After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli found himself as just another spectator when the Los Angeles Kings were battling the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.
“It was obviously a unique feeling because we won it last year, but I wouldn’t characterize it as empty,” Chiarelli said. “It was different. It was almost like some of the feelings of joy that I had lifting [the Cup] came up again.
“That’s what I felt…the remembrances. I was watching it with my wife and my kids, and that’s what they were talking about while we watched it on television. It was a different feeling. When you talk about the players feeling [empty] watching it and wanting to get back there, I can certainly understand that.”
The Kings ended up defeating the Devