Kukla's Korner

Todd McLellan Done In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks and Todd McLellan have mutually agreed to part ways.

In related moves, Assistant Coaches Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft, and Video Coordinator Brett Heimlich have been relieved of their duties. Associate Coach Larry Robinson moved into his full-time role of director of player development at the conclusion of the 2014-15 regular season.

“I want to thank Todd and his staff for their years of service to the San Jose Sharks organization,” said Wilson. “Sometimes a change is best for all parties involved but nothing will take away from what Todd and his staff accomplished here over the last seven seasons.”

“San Jose will always hold a special place for me and my family,” said McLellan. “I would like to thank Doug and the Sharks organization for allowing me the opportunity to coach at the National Hockey League level. While we both agree that a change is in the best interest of myself and the team, I’m proud of what we accomplished as an organization.”

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  Tags: todd+mclellan

Toronto Would Have Been The Best Landing Spot For Connor McDavid

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet,

This much is clear: Gary Bettman and Bill Daley are the most honest folks in professional sports. Never doubt them again after Saturday’s draft lottery, which will result in a generational player – Connor McDavid – wasting the early stages of his career in Edmonton.

Of all the cities or franchises that didn’t deserve McDavid, it’s Edmonton. Who knew that just one season of tanking wasn’t enough? Who knew you had to tank four times? Or just hire Kevin Lowe – the General Patton of NHL tanking.

Not to be parochial, here – truth is, my fan sentiments lie more with the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks than with the Toronto Maple Leafs – but let’s be honest: McDavid would have been of maximum marketing value and would have had the most immediate positive impact in Toronto. (Sorry, Buffalo.) There is a softening in this marketplace that I’m not certain will withstand a long rebuild without a transformative figure like McDavid. You won’t have to hold a tag day for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ltd. but you will be able to buy tickets, and as much as I like Morgan Rielly, I’m not certain he pushes product in the manner of a McDavid. Rielly’s a nice player; McDavid is a kilowatt-emitting machine whose first choice (c’mon, you know it as much as I do) was to play with the Maple Leafs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SUNDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 2, Washington 1 (OT) – NYI leads 2-1
CHICAGO 4, Nashville 2 – CHI leads 2-1
Montreal 2, OTTAWA 1 (OT) – MTL leads 3-0
CALGARY 4, Vancouver 2 – CGY leads 2-1

CANADIENS PUSH SENATORS TO BRINK IN OT
Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Dale Weise (2-0—2) notched the tying goal with 5:47 remaining in regulation and the overtime-winner at 8:47 of the extra frame to power the Canadiens to a 3-0 series lead over the Senators.

* Weise recorded his first career multi-goal playoff game and his second career overtime marker (also April 16, 2014 at TBL). Three of his five career playoff goals have stood as game-winners (25 GP).

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Practice Tweets: Weiss out, Ericsson not practicing for Wings; Garrison still out for Bolts

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 13x at 12:44 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 11 AM, hoping to rebound from Saturday's 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay via some hard work and preparation for Game 3, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that the Wings will be making at least one lineup change for Tuesday:

Stephen Weiss is in Red today, meaning he's out Tuesday since he's not skating in Top 6 forwards.

...

Looks like Jonathan Ericsson isn't going to practice again today due to a nagging foot or ankle injury. Cleary in Black filling in.

MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed...

Ericsson not skating today again. He's been bothered by an ankle/foot issue but has played through it.

...

Early indication is that Weiss will be scratched for Abdelkader in Game 3 since Weiss is extra forward skating with top six (in red).

And meanwhile, in Tampa Bay...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Winnipeg Jets Need More Offense To Get Back In The Series Against The Anaheim Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,

Winnipeg’s best attackers - Bryan Little, Scheifele, Andrew Ladd, Wheeler, Byfuglien - haven’t made a dent in Frederik Andersen, and only one Jet, Adam Lowry, has more than one point so far. The Jets power play has been blanked.

All this could change dramatically, and it could change tonight in Game 3. The Jets need it to against an Anaheim team that was No. 1 in the West this season, but has needed to come back in both games on home ice this series.

The challenge for the Jets will at least partly be to not let the enormity of tonight, the first home game for an NHL team in Winnipeg in 19 years, to become such an overwhelming factor that they neglect to improve those parts of their game that require attention. This is a series in which Game 3 has been held aloft as the key game before hostilities even commenced because it’s the first of its kind since Detroit eliminated the original Jets from the Stanley Cup playoffs back in 1996.

more

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Keys To Game 3

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

1. Better defensive-zone coverage

This was their main issue in Game 2. The Lightning scored two goals on plays in which the Red Wings didn't sort out and two more by speeding through the neutral zone virtually untouched.

