Wednesday, April 23, 2008



First, from Steve at Kukla's Korners' Eye on the Media, the NHL and NBC renew their television deal as NBC activated their option on the deal. So much for hockey being dead! The official story from the league is here; and here is NBC's side. Both are so similar, it might as well be identical (heh).

Second, from James Mirtle, Bruce Boudreau will remain as the Washington Capitals coach. Good for the Caps and good for Boudreau. I'm sure the DC faithful are still feeling that heartbreaking OT loss in Game 7 against Philadelphia. But they have to look at the bigger picture. Boudreau took a fairly young team with some serious talent and turned them into competitors. The team snagged the Southeast Division right from under Carolina and gave Philly a huge fight in round 1. Boudreau was instrumental in that turnaround and so his retainment is certainly rewarding. Expect him to win the Jack Adams this season.

Also from Mirtle we learn that Greg Millen will replace David Nonis as the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks. Good luck to Millen in figuring out how to get the Sedins, Luongo, and some other people back to the playoffs. Unsurprisingly, Brian Burke will remain as the general manager of the Anaheim Ducks. I know the first round loss to Dallas was pretty bad; but the team did just win the Stanley Cup last season. That's got to count for something in a league where some franchises (e.g. LA, St. Louis) hasn't won the Cup at all yet. I think Burke will retain his job for a few more years based on that alone, short of a catastrophe.

Wait, looking at the comments at Mirtle's post, I misunderstood. I don't think he was on the hot seat, apparently Toronto was making a push for him. Ah, poor Leafs!

Third, from Alanah at Kukla's Korner, check out the transcript from the media conference from all three Calder Trophy finalists: Patrick Kane, Jonathon Towes, and Nicklas Backstrom. All three were impressive this season and all three are signs of things to come for their respective teams. You have to feel good that a franchise in such recent dire straits doesn't have one, but two rookies up for being best in the year. If Chicago is smart, they'll keep Kane and Towes together for as long as possible. Goals will come, fans will come, and so will the wins. In a similar fashion, expect Washington to keep Backstrom with Alexander Ovechkin for awhile too - much to the dismay of the rest of the Eastern Conference. I'd say Kane has the best shot at winning this as he did lead all rookies in scoring with 21 goals and 51 assists. Leading scorers, I think, have an edge in the rookie of the year race - especially when all the finalists are forwards. Come to think of it, that's worth looking into - I'll report back later. That said, Towes or Backstrom would be deserving winners in their own right; I just think Kane's slightly ahead on that point alone.

Fourth, and most important of all, Round 2 is coming! Remember my stance: ANYBODY BUT THE RANGERS. In that vein, go Penguins. Make Lundqvist pay for his suspect rebound control. Anyway, expect the NY Times Slap Shot to have some previews tomorrow. They already have two stories about Pittsburgh-NY (Staal) and Detroit-Colorado (history). Bruce Ciskie has a preview of the San Jose-Dallas series at the Fanhouse. The NHL has previews of their own.

Fifth, some numbers. 1471, 1348, 1160. They mean something; but I'll let you all know sometime after the playoffs.

Lastly, check out Yahoo's new hockey blog. Greg Wyshynski is there now and it's loaded with things, items, links, stuff, and even more things.

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It hurts to know that the Devils are the only Atlantic Division playoff team not to move on.

It hurts to know that the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers are still playing.


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