Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Scott Cullen has 86 points to make before the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
1. Starting with the 2006-2007 season, when Anaheim won the Stanley Cup, Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf has put up 97 points in his last 92 playoff games. He’s going to be a handful for the Oilers defence.
2. There was a lot of talk about Marc-Edouard Vlasicgetting matched against Oilers C Connor McDavid in the first round, but it will be at least as interesting to see how Ducks D Hampus Lindholmhandles that matchup in the second round. In 52:48 against Lindholm over the past two seasons, McDavid has a 54.9 CF%, but just one goal and no assists, with 2.27 GF60 notably lower than McDavid’s standard of 3.47 GF60.
3. The expectation is also that Ryan Kesler’s line will be taking on McDavid. Kesler had team-worst possession stats (38.4 CF%) against Calgary in Round One, but no forward has seen McDavid more over the past two seasons than Kesler, who has played 77:10 against No. 97.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Lightning star wing Nikita Kucherov delivered some pointed and strong criticism on his teammates and coaches Wednesday.
Kucherov, preparing to play for Russia at the World Championships, told Sovietsky Sport that some teammates "overstayed" with team, "got their money and stopped working." Kucherov also wondered why the team's lines were changed like a "kaleidoscope."
"Some guys overstayed in team," Kucherov told Sovietsy Sport, per translation. "They've got their money and stopped working. They knew there's no competition for their positions and the organization is not going to take someone else. They played not really well this year. You can see it in their stats and way of play. When we played together and I made a pass, they even were not expecting this. That's why this season was hard for me despite good stats."
continued which includes more from Kucherov...
from Jeremy Rutherford and Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
In the past two years, the Blues' combined postseason record is 5-7 at home and 9-4 on the road. They are 1-1 at home and 3-0 on the road this season, after going 4-6 at home and 6-4 on the road last year.
"Especially when you have home ice, you want to win your home games," Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "It's one of those things, late in the year, we've played well on the road, won some games. We feel comfortable playing wherever. If there's something to improve, our home record could be a little better. In the first round, did we win one at home? That's a pretty small sample size though. You prepare like anything else. You want to win the games and take advantage of home ice."
Blues coach Mike Yeo obviously wasn't around last season, and said he doesn't have an opinion on it, but did say "looking at our play on the road, we're going into tough buildings, and I think there's an understanding of how we have to play the game and make sure that doesn't change when play at home. That's part of the challenge. It's the beauty of the game is how you prepare and how you get ready for your opponent and I think watching what (Nashville) did in round one makes it pretty easy for us in terms of our preparation and how we have to approach how we handle them."
In sweeping Chicago, Nashville won Game Nos. 1-2 at United Center by a combined score of 6-0. Goalie Pekka Rinne made 59 saves in the back-to-back shutouts for the Predators.
Rinne said Wednesday that the Preds will try to bring some of that confidence they gained from winning in Chicago to St. Louis.
VANCOUVER, B.C., - Vancouver Canucks General Manger Jim Benning announced today that the team has named Travis Green as Head Coach. Green becomes the 19th Head Coach in Canucks history after being promoted from his role as Head Coach of the club's AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets.
"Travis is a talented Head Coach who's played a key role in the development of our young players through four seasons with the Comets," said Benning. "He has an intense desire to win and build a team identity that is hardworking, responsible on both ends of the ice and competitive. He has an excellent understanding of where we are as an organization and we're confident in his ability to help build our team and develop a winning culture. We're pleased to welcome Travis and his family and truly excited about the future."
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin had successful surgery to repair labral damage in his right shoulder yesterday. The surgery went as planned and he is expected to make a full recovery in four months.
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
Anyone who thinks Edmonton is trying to turn every game into a drag race is adding oil, or something, to the same pile. The Oilers can accelerate with anyone, but they scored only 12 goals in six games against San Jose and still won the series.
And, if you’re looking to spread more fertilizer, the Oilers aren’t co-dependent on their two youngest offensive stars, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid, the only NHL player to score 100 points in the regular season, had four points against the Sharks. Draisaitl had three. The Oilers are here anyway, as you’ll notice Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
But they will find it much easier to beat Anaheim if McDavid, Draisaitl and former Duck Patrick Maroon can get some traction against Ryan Kesler, Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg, the Ducks’ most consistent line the past two seasons.
“You don’t get that many points without being top-notch,” said Kevin Bieksa, the Ducks’ defenseman. “This will be a better offensive team than Calgary (the first-round victim) was.”
Edmonton’s problem is that the Kesler line gives up almost nothing in 5-on-5 situations, particularly at Honda Center, where Carlyle has the matchup option.
In the first 23 home games of the year, the heretofore un-nicknamed Kesler line allowed two goals in 5-on-5 situations. And opposing centers were reminded why Kesler has the 2011 Selke Trophy and is a finalist for this one.
Of the top nine opposing goal-scoring centers in the Western Conference, only McDavid had an even-strength goal with Kesler on Anaheim ice this season, and that was when Kesler was playing with Patrick Eaves and Rickard Rakell. McDavid did have a goal in Edmonton against Kesler’s normal line.
A bit over two minutes in length...
BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, April 26, that Bruce Cassidy has been named the 28th head coach of the Boston Bruins.
Cassidy served as Interim Head Coach for the Bruins' final 33 regular and postseason games, compiling a 18-8-1 regular season record and propelling the team to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Since Cassidy assumed head coaching responsibilities on February 9, the Bruins ranked first in the NHL in goals per game (3.37), first in the NHL in fewest shots allowed (741), tied for second in the NHL in wins (18), tied for second in the NHL in power play percentage (27.8%), tied for third in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.30), tied for fifth in the NHL in faceoff percentage (53.6%) and tied for sixth in the NHL in takeaways (229).
via Sportsnet's YouTube page,
Take a listen to some raw sounds of hockey straight from the mouths of players, refs and coaches...
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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