Latest posts by Omar White (see all)
- Marlies Crunching Ticket to Game Seven – 2 TOR 1 SYR - May 16, 2017
- Go Time for the Toronto Marlies! - May 15, 2017
- Today in the NHL 58 – Ducks Hunting and Worlds Recap - May 15, 2017
Go Leafs Go
It’s been a hard fought series between the Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals. Despite taking a 2-1 series lead after winning Game Three in overtime, the Leafs find themselves with their backs against the wall. Sunday night at the ACC, the two teams will battle for Game Six victory. If the Leafs win, they force a Game Seven on Tuesday night. If they lose, the series is over and the Capitals advance. The odds are stacked up against them, but let’s be honest they have been all season. Analysts doubted they’d be able to play well with so many rookies, and they proved them wrong. People doubted that Freddie Andersen could be a number one goaltender, and they proved them wrong. Many doubted that they would make the playoffs, and they proved them wrong. The Leafs can prove more wrong tonight with a win.
Former Coaches Advance
The theme for a few of the playoff games last night could’ve been, “Advance from the Past”. The Minnesota Wild advanced to round two after defeating the St. Louis Blues in Game 5. Blues’ coach Mike Yeo worked for Minnesota last year, but was fired. The Edmonton Oilers closed their series against the San Jose Sharks Saturday night. Oilers coach Todd McLellan parted ways from San Jose after seven years of coaching there. Obviously none would admit it, but it must be a good feeling to advance by defeating your former team. It’s similar to a former player scoring on their old team after a trade. The Western Conference Semi-Finals are set. Edmonton will take on Anaheim, and St. Louis will go up against Nashville. I’d be surprised if anyone had these match-ups in their playoff brackets.
Every year there seems to be some kind of whisper or murmur of Ilya Kovalchuk returning to the NHL. Well to quote Al Gore (South Park), he seems to be super cereal this time. It’s being reported that Kovalchuk wants to return to the NHL for next season. The former New Jersey Devil had originally left the NHL three years into his 15-year contract to return to Russia. While back home, Kovalchuk played in the KHL for SKA St. Petersburg. He’s had success with the team including two Gagarin Cup’s, one of which was won this season. It makes sense that the Russian star would want to return to the NHL and claim something he’s never had, a Stanley Cup.
However, there are some complications. If Kovalchuk wants to return and play for New Jersey, then there is no problem as they own his rights. If he doesn’t, then he’ll need to have approval of all the other teams in the NHL to return, and would need to have his rights traded. That’ll be a long-going process if it gets worked out. Last season Alexander Radulov returned to the NHL from the KHL. Despite the way the Montreal Canadiens’ season ended, Radulov was a driver for that team. If Kovalchuk can do to another team what Radulov did for Montreal, it would be worth looking into.