Friday, May 16, 2008

Stay'n Alive

Both the Dallas Stars and the Philadelphia Flyers have finally won a game after going down 3-0 in their respective series. While I doubt there is enough momentum for either to make the 4 game turn around to win the series, but at least it made the Conference finals somewhat interesting to watch for now.

While some will talk about how the feat has been duplicated every 33 years or so, coming back from a 0-3 deficit is never easy when you don't have home ice advantage. Both the Stars and the Flyers will have to win one on the road, something that hard to do against highly skilled teams like the Red Wings and the Penguins. But stranger things have happened.

While the Stanley Cup Finals may be set following the weekend, coaching changes are abound the NHL as there is plenty of talk (especially in the Southeast Division) of coaches getting the heave ho! We already know that the Florida Panthers and Atlanta Thrashers are in the coach hunt, but there has been talk of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes could soon be in the same predicament.

But those teams have coaches, you say! Peter Loviolette's job could be in jeopardy as he had a closed door meeting with the owner. Uh-oh. And 'Canes GM Jim Rutherford is neither confirming or denying Loviolette's job security. Now there is talk of John Tortorella getting the boot as well, meaning of the 5 teams in the Southeast Division, Bruce Boudreau hired last November, could be the most senior coach in the division come next season.

There is even talk of Barry Melrose coming back to coaching. You remember, he had all those successful years with L.A. Okay one successful year and the leagues best player ever basically carrying the team on his back. But hey, there was the mullet! I guess all those years at ESPN is like coaching school. Maybe he learned him something! Like I do with grammer.

Anyway, the only good thing about Melrose coaching is that I don't have to see his mug on TV as much. I always thought he was the worst ambassador of the game and the fact that he was the face of the NHL on ESPN played to every stupid stereotype that the league didn't really need. Plus I always thought he was 100% wrong on most of his analysis. But that is just me.

Off season will be something to watch as teams ramp up for free agency. We will be pretty busy talking about who will be in a Cap's sweater, and who may be out there behind the bench's in the Southeast Division.

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