the Kings collapsed. They were the league’s top possession club (getting 54.9% of score-adjusted shot attempts) and still have the 13th-best goal differential (+0.22 per game), which is better than three playoff teams (Anaheim, Detroit and Vancouver).
How does a team with those underlying numbers still end up on the outside looking in at the playoffs?
For starters, the Kings were 2-8 in shootouts and 1-7 in overtime games. Given the randomness involved in shootout results, that’s basically coming out on the wrong end of coin flips. 3-15 in overtime and shootout games, after going 12-8 the year before, is enough in tightly-contested standings, to come up short. Records in one-goal games tend to be unsustainable, but there's enough of them in hockey that they make a huge difference in the standings.
continue plus more topics from the games last night at TSN...
FRIDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS
With two days remaining in the regular season, two berths in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs remain up for grabs (both in the Eastern Conference).
There is one clinching scenario for today’s games:
* The Penguins would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Islanders in any fashion.
POSTSEASON PICTURE CONTINUES TO TAKE SHAPE
Four teams clinched playoff berths on Thursday:
* The Red Wings clinched their 24th consecutive playoff berth – the longest active streak in North American professional sports – by earning one point against the Canadiens and the Bruins losing in regulation to the Panthers.
* The Jets clinched their second playoff berth in franchise history by earning one point against the Avalanche and the Kings losing to the Flames.
* The Flames clinched a playoff berth – marking their first trip to the postseason since 2008-09 – by defeating the Kings.
* The Islanders (idle) clinched a playoff berth by virtue of the Bruins losing to the Panthers.
* The Blues also clinched the Central Division title by defeating the Blackhawks and the Predators losing in regulation to the Wild.
NEW YORK (April 10th, 2015) -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
Shaw was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 228 against Tampa Bay on Nov. 11. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1138 against Los Angeles on March 30. Shaw drew a delayed penalty to Los Angeles forward Mike Richards on the play, at 5:24 of the first period. The penalty to Richards was nullified when Chicago scored seven seconds later.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Imagine telling someone back in September that the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings would miss the playoffs.
Then imagine telling that person defending Presidents' Trophy winners the Boston Bruins would need a win and some help on the final day of the season to get in.
You would also tell this person the Pittsburgh Penguins would be on the ropes, too, in the final 48 hours of the regular season and might sneak in just by a hair.
Finally, you would also say that perennial contenders the San Jose Sharks -- who have been to the playoffs in 10 straight seasons -- would be out, and it wasn't that close, either.
That person might say you were on something. But, should we really be all that shocked?
As much as one can paint it all as the fall of the titans, the more accurate diagnosis is that what the NHL set out to accomplish 10 years ago has finally hit home with 100 percent voracity.
The salary cap has fully spread its wings.
from David Albright of ESPN,
Maybe it was a case of anything you can do, we can do better. Or maybe on this one night, it was simply that two hosts weren't going to be denied a couple of servings of home cooking.
Either way, college hockey's ultimate hardware will be staying in the east for another year.
Thursday's Frozen Four national semifinals at the TD Garden were a pair of east-vs.-west matchups between event-host Hockey East and the NCHC. In the matinee, Providence College matter-of-factly skated to a 4-1 victory over Nebraska-Omaha. Then, in the prime-time match, Boston University added drama to the script, as the 5-3 final over North Dakota wasn't decided until the closing seconds.
In the end, it sets up the first all-Hockey East final since 1999, when Maine beat New Hampshire 3-2 in overtime.
And the semifinal wins ensure Hockey East of its fifth national title in the past eight years.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The team of destiny now controls its own. The Ottawa Senators need just a single point Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia to clinch a playoff berth, something that was unthinkable just seven weeks ago. But after a 20-3-3 run, one of the most impressive late-season stretches in years, the never-say-die Sens are on the verge of completing a miracle.
Ottawa blanked the Presidents' Trophy-winning New York Rangers 3-0 at MSG on Thursday night, albeit a New York team that rested a few key regulars, but still, a terrific road effort. The Boston Bruins did their part for the Senators, dropping a 4-2 decision at Florida, making it back-to-back losses on back-to-back nights for a B's team now in serious danger of missing the playoffs.
Ottawa now sits at 97 points in the top wild-card spot, the Pittsburgh Penguins are next at 96 points (with two games left), and the Bruins are on the outside looking in with 95 points and one game remaining, Saturday at Tampa Bay.
Is all this really happening? Is Sens rookie goalie Andrew Hammond, a complete unknown a few weeks ago, really now 19-1-2? You cannot make this stuff up. Oh, and with the Senators needing just one point Saturday, you know they can't cap this kind of run with a loser point. Expect a victory over the Flyers. It's the only way to go.
read on for topics like the Kings, Wings and more from the ESPN crew...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
More people are watching Sportsnet than ever before, and the network has closed the gap on TSN as the country’s No. 1 sports property. But television ratings for hockey — despite all Rogers’ bells and whistles — are down.
“It was supposed to be a hockey lovers’ dream,” said McMaster University professor Marvin Ryder. “Whatever they’ve done does not seem to resonate. That’s the concern.”...
“It has nothing to do with the broadcasts,” said Ryder. “The sportscasters are not doing anything wrong. I just think you’ve got a younger group of people who are saying over and over again they just don’t have the time or the patience to sit in front of a TV at a specifically scheduled time and sit there for three hours and watch it all.”
They following along in snippets, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tune in when they want, said Ryder.
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