Kukla's Korner Hockey
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...
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Nashville @ St. Louis, Game 1, 8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Edmonton @ Anaheim, Game 1, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVAS
WESTERN CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS OPENING NIGHT OF SECOND ROUND
The Second Round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight with Game 1 of both Western Conference series: Predators at Blues and Oilers at Ducks. Per Elias, teams that win the first game in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series hold an all-time series record of 453-207 (68.6%).
* The Predators and Blues upset higher seeds to advance to the Second Round, where they will meet in the postseason for the first time. Nashville held a slight edge in the regular-season series, compiling a 3-2-0 record against St. Louis (2-3-0). Both teams were buoyed by strong goaltending performances in the opening round: Nashville’s Pekka Rinne went 4-0 with a 0.70 goals-against average, .976 save percentage and two shutouts vs. CHI, while St. Louis’ Jake Allen went 4-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average and .956 save percentage vs. MIN.
* The Oilers visit the Pacific Division-champion Ducks in the second all-time playoff meeting between these clubs. Edmonton earned a 4-1 series win over Anaheim in the 2006 Conference Finals – the Oilers’ last postseason appearance and series win prior to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Edmonton held a slight advantage in the regular-season series, with a 3-2-0 record against Anaheim (2-1-2). Both teams were led offensively in the First Round by their captains: Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (2-2—4 in 6 GP) and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf (3-2—5 in 4 GP).
NEW YORK -- New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds are the two finalists for the 2016-17 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community," the National Hockey League announced today.
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 25, 2017 – On the strength of a record 18 overtime games, dazzling performances by young stars like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, and side-by-side coverage for the first time in local markets, NBC Sports Group’s Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of the first round of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 742,000 viewers, up 4% vs 2016 (713,000 viewers).
from Robert Tuchman at Forbes,
The NHL is hoping to use its own talent to promote the sport in China. In 2015, Canadian-based Andong Song was drafted by the New York Islanders and became the first Chinese-born player to be drafted in the NHL.
Commissioner Bettman is hoping that the NHL will see the same boom the NBA experienced after China embraced basketball as a new national pastime. In 2015, the NBA signed a five-year online streaming deal in China worth up to $700 million....
But Gary Bettman is not the only person excited about the prospect of expanding the NHL’s realm into China. Team owners in smaller markets are keen on raising revenue to become the most popular team in China. Many owners are interested in the idea of having Chinese investors claim stakes into teams that are interested in expanding their brand or may be struggling to stay competitive due to a low market value....
The future of hockey in China is looking bright and the NHL is poised to breathe life into a market hungry for new competitive endeavors.
from the CP at Sportsnet,
The Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to keep expectations in check for next season.
The Leafs leaped from last-place in the NHL to an unlikely playoff spot and near upending of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the first round. But the organization appears to be guarding against expectations jumping too high too fast for a young team led by 19-year-old Auston Matthews.
“It’s a step,” Lou Lamoriello, the Leafs general manager, said of the team’s surprisingly positive 2016-17 campaign. “(But) it’s going to get more difficult. Teams are going to look at you a little different — the way they approach you. Teams are going to know your tendencies as a player and how they can stop you. So there’s a lot that has to transpire. That’s why it’s just a step.”
The Leafs posted some videos today too, you can watch them all here.
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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