Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL Short Notes

Includes on-ice officials for round two...

WEDNESDAY’S RESULT
Home Team in Caps
TAMPA BAY 2, Detroit 0 – TBL wins series 4-3
 
BISHOP, COBURN LIFT LIGHTNING INTO SECOND ROUND
Ben Bishop stopped all 31 shots he faced and Braydon Coburn scored the tiebreaking goal at 3:58 of the third period to power the Lightning past the Red Wings and into the Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
 

 
* The Lightning improved to 4-1 all-time in Game 7s, including a 3-0 record at home. They also improved to 8-6 all-time when facing elimination, including wins in six of their last seven such contests.

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The New York Rangers Have A Plan To Keep Alex Ovechkin In Check

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

There was a fascinating technical breakdown on how to defend Ovechkin from Rangers’ captain Ryan McDonagh, who knows what to expect from the Russian winger whom he and partner Dan Girardi will see a lot this series.

Ovechkin led the league with 53 regular-season goals — 10 more than second-place finisher Steven Stamkos — and lining up on the left wing, he primarily will square off against the right-sided (and right-handed) Girardi. But that doesn’t mean Girardi is left alone to try and shut him down.

“He likes to make that move where he carries it in and makes a move to his forehand,” McDonagh said. “If anything, you want to try and support Dan in the aspect of maybe trying to take that ice away from him. If there’s a two-on-two situation or a one-on-two situation, he likes to get ahead of his guy sometimes. So if I can recognize that and it’s kind of them two on an island, hopefully I can come over and kind of cut that ice out for him so maybe he’s forced to go to his backhand or shoot it before he makes that move.”

Ovechkin may have his go-to moves, but McDonagh also is fully aware that is not the limit of his repertoire.

“He’s a world-class talent,” McDonagh said. “He’s got plenty of ways to be effective out there.”

more

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Video- The Best From Round One Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs

The best sights and sounds from the first round of the NHL Playoffs...

 

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Mike Babcock’s Future

from Arpon Basu of NHL.com,

Babcock did say a lot about the future of the Red Wings, and it gave the impression it was tied to his own.

He spoke of how no one picked the Red Wings to win the series against the Lightning, and that many predicted they would miss the playoffs for the first time in 24 seasons.

"We are what we are," Babcock said. "[The Lightning] have a young team, they were bad here for long enough that they were able to rebuild and get good young players, and young players at key positions.

"Three of our best players are 34 [Niklas Kronwall], 35 [Henrik Zetterberg] and 37 [Pavel Datsyuk]. So any way you look at it, we're a team that's changed a ton of players, we're a team that's added a lot of youth to our lineup, and right now on the outside they don't pick us as a Stanley Cup contender."

The ages of Zetterberg and Datsyuk that Babcock used are how old they will be next season, not what they were this season. Zetterberg turns 35 on Oct. 9, and Datsyuk turns 37 on July 20. It could be interpreted as an evaluation of Detroit's chance of success next season.

Babcock was asked about some of the young players in the organization, and whether or not he sees Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and others being able to compensate for the aging of the veterans.

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Tampa Moves On

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

You can open your eyes now. Go ahead and exhale.

The Lightning is still alive.

It is moving on after Wednesday's thrilling Game 7 victory over the Red Wings.

For the past week and a half, Tampa Bay gave you doubts and tested your faith as well as your blood pressure. Each game, each night, each shift left you breathless or exhilarated, frustrated or anxious. One moment, the Lightning looked like a team that could be fitted for Stanley Cup rings. The next, it was being measured for coffins.

Up and down. Back and forth. You've cheered and cursed, applauded and booed. You couldn't wait for the next game or wished never to see another hockey game again.

That's what the playoffs can do to you. That's what the Lightning has done to you. It's delicious and nauseating at the same time. And this has only been one round!

"It's fun," Lightning center Brian Boyle said. "It's the playoffs."

continued

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The Tampa Bay Lightning Advance To The Second Round

Tampa defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in game 7 and will play Montreal starting on Friday.

A tightly played game with not many scoring chances.

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Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

via Sportsnet,

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean talk about blind passes, Joel Ward’s play for the Washington Capitals, the coaching of Jon Cooper and Mike Babcock.

 

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  Tags: don+cherry, ron+maclean

Your Hart Memorial Trophy Finalists

NEW YORK – Forward Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, goaltender Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and forward John Tavares of the New York Islanders are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Hart Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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Reviewing The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,

The 2014-15 Penguins were a mystery from the start.

Less than a week after their season ended in New York, it's still difficult to say, “The Penguins are _____.”

While “____” might be difficult to pinpoint, there are plenty of reasons to explain what they aren't; A Stanley Cup contender.

Here are ten things to examine as the Penguins enter the offseason.

- In 2012, former Rangers coach John Tortorella drew plenty of scorn (and even a $20,000 fine) when he said the Penguins were "one of the most arrogant organizations in the league."

Those seemed like ridiculous comments at the time, especially coming from a blustery windbag like Tortorella. But he couldn't have been more correct.

For the better part of a decade, the Penguins have been the NHL's glamor team. Routinely on national television and involved in high profile events such as outdoor games, they have been the darlings of the league. A lot of that was born simply out of the lucky bounce of a ping-pong ball in 2005. Much of it was justified by Stanley Cup runs in 2008 and 2009.

But that was a long time ago.

Despite having not won the Stanley Cup in six ... let's repeat that ... SIX years, they still portray themselves as the class of the NHL. In contrast, the Kings (albeit with a non-playoff appearance this spring) and the Blackhawks are the class of the NHL.

The Penguins could benefit from some a heaping spoonful of humility.

much more

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Dear Nashville

from Tom Cigarran, Chairman of the Nashville Predators,

Dear Nashville Predators Fans,

On behalf of the Nashville Predators ownership group, staff and players, thank you for your outstanding support throughout this season and for turning Bridgestone Arena into a sea of gold during our playoff series against Chicago. Losing in the playoffs is always painful, especially considering how hard our team worked and how close we came to advancing to the next round. We share your pain and we are still coming to grips with the fact that our season has ended.

There is no doubt that this season, both the regular season but especially the playoffs, was an important learning experience for our very young team. A team that, based on what transpired throughout the year, will continue to grow and develop and be a team that will compete for the Stanley Cup every year for years to come. Among the keys to playoff success, in addition to a strong team and playoff experience, are health and good fortune. Playing without Captain Shea Weber for four games and center Mike Fisher for three certainly increased the challenge but our young players stepped up admirably. Losing double and triple overtime games while outplaying Chicago, games where one bounce of the puck would have changed a loss into a win, tested this teams’ character. They responded by fighting back to win Game Five on home ice and push the Blackhawks to the very end of Game Six.

A re-tooling of our team began just two seasons ago. In that short time, we acquired Filip Forsberg, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro; we drafted Seth Jones and Kevin Fiala (among other young prospects) and we changed course with the addition of Peter Laviolette as our head coach this season. While we are disappointed to not be playing today, it is a measure of our progress that in two years we have gone from finishing the regular season in 27th place in the NHL in the 2012-13 season, to 19th in the 2013-14 season to 6th in the 2014-15 season. And Coach Laviolette has certainly transformed our team into a more aggressive, offensive and exciting club to watch.

continued

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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