Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Do you hear the theme from “Happy Days” playing in the background? Holy back to the future, McFly. Not only did the Avalanche advance to the second round on the backs of oldies-but-goodies like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote, but they also get Jose Theodore to channel himself circa 2000 to draw old arch-nemesis Detroit in the second round.
continue for a series breakdown and the other matchups are available on the right sidebar at ESPN…
via the AP via Yahoo,
Coach Bruce Boudreau has been given a contract to stay with the Washington Capitals, a reward for leading the team from last in the NHL to a Southeast Division title.
Capitals general manager George McPhee said Wednesday: “He’s our coach. He’s under contract ... for a long time.”
added 2:28pm, more on the Caps at Capitals Insider...
Flashbacks To: 1950, 1996, 1997
April 23, 1950 • In the first Game Seven overtime in Final history, left winger Pete Babando, assisted by center George Gee at 8:31 of the second overtime period, gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win and the 1950 Stanley Cup title.
Four years later, another Detroit left winger, Tony Leswick, repeated Babando’s overtime feat in Game Seven of the 1954 Final. Since then, no player has scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime in the seventh and deciding game of the Final.
from The Hockey News,
Whether it’s recent or from seasons long past, each of the four conference semifinal matchups see rivals set to do battle once more; Detroit and Colorado rejuvenate their history from the ‘90s, Montreal and Philadelphia were two of the most potent franchises of the ‘70s, while Pittsburgh-New York and Dallas-San Jose will pick up where they left off from a division-heavy regular season schedule.
While there were upsets in both the West and the East - according to the seeds, anyway - the top two teams from each conference are still alive.
Below you’ll find breakdowns on each of the four second round series and, coming off a five-for-eight performance in the opening round, THN.com’s picks to move on.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
But even in doing so, San Jose left several questions floating, the kind that inevitably dog a favored team emerging from a series that went longer than it should have. Those questions provide a juicy subtext for their second round collision with the Dallas Stars, a matchup that gets underway Friday at the Shark Tank.
Is Ron Wilson up to the challenge?
There are few NHL coaches who can feel secure about their continued employment after their season ends in April. Carrying the burden of expectations that come with a division championship and years of playoff disappointments, Wilson was not one of them.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Chicago Blackhawks’ sensational pair of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews is joined by Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, who played pivot for Ovechkin for most of the season, as the trio of finalists up for this season’s Calder Trophy.
Nobody should be surprised any of these three candidates have reached this point of their career. They were all top-level draft picks in recent years.
from Jeff DiNunzio at Sports Central,
Last week, some dude most of us have never met wrote an obituary about the National Hockey League. Here’s the thing about writers: we all think our opinion is important. Sometimes it is; but usually it’s not. In this case, Sean Crowe — who, for whatever reason, refers to himself as SeanMC (are you a DJ?) — offered his take on the NHL’s demise, and argued that something must be done to resuscitate this mortal game. It’s true; the NHL has assassinated the last of its remaining prominence.
Although many readers’ comments boast the obvious — like one observed, “This story would’ve been more credible if it was written in 2006” — the truth is that Crowe’s “opinion piece” is shaky.
Original post regarding Sean…
While John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin on Cheers) was being interviewed on the Today Show on NBC, a Habs fan decided to show his colors!
NEW YORK – NBC Sports and the National Hockey League today announced that they have extended their partnership through the 2008-09 season with NBC exercising its option on the NHL. The joint announcement was made today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with the NHL,” said Ebersol. “There have been positive signs for the league, both on and off the ice. Ratings were up this year; the Winter Classic in Buffalo was a huge success; advertising sales were healthy; and the product on the ice has never been better, led by young, marketable stars such as Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. We believe this is a sport that will continue to grow.”
Bettman said, “This is great news for the NHL and its fans. NBC has been a great partner and its innovations to the broadcasts have helped bring fans inside the game like never before.”
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
For some reason I found myself referring to Chris Clark, the Capitals’ injured right wing, as “Clarkie” the other day, as in, “What’s Clarkie doing sitting up here in the press box?”
It didn’t feel chummy or corny, of which it was probably both. It felt oddly natural, like my friend who walked up to Donald Brashear yesterday and said, “What’s up, Brash?” as the Caps’ enforcer winked at the notion of a virtual stranger knowing his nickname. Ovie the Kid. Olie the Elder. Greenie. Feds. Brooksie. And, yes, “Gabby,” Bruce Boudreau, that chatterbox coach from Hershey, whose wry humor and spare honesty disarmed most anyone interested in his hockey team.
They let Washington into their world the past five months, into their clubhouse—a grown-up bunch of Lil’ Rascals, armed with sticks and pucks. They fell to a more focused Flyers team that taught them a good lesson about playoff hockey:
Let’s just hope the Washington media who recently discovered that Washington has a hockey team, doesn’t forget about them next year!
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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