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Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

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The Buffalo Sabres Have Their Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

“I’ve done quite a bit of growing the last year looking at the game, so I plan to bring that to the coach I’ll be with the Sabres,” Bylsma said in First Niagara Center. “There is, I think, a bright future ahead for this team.”

The Sabres insist they are better already because of Bylsma. They conducted on-and-off chats with him for a month before finalizing a reported five-year, $15 million contract.

“We improved today by hiring him,” General Manager Tim Murray said. “His record as an NHL coach speaks for itself.”

Bylsma arrived in Buffalo as the most accomplished coach since Scotty Bowman brought his five Cups to town in 1979. Bylsma went 252-117-32 during six seasons with the Penguins, accumulating a points percentage (.668) that is the best in NHL history among coaches with at least three years of experience.

It takes outstanding players for a team to be that good, and Bylsma had them with the Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are in the argument for best player in the world, and Pittsburgh’s lineup had other All-Stars while Bylsma was on the bench.

The Sabres believe their young prospects will be just as good. Having someone who knows how to coach and handle elite talent is a plus for the organization.

“I’ve coached star players in Pittsburgh, and that’s going to be the case with the young talent that’s coming to the Buffalo Sabres,” said Bylsma, who repeatedly said it’s just as important to develop a winning environment. “It wasn’t something you had just because you had certain players on your roster. That’s something that we have to immediately get into the Buffalo Sabres’ organization, get into our DNA, get into who we are and how we play, and develop that culture with this group.”

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  Tags: dan+bylsma

From Both Sides Before Game 7 Of The Eastern Conference Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,

It would be one of the all-timers.

If the Lightning beat the Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers never lose Game 7s, it would be the greatest victory in franchise history this side of June 7, 2004, the night the Stanley Cup was held high over Lightning heads.

If the Lightning beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist tonight at the Garden, it might be like that night in Philadelphia in 2003, when Ronde Barber silenced Eagles fans and demons as he ran that interception back to seal a Bucs trip to the Super Bowl. It would be a moment that would live forever in Tampa Bay.

It’s the kind of challenge the Lightning need to embrace with heart and soul if their season is to continue on to the Cup finals. The task is not impossible. It will just take 20 men with an idea that they just can’t shake: This is our time.

continued

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

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Video- Ready For Game 7 Between The Tampa Bay Lightning And New York Rangers?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Anyone care to submit a predication for tonight?

 

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All Peter DeBoer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of Working The Corners,

Q: Other than Brent Burns with Team Canada, and Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton in an under-18 tournament two decades ago, is there anyone else on the Sharks you’ve coached before?

A: No, no. Everybody gets a fresh, clean slate and that’s the way it should be. When you go through a tough year like last year, I think that’s what the players want and I think the benefit of having a new coach is you can provide that.

Q: The Sharks missed the playoffs for first time under Wilson. What’s the primary thing that needs to change to make this team more successful?

A: I’m going to roll up my sleeves here this summer. I don’ t think there’s one thing. I think there’s a lot of things.

I want to talk to the players. I’ve had some good conversations with Doug. I want to watch some more game film. I’ve got some ideas in my head but I can’t box it up for you in one package here.

I can tell you I believe it’s fixable. The biggest thing that’s going to be fixed and the most comforting thing to me is the character of this group. You have a lot of proud people here that aren’t too happy about where they were sitting at the end of last season.

My history with that is if you’ve got character and you’ve been through that you’re ready to push back. I think we’re going to see that.

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  Tags: peter+deboer

The Latest On Johan Franzen

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Johan Franzen hasn't given up hope that he'll play hockey again, and neither have the Detroit Red Wings.

Franzen suffered a concussion on Jan. 6 that ended his season. But he is slowly working his way back and, according to general manager Ken Holland, showing improvement.

"I'm told he's working out every day," Holland said on Thursday. "The expectation is that over the course of the summer he's going to be healthy.