It wouldn't be surprising if rookie Alexey Marchenko, who was a minus-2, is replaced by Brendan Smith, a healthy scratch the past three games. That would allow for the reunion of Danny DeKeyser and Kyle Quincey, the club's steadiest defense pairing this season. They could be matched against Tyler Johnson's line while Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson play against Steven Stamkos' line, or vice versa.

2. Convert on the power play

The Red Wings, with the second-ranked power play during the season, have gone 1 for 7, registering just eight shots in 12:40 with the extra man. 

more

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Yesterday’s Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Each night during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, former NHL goaltender Jamie McLennan provides his Post 2 Post rankings for every goaltender in action. Each goaltender will receive a score out of five based on their performance.

Blackhawks 4 Predators 2

Pekka Rinne - 2 - Rinne was not sharp in this game as he was beat through the body by Brent Seabrook and short side by Brandon Saad. It was a perfromance uncharacteristic of his elite capability and he needs to bounce back next game for the Predators. 

Scott Darling  - 4 - Darling was very sharp Sunday with some big saves early on against Colin Wilson, Mike Ribero and Filip Forsberg. It was the best I've seen him with his rebounds and he looked comfortable and in control. He did a very good job of holding his crease and fighting through traffic.

continue for more rankings at TSN...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sidney Crosby Leads The Pittsburgh Penguins To A Win Over The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Add in a scarcity of scoring — and the fact that Crosby had counted just one goal in 19 post-season games prior to Saturday night — few were willing to give the Penguins a chance to advance past the opening round.

Little surprise, then, that Crosby’s two-goal effort in Saturday’s hugely significant 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden has taken a lick out of whatever self-doubt may have been eating at the team.

And with the series shifting back to the Steel City for Games 3 and 4, there is once again a glimmer of hope for the Penguins.

“Obviously we need (Crosby) to be a threat offensively and he’s been that through two games,” Pittsburgh centre Brandon Sutter said following a team meeting at the Consol Energy Center where the best-of-seven series will resume on Monday.

“He’s had the puck a lot, held on to a lot. When he has the puck down low and is spinning in the corners and making plays, that’s when he is so dominant.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Ottawa Senators Must Now Win Four In A Row Against The Montreal Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

They sat quietly in their dressing room and tried to put on a brave face.

Craig Anderson couldn’t pull off his own heist Sunday night and now the Senators stand on the brink of elimination.

The move to change to the club’s top goalie was viewed as panic in the morning, it was looking brilliant heading into the third period, but in the end nothing was working for the Senators as Dale Weise scored his second of the night at 8:47 of OT to give the Montreal Canadiens a dramatic 2-1 victory.

Anderson made 47 saves but Weise beat him short side for the win.

The packed house of 20,500 at Canadian Tire Centre left in a state of shock as Weise beat Anderson to give the Habs a commanding 3-0 series lead. Only Clarke MacArthur was able to beat Carey Price on the 33 shots he faced as Weise beat Anderson in regulation to send it to OT.

“It was a close one,” said Anderson. “It’s frustrating. The guys battled so hard, played so well and to come up short is frustrating.

“I gave the team a chance to win and that’s my job. It’s frustrating I wasn’t able to get the win for the guys. We’ve got to put this behind us and get ready to go.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Calgary Flames Get Physical

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Vancouver has all the experience, but in that case they ought to know that the team that wins the physical battles to the extent Calgary won them Sunday almost always wins at playoff hockey.

Bieksa is looking a tad old. Luca Sbisa looks more than a tad scared. And the Vancouver Canucks as a group, well, when the game was in the balance on Sunday night, they simply could not handle the fast, hard-hitting and emotional Flames.

“Combination,” said Bieksa. “They played well, they came hard on the forecheck, but we weren’t as clean. We were a little too spread out. They kept a lot of pucks in on us, we weren’t as clean as last time.”

That’s fair. We’ve seen, over the years, too many playoff series that look to be going one way, turn on a dime. A win here on Tuesday and the Canucks will have reclaimed the momentum heading home.

But that prospect seems a distant dream after Game 3, where the Calgary forecheck was simply too much for Vancouver’s defence to handle.

more including videos of some of the 'physical play'...

Video highlights are below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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