Kukla's Korner Hockey
Dallas @ St. Louis 8:00 PM ET NBCSN (John Forslund, Pierre McGuire), CBC & TVAS
San Jose @ Nashville 9:00 PM ET CNBC (Chris Cuthbert, Joe Micheletti), SN & TVAS2
A win tonight will put the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks into the Western Conference Finals.
The Blues don't want to go back to Dallas for game 7 and the Sharks with a win would get a little more time off.
Desperation time tonight.
Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider referred to a few tweets Elliotte Friedman made on Saturday on Sutter (along with talking about it during Saturday Headlines) and here is Rosen's take...
From my understandings, in speaking with those inside and outside of hockey operations, there was no “rubber stamp” sign-off or “decision” that the team would make towards Sutter, but that any agreement, while not necessarily based on a “mutual” decision, would consist of the team making the coach an offer, and the coach deciding whether he wants it. If I’m reading between the lines here, just like many of you are, I’m still getting the sense that Darryl is in the process of making that decision, and that there’s not a ton of scale-tipping one way or another at this point. I hate going out on a limb to speculate, but I still think this hypothetical contract – reported by Lisa Dillman of the LA Times as being two years plus an option year – ultimately gets done.
With that said, here are several of Sutter’s references towards roster construction and the salary cap from seasons past:
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Panthers have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with defenseman Erik Gudbranson. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to have signed Erik,” Tallon said. “He is an important part of our young core who has continued to develop into a reliable, physical presence on our blue line and a strong leader in our locker room.”
The 24-year old Gudbranson recorded nine points (2-7-9) in 64 games with Florida this season and played in all six 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Panthers. The 6-foot-5, 216-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario has played in 309 NHL games all with Florida, recording 43 points (11-32-43) and 346 penalty minutes.
“I’m very excited for another year with the Panthers,” Gudbranson said. “We took great strides last season as a team and our group can only improve upon the success we had. It’s a great time for the organization and I look forward to getting back on the ice with the team.”
Hearing Erik Gudbranson's one-year deal with #FlaPanthers worth $3.5 million; team plans on starting extension talks after Jan. 1.
@FlaPanthers said to still be in the running for free agent winger Alexsander Radulov...he would bring offense, they think he's a good fit.
Bruce Boudreau explains to the HC at Noon crew why he chose the Minnesota Wild head coaching gig over the Ottawa Senators, and why family ties made that such a tough decision.
from Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Citizen,
Speaking during a media tour in Ottawa Monday morning with GM Pierre Dorion, the 44-year-old Boucher told TSN 1200 he was confident about the possibility of getting this job after his first meeting with the Senators.
Boucher was named the 12th coach in club history Sunday and will be formally introduced at a press conference Monday at 12:30 p.m.
“I felt like his candidate throughout the entire process and I knew there was other candidates but the way he dealt with me it really felt like we had a connection from the beginning,” said Boucher. “We had been talking a lot. It wasn’t really a surprise. I’ll be honest. It ended yesterday in a rush to file the papers, sign and everything, but I think that process started (Saturday).”
Dorion told the station the 44-year-old was always his No. 1 choice despite reports to the contrary on the weekend. They met more than 12 hours in two separate sessions.
“No doubt. No. 1 from the get-go. He was the first interview I did and every other interview I did didn’t come to the level of Guy,” said Dorion, who spoke with nine candidates for the job. “To me he was the best candidate out there. What we’re looking for, Guy checks all the boxes. He definitely has a great defensive structure, he knows how to coach offensive talent, he’s an excellent communicator, he’s well spoken.
Also, numerous reports this morning stating Marc Crawford will be named an associate coach for the Senators today.
from David Ammenheuser of The Tennessean,
Nashville has never advanced in the playoffs beyond Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinal series. Saturday's 5-1 loss at San Jose puts the Predators in a 3-2 hole in the best-of-seven series. The Predators need a win at home on Monday to keep their season going and to earn a trip back to San Jose for Game 7 on Thursday.