"I expect to see him in training camp. I expect to see him playing hockey next year. Until I hear otherwise, that's how I'm going to proceed."

continued

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The overnight report: On the Griffins, Mantha and Larkin

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Drew Sharp, Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave and a slew of other media types, myself included, were present for the Grand Rapids Griffins' 4-1 loss to the Utica Comets on Thursday evening, as was a certain guest of the Red Wings named Sergei Fedorov.

I came to Grand Rapids to watch the prospects and to speak with hockey players, because there's nothing better than "working" games; people like Gave, Sharp, and those who attended Wednesday's Griffins practice (the Free Press's Jeff Seidel and Detroit News's Ted Kulfan) have made the trip to Western Michigan for more obvious reasons--like the fact that the Red Wings' next coach is most likely wrapping up his tenure with the Griffins (thus allowing reporters a pretty dang good "pre-scout" of a Babcock disciple), or the fact that Dylan Larkin (who gave a 5-minute post-game interview that had very little to do with his good performance and not-so-good 2 minor penalties during Thursday's game), is at least for the moment the next big thing among Red Wings prospects.

Sharp penned a story in which he made sure to ask both Jeff Hoggan and coach Blashill the "no comment" topic while noting that a 1-to-3-person press junket has become a 12-person melee...

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Playoff prospect news: Grand Rapids out-checked, out-scored, out-goaltended by Utica

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 10:07 AM: The Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a disappointing 4-1 decision to the Utica Comets on Thursday, and as a result, the Griffins trail the best-of-seven series 2 games to 1 going into Friday's Game 4 (7 PM EDT on The AHL Live/WOOD Radio).

Grand Rapids got more than enough shots on Jacob Markstrom--41 to be exact--but Grand Rapids didn't drive to the Comets' net with the kind of intensity or numbers of players stopping and staying in Markstrom's sightlines to do anything less than fall prey to Utica's patented counterattack-and-let-the-goalie-mop-up-single-shots game.

By the time the Griffins really ramped things up in the third period, they were already trailing a 3-0 game, and none of Jeff Blashill's resets of the Griffins' lines took hold.  The Griffins also gave up the second of Sven Baertschi's three goals with Dylan Larkin in the penalty box for the second time, so it was not the most auspicious "in Michigan" debut for Larkin, though he did play well overall.

The Griffins' website posited a recap, a photo gallery and a set of highlights...

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Grand Rapids Griffins-Utica Comets Game 3 open post

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins open a 3-game home-ice stretch when they host the Utica Comets this evening (7 PM EDT on the AHL Live/WOOD Radio), and this could be the "pivot" (if not pivotal) game of the series as Grand Rapids and Utica are tied 1-1 after 2 games, with the Griffins having been snuffed out by the Comets' tight-checking ways in Sunday's Game 1 and the Griffins solving the Comets and Jacob Markstrom in Game 2.

Tonight, the Griffins hope to employ home-ice advantage as two formerly unfamiliar-with-each-other teams continue to get to dislike each other.

I'm hoping to contribute to some sort of live blog, but the wireless service at Van Andel Arena is shaky, so contributions will be on a touch-and-go basis; thus far I've had good luck finding, ahem, creative ways to watch the game on OnHockey.tv and stream2watch dot com. The fact that tonight's game isn't facing NHL competition might make it easier to find online.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- John Tortorella On Game 7, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

Here are five keys to the Lightning winning Game 7:

1. Short memory: In the past two playoff series, Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop proved skeptics wrong about whether he could step up to the challenge of the postseason. This series is no different, and the 28-year-old goalie must have a short memory after Game 6, in which he was yanked after surrendering five goals on 26 shots. Bishop, like many in the Lightning’s young core, has yet to go this deep in the playoffs, so it’s hard to account for the toll, mentally and physically, these games exact. How he responds will reveal what sort of character and competitor the Bolts have between the pipes. It’s not all on him, either, as it's incumbent upon his teammates to bounce back, as well.

"I think, in a matter of seven or eight minutes there in that third period, we gave up more scoring chances and turned over more pucks, more than we did in all of Game 5 combined -- the 60-minute game," Cooper told reporters after Game 6.

read on and watch Tortorella below...

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