Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Hyde of the SunSentinel,
South Florida is full of owners who learned the hard way that succeeding in sports is different than business. Ask Dolphins owner Steve Ross. Ask the Marlins' Jeffrey Loria. Ask H. Wayne Huizenga. Ask the previously failed Panthers owners.
Heat owner Micky Arison was the only local owner who immediately made the best move any team owner can. He hired the best person possible to pick his players and build his franchise.
Did the Panthers just diminish the role of their Pat Riley?
This should be an offseason of great hope for the Panthers. Instead, it's now weighed down with a question of recent days. It's not what Tallon's diminished role is or who Rowe is.
The question starts here: Does Vinnie Viola know what he's doing?
from Mike Zeisberger of hte Toronto Sun,
...Letang has to be better, both between the boards and between the ears.
When defenceman Trevor Daley broke his ankle in the second period of Game 4, the onus on Letang to carry the load became even stronger now that the Penguins No. 2 defenceman was lost for the remainder of the playoffs. Instead, he was anything but.
Within minutes of Daley’s injury, Letang snapped, shooting a puck at the Lightning forward, then immediately hunting down big-bodied Tampa Bay winger Brian Boyle. With Letang serving a subsequent double minor for his brain drain, Tampa Bay scored a power-play goal to go up 3-0 in a game they would win 4-3.
How is that helping your team?
In Game 5, Letang was on the ice for all four Lightning goals. How is that helping your team?
In both cases, it isn’t. And he didn’t.
Of his dubious minus-4 result, Letang said Monday: “That’s a stat and I certainly didn’t feel that good to look at it, but break down the film, it’s a team game. Some nights I will get plus, and I don’t do anything out there. But certainly, I have to be better, and I have a chance to prove it (Tuesday).”
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
Through the years, as the San Jose Sharks kept falling short in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Joe Pavelski kept developing chemistry with teammate Joe Thornton.
Through the years, as the Sharks kept being called underachievers, Pavelski kept working at his craft.
The Sharks are one win from their first Stanley Cup Final, closer than ever before in their 25-year history, after defeating the St. Louis Blues 6-3 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Monday and taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
Pavelski scored two key goals to put them on the cusp, giving him a League-leading 12 goals in the playoffs and 21 points, tied for first with teammate Logan Couture.
His goals were born amid all that disappointment. The first was a product of his longtime connection with Thornton. The second was a product of hours of practice that have made Pavelski, in the words of Couture, "the best in the world" at a certain hockey skill.
Watch Pavelski's two key goals in one video below...
from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Young Blues forward Robby Fabbri dabbed at his forehead, shook his head and acknowledged that he had no answer late Monday night. Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was stumped by the question as well.
Why in heck have the Blues not been able to own Scottrade Center during these Stanley Cup playoffs? Veteran captain David Backes notes that the Blues might suffer because they get “a little cuter at home” at the expense of their ugly game.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock didn’t buy that assessment.
Here’s the only thing that we know for sure: The Blues’ latest slip at home has put them on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference finals. The San Jose Sharks moved within a victory of the Stanley Cup Finals by beating the Blues 6-3 Monday night in Game 5 at Scottrade Center.
“Our expectations are high and we want to do well for the fans,” Hitchcock said after the Blues dropped to 4-6 at home this postseason. “Sometimes that cocktail doesn’t mix very well. I mean, if we could have eliminated the errors. There was a tremendous amount of effort today, but we did make big errors and they came back and haunted us.”
Game highlights are below...
PAVELSKI, SHARKS INCH CLOSER TO STANLEY CUP FINAL
The Sharks scored four unanswered goals – including the tying and winning tallies by captain Joe Pavelski (2-1—3) – to take a 3-2 series lead against the Blues and move within one win of clinching the franchise’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
* Pavelski scored the tying and go-ahead goals in a span of 1:43 over the second and third periods to establish a franchise record with his League-leading fourth game-winning goal of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Pavelski, who extended his point streak to six games (4-5—9), paces all players with 12 goals and shares the League lead with 21 points this postseason, tied with teammate Logan Couture (7-14—21) – extending single-postseason franchise records in both categories.
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News held a recent chat,
Question: Who are the free agents you see as foregone conclusions that they will not be back next year? Moen, Fiddler, Russell, Etc.
Heika: I hate to just throw guys out, but the guess is the odds are very slim that Moen, Russell or Demers are back. I think it would also be tough to bring back Fiddler or Eaves will all of the kids knocking on the door. They might value the veteran presence and re-sign one of Eaves or Fiddler and then let Sceviour go, but that wouldn't make sense to me.
Jim Nill has some tough decisions ahead and will probably have to say goodbye to some dedicated players this summer.
continue for more on the Stars...
San Jose @ St. Louis 8:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC & TVAS
Series tied at 2-2 and ater the game tonight, one team will be a win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
Who will it be?
This post belongs to you, discuss the game as it plays out.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The folks in Joe Thornton's inner circle are torn. They want outsiders to know the kind of guy Thornton truly is, to learn that the San Jose Sharks center has as big a heart as any superstar in hockey. But they realize he's more than content to keep that part of his personality private.
"He helps people, but it's just to help people, not for other people to find out about it," said his brother, John. "That's the thing."
There might not be a more generous superstar in hockey -- with his time, his money, his willingness to include those around him. But you'll never hear Thornton talk about it.
"That's what makes him so special," said former Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray, a close friend. "Some guys, you tell the story and they make a big deal out of it. The big story with Joe is that's not why he does it. He just does things because he's a genuinely nice, kind-hearted person."
Still, his friends and family are eager to correct the public perception of Thornton, which is often skewed.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
Here are 5 Keys for Game 5:
FILL THE VOID
Blues forwards David Backes and Robby Fabbri left Game 4 with injuries and did not skate Monday morning. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock indicated each will warm up and be game-time decisions. Will they play? If they do, how effective will they be?
Fabbri leads the Blues with 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Backes is tied with Vladimir Tarasenko and Troy Brouwer for first on the Blues with seven goals and is tied with Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz for second with 13 points.
"Nobody's sure what's really going to happen," Blues forward Kyle Brodziak said. "It's kind of the first time in the postseason that we've seen injuries and had to deal with them. If it does happen, it's kind of old hat for us if you look at the way the whole year went. I don't think we were fully healthy for any part of the season. Whatever happens, whoever gets a chance has the trust in all of us that they're going to make the best of the opportunity, and as a group we feel like we can all step up a little bit."
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