Kukla's Korner Hockey
Pittsburgh @ Washington 8:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC & TVAS
Should be a very entertaining series and I feel the Capitals have a huge advantage in goal, but I have been wrong before.
Feel free to discuss the game.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
They got off to a bad start, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff, opposing coaches in the 1999 Stanley Cup final; two guys left to rationalize the chaotic ending to one of the Cup’s great trench wars.
Ruff, coaching Buffalo, was livid at the way his Sabres lost, at home, in triple overtime, on a goal by Brett Hull that, according to the rules of the day, ought not to have counted.
Hitchcock, proud of an aging Dallas team that, by the end, was running on fumes and grit, sore about being asked, essentially, to apologize for the circumstances of the Stars’ championship, fired back at Ruff’s allegation that Dallas’s win was tainted by league incompetence.
“Tell Lindy to f— off,” Hitchcock spat as he vacated the post-game podium.
Time, though, and a couple of Canadian Olympic team assignments as assistant coaches under Mike Babcock, threw the two of them together and grew a scab over the old cut.
But that deep a wound never entirely heals, and now — Ruff coaching Dallas, Hitchcock with St. Louis, on opposite benches for the West semifinal series that opens Friday night in the Big D...
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Kalli Quinn says she was surprised when she first heard the request but, the more she thought about it, the more she thought, yes, this is perfect.
She knew how her father, Pat Quinn, felt about Trevor Linden, and she knew how Trevor Linden felt about her father. She remembered back in June of ’88 when Quinn, who was just starting his second year as the Canucks’ general manager, stepped up to the podium at the Forum in Montreal and announced the Canucks were pleased to select Linden — “a proud Westerner” — with their first-round draft pick. And she remembered how that day changed so many things for the Canucks, her dad and Linden.
So when Linden, now the Canucks’ president, called recently and asked Quinn’s daughter for something to take to the NHL draft lottery in Toronto, she rummaged around her memory drawer and came up with the perfect memento. On Saturday, when a large part of the Canucks’ future is being determined by the whims of the ping-pong balls, Linden will be carrying the 1970-71 playing card of Pat Quinn in a Canucks uniform.
from the NHLPA,
Colton Orr has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following nine NHL seasons and a 13-year professional hockey playing career.
“I feel privileged to have played for a decade in the NHL and to have had the support of four great organizations in Boston, New York, Toronto and Calgary. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play with great teammates and against great players, many of whom have become great friends. It has been an amazing journey that would not have been anywhere near as fulfilling as it was without the love and support of fans, friends, agents, GMs, coaches and family,” said Colton Orr.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
Finding a way to exploit one edge, however minuscule, is usually the difference between winning and losing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Barry Trotz is well aware. His Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are so familiar with each other that their tendencies have been broken down ad nauseam on video.
They are more than just division foes. Both teams have players who used to be behind enemy lines. Eric Fehr spent nine seasons in Washington;Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik combined for nearly 1,000 games in a Penguins uniform.
And Trotz has a secret weapon on the bench: assistant coach Todd Reirden commandeered Pittsburgh’s defence for four years.
“There are probably not a lot of secrets,” Trotz said Wednesday. “There are some real defining tendencies that if you can exploit, it can give you an advantage. It might only give you an advantage for one game until they correct whatever you might have exploited, but it's about getting four [wins]. If you can get one, somehow by identifying tendencies or areas that you can exploit, that gives you a one up and then you look to the next thing.”
But who has the edge to start?
Here is the series view from one Eastern Conference pro scout who has seen both Pittsburgh and Washington many times this season:
NEW YORK (April 28, 2016) – The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery, which will determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft, will be held on Saturday, April 30, at Sportsnet’s Hockey Central Studio at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. The results of the Draft Lottery will be announced during live television coverage of the event (8:00 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVAS). Both the Draft Lottery Drawing and the broadcast will take place at the CBC.
All clubs that did not qualify for this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired the first-round picks of those non-playoff clubs, will participate.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
One narrative is that the Lightning were rusty while the Islanders were sharp, because the Lightning had been off since Thursday. There might be some truth to that. The Lightning were sloppy, at least until the score became lopsided. But the Islanders had a lot to do with it, and it might have worked the other way in the third period.
"They had a little more left in the tank than us," Greiss said.
Another narrative is that the Lightning were unlucky and the game was relatively close. The shots were 19-17 Tampa Bay through two periods, even though New York had a 4-1 lead. "It was just one of those nights were pucks had eyes," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said the same thing.
"You need some puck luck in this game if you're going to win," Capuano said, "and we had that."
Watch the game highlights below...
from Elliott Teaford of the OC Register,
He was the Ducks’ highest-paid player this season at $8.625million and he delivered with 34 regular-season goals, tops on the team. But he didn’t score a single goal during the Ducks’ seven-game loss to the Predators, chipping in four assists for his only points.
At game’s end, after the Ducks lost their fourth Game 7 at Honda Center in as many seasons, Perry sat in front of his locker in full uniform as a pack of reporters descended upon him. He spoke softly about his frustration and praised the Predators for their defensive effort against him.
“I’ve got no excuses, that’s the way it went,” he said. “They swarm and push you against the wall and pin you there. It’s tough. They play strong defensively. They’re a strong defensive team. They know how to box out and they did it all series.”
Of Game 7, Perry added, “It’s tough. It’s not the way we wanted to start, but the second and third periods I thought we threw everything at them. A bounce here, a bounce there, and it can be a different story.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"It means a lot," Predators goalie Pekka Rinne said after leading his team to a 2-1 Game 7 win on Wednesday night. "It shows a lot of character. I think as a group we can learn from this series. It's a really good team we played against. There's a lot of good things we can take from this series.
"Just moving forward I think we're a better team already after this series and after this Game 7.''...
"We'd rather fly under the radar, and just kind of do our own business," captain Shea Weber said. "It's kind of the way we go. We don't need to be in the limelight. Hopefully we can keep proving that we're a good team.''...
It is beyond belief as a storyline. But it is reality. And it's hard not to think it may not cost Boudreau his job, even though some of his star players must shoulder the blame for this series loss as well.
"I have no idea," Boudreau said when asked about potential changes. "I haven't thought about it. As far as my future, I just come to work every day until I'm told not to come to work. And I think the team, especially the last half of the year, they believed what the expectations were and what they were supposed to be. The playoffs are a tough thing. There are 16 really good teams, and especially in the West, any of those eight teams that made it were good enough to win it.''...
"At least we went out there and gave it our all," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We tried everything we could to get that next goal. At least you can leave the ice knowing you left it out there in the end.''...
Corey Perry held his head in his hands in the Ducks' locker room Wednesday night. His despair was visible. No goals in seven games is certainly one of the reasons Anaheim is headed home too early.
Game highlights are below...
added 7:35am, handshake line video below too...
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