Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Nobody took the Red Wings’ first-round flop last spring, when Detroit was ousted by the Edmonton Oilers in six games, harder than the passionate Babcock. How could the first-place team perform so poorly in the playoffs? Babcock endeavoured to find out.
His father, a hard-rock mine pit boss, instilled in him a long time ago that if you want to get your employees to work hard and perform, the boss has to exhibit an even more inexhaustible work ethic. So Babcock scoured the game tapes from the Oilers-Red Wings series and arrived at training camp last September with a new message and the video evidence to support his new theme.
NHL.com is beta testing real time scoring. Check it out if you have a need for it.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL Players’ Association’s team player representatives voted unanimously today to fire executives Ted Saskin and Ken Kim “for cause,” after a union-commissioned report concluded Saskin had quarterbacked a campaign to hack into player email accounts.
Chris Chelios just mentioned this on his weekly conversation with WDFN in Detroit. It is at the end of the audio and you can listen at A2Y. Chris mentioned they will start from scratch to find an new leader.
I spoke with Wings radio play-by-play man Ken Kal this afternoon.
Ken gives his views on the Wings/Ducks series and answered a few other questions I had.
It was a treat for me to speak with him and hope you enjoy the conversation.
Randy Carlyle, Chris Pronger, Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer took part in a press conference today…
Q. Randy, Giguere had to go through a lot at the end of the season, start of the playoffs. Are you impressed by the way he focused on the game still?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Again, you know, I think that when people go through hurdles in life and things that do happen outside of the game, then get an opportunity to go back to work, I think work becomes a little bit of a haven. Once you can satisfy in your own mind that everything’s okay at home, the ability to go back to work is really a relief for the individual.
I think that was the case with Giguere. He was through a situation that took some time to resolve. He got the opportunity to come back and practice for a couple of days. He didn’t play right away. He probably felt that he was more deserved of playing right away, but we had a goaltender that won three in a row, and as a coach you have to make those decisions.
When we lost the game in Minnesota, he grabbed the net from then on he’s given us quality goaltending and has given us a chance in every game. That’s all you can really ask from him. It’s a tribute to the individual to go through the personal family situation and then to come back and be ready to play at a high level. He’s to be commended for that.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Each of the NHL’s final four teams is battling a burden, fighting a perception, attempting to overcome bad karma that to some extent can add to the otherwise significant pressure.
t’s one more reason that when the Sabres, Senators, Ducks or Red Wings gather on the ice with the Stanley Cup and pose for the celebratory picture, they will have passed the most testing playoff process in sports.
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
While Anaheim Ducks defenders Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer vie for their second Norris Trophies, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is seeking his fifth. The trophy honors the former owner of the Red Wings.
Pronger, the 2000 Norris Trophy winner, and Niedermayer, the winner in 2004, could become only the second pair of teammates to run 1-2 in Norris balloting by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Lidstrom edged teammate Chris Chelios, a three-time winner, in 2002.
What can be said about Lidstrom that hasn’t been said before?
via Elias Sports Bureau,
This is Chris Drury’s sixth year in the NHL playoffs and he’s reached the Conference Finals each time: 1999 through 2002 with Colorado, and the last two years with Buffalo. Drury has 18 points (10 goals, 8 assists) in 33 career games in the Conference Finals, and five of the 10 goals he’s scored in this round have been game-winners (two in overtime).
The Senators’ Dany Heatley led all players with 10 points (three goals, seven assists in five games) in the second round of this year’s playoffs. Rounding out the top five were Jason Spezza (3-5-8), Martin Straka (2-5-7), Pavel Datsyuk (2-4-6) and Daniel Briere (1-5-6).
I touch on a few subjects today at my NHL.com blog.
The talk in changing the OT format gets addressed too.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
“What do you think about making the nets bigger?” he asked me.
“I don’t think any idea should be off the table,” I said.
“All I know is, if they replaced the current nets with the bigger ones (the league) tested a couple years ago, I’d bet you most fans in the stands wouldn’t be able to tell the difference,” he said. “But with that extra bit of room to shoot at, it would make a big difference to shooters.”
“And if that didn’t result in more scoring?” I said.
“Then I’d shrink the goaltending equipment even more than they already have,” he said.
more NHL bits…
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