Kukla's Korner Hockey
This week on Coaches Corner Don Cherry and Ron MacLean talk about the Flames situation going forward, the Ducks-Blackhawks upcoming series plus much more.
via a press release from NBC Sports,
The Lightning look to advance to the Eastern Conference Final with a Game 6 win tonight at home against the Canadiens. Tampa Bay won the first three games of the series, but Montreal has responded with wins in Games 4 and 5 to keep its season alive, including a 6-2 win in Game 4 in Tampa.
If the Lightning win, they will move on to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2010, when they lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games. The Canadiens will look to survive and force a Game 7, giving them the opportunity to become the fifth team in NHL playoff history to win a series after trailing 3-0, and a chance to return to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season.
Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Joe Micheletti (analyst) and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will call the action from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
The game is on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.
Feel free to discuss...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
“It’s been proven time and again that competition raises people’s games,” Bowman told the Sun-Times. “When there are nine candidates for two spots, you’re better off than if you have three candidates. If, for whatever reason, the guys don’t play as well, or don’t fit the way you envision, and you only have three of them, you’re in a tough spot. It’s hard to find players in October. We’re trying to manage our assets and prepare ourselves for the future.”
That future remains uncertain thanks to the sagging Canadian dollar and the potentially stagnant salary cap. With 13 players locked up for more than $63 million (the cap is expected to be around $71 million), new contracts owed to Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger, and seven or eight other spots to be filled, the Hawks certainly will be parting with at least one core player, and will be getting younger in a hurry.
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley talks with the media about being eliminated from the playoffs and how his team is going to keep building.
Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving talks with the media about where he sees his team going and the status of captain Mark Giordano.
Puck drops just after 7:30pm ET tonight.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors, convening for its Spring Meeting today in Chicago, Ill., has approved the following division alignment for the 2015-16 AHL season (National Hockey League affiliates in parentheses):
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Lars Eller wore a peaceful, almost amused smile with his remarkably good playoff beard Tuesday noon-hour. “I started it earlier this year,” he said brightly.
In a few hours, Eller and his teammates would be walking back into Amalie Arena, wearing their game faces. But for now, hemmed into his dressing-room stall by the media, the 26-year-old centreman was happy to consider the challenge that lay ahead.
It was no greater or no less a challenge than what the Canadiens had faced in Games 4 and 5, also elimination matches against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I guess not,” Eller said, asked whether there was anything left to say about his team’s rally to make a tremendous series out of something that nearly was a blowout.
“We’ve just got to go out and enjoy it, keep playing like we’ve been playing this whole series. We played our best hockey this season in this series and now we’re starting to get the results.
“At the same time, once this game starts, whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter. I expect this to be the hardest game so far for us.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun at the Toronto Sun,
If history counts for anything, the New York Rangers will soon be on their way to the Eastern Conference final.
Owners of a stunning 13-3 record in elimination games since 2012, the Blueshirts have played five Game 7s over that stretch.
They’ve won them all.
Oh, and they are also a perfect 6-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden all-time.
“There’s no doubt I have a lot of confidence in this group’s individual preparation and the team’s preparation,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said on a conference call with reporters Monday, a day in which both teams rested and stayed clear of the rink. “This group has done it many times, in many important moments, and hopefully we’ll be able to continue to do it.
“There’s no doubt experience, and positive experience, helps in the preparation and your mental state. There’s still a lot of individual work that needs to go into getting yourself ready, and they need to do that Wednesday.”
Game 6 is tonight and the Lightning will try to wrap up the series at home.
Here is Jon Cooper post-practice today...
Below, Michel Therrien after the Habs skated today...
from Travis Yost of TSN,
There’s been incredible buzz following the Mike Babcock story, and for good reason. He’s one of the winningest coaches in National Hockey League history, and despite Detroit’s overtures to make him the highest paid bench boss in the league, he seems adamant about testing free agency.
And there’s plenty of discussion following Todd McLellan, too. Though McLellan’s departure from San Jose ended in less-than-stellar fashion, the numbers – just as they do with Mike Babcock – lay the foundation of a very impressive argument, one that figures to end with a considerable financial windfall.
One of the things I can’t help but notice is the company that McLellan and Babcock keep in the coaching hierarchy. If you pull out any National Hockey League head coach with at least 500 games under his belt and sort by career Point%, McLellan sits 3rd-best all time, and Babcock 5th. Among active coaches, McLellan and Babcock slide up to 2nd-best and 3rd-best, respectively.
What’s particularly intriguing to me are the pair of names who sit above McLellan and Babcock in the pecking order. Second-place is Scotty Bowman, largely considered to be the greatest coach in National Hockey League history.
First place? Go ahead, take a quick guess.
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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