“I don’t think you look to put (yourself) in that position," James Neal told Tennessean reporter Adam Vingan after Saturday's loss. "I think we just didn’t have our best game tonight for whatever reason, so we just need to go back into Nashville and have a better game and be ready. Our team will. I believe in the guys that we’ll regroup and get some rest and be ready to go, so that’s all that is.”
This is just the second time the Predators are still playing this late into May. The last time came on May 9, 2011, when Vancouver won 2-1 at Bridgestone Arena and eliminated Nashville from the Western Conference semifinals in Game 6.
While the odds are stacked against them, the Predators have been in this must-win-two scenario before.
from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues can practically taste the Western Conference finals, but they know how quickly a series can turn. They almost learned that lesson the hard way when they struggled to close out the Blackhawks after taking a 3-1 lead in that opening-round series.
A 3-2 lead isn’t quite as commanding as 3-1, obviously. Hitchcock knows as much. Elliott knows as much. Vladimir Tarasenko knows as much and so on. The Stars also know that they’re one victory away from regaining home-ice advantage and forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 at their house.
“We had a gutsy effort in Game 4,” Benn said. “And we’re going to need more desperation next game.”
With everything to lose, the Stars are definitely going to be a desperate team in Game 6.
The opening round served as a perfect tune-up for what awaits the Blues in Game 6. One more victory and they’re headed to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2001. It’s been 15 years since the Blues were in the conference finals, and you have to like their chances in Game 6 with Elliott in goal. They don’t have to be tight because it’s not a must-win game for them. They must play loose yet hungry.
“It’s always tough to win in the opposing building,” defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “I know we’ve done well on the road, but we set ourselves up well to go home and win a game. If we can do more of the same like we did (in Game 5), I think we’ll be on the right side of things after Game 6.”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Boudreau felt comfortable with Minnesota. He loves the fact it’s a hockey hotbed and knows the area a little bit from when he started his professional playing career with the old World Hockey Association’s Minnesota Fighting Saints in 1975.
“I just thought it would be a place that we could win. I know the team is good already,” Boudreau said.
Most of Boudreau’s talks with Fletcher revolved around the two getting to know each other. They talked mostly philosophy, playing style and if their visions align.
Boudreau asked very little about the team.
“My biggest question was, ‘Is Zach going to be OK?’ ” Boudreau said, referring to Zach Parise’s season-ending back injury that’s currently being rehabbed without surgery. “When that came back affirmative, I was thrilled because I’ve admired him for 10 years now as a player.
“But I know they’ve got good individuals there. Their top, top players are really good, and now it’s a matter of being a really good team.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The loud thud here on Sunday afternoon was the sound of the window slamming shut on the Islanders under the ownership of Charles Wang.
It is over, the good, the bad and the ugly of this era that ended with this 4-0 Game 5 elimination defeat to the Lightning that left no doubt as to the identity of the better team in this conference semifinal series.
It is over, this era that was dominated for so long by financial crisis and the owner’s unsuccessful repeated attempts to sell the grandiose Lighthouse real estate plan to the either the politicians or citizens of Long Island, both of which constituencies said no to footing the bill for an arena to replace the Coliseum.
It is over, this era under which the team actually left its Long Island birthplace to become squatters in Brooklyn.
And the critical point to remember is that no one has any idea what’s coming next, when the ownership group of Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin takes charge in July — a transfer of power that apparently will allow the current administration to run the entry draft and oversee the opening of the free-agent market.
LIGHTNING ELIMINATE ISLANDERS, RETURN TO EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Victor Hedman (2-0—2) registered his first career multi-goal game in the postseason and Ben Bishop stopped all 28 shots he faced to help the Lightning win their series with the Islanders in five games and reach the Eastern Conference Final for the second consecutive season.
* The Lightning have now reached the Eastern Conference Final in three of the last six campaigns and four times overall (also 2015, 2011 and 2004). Tampa Bay went on to the Stanley Cup Final in two of those series (2015 and 2004), winning the franchise’s only Stanley Cup in 2004.
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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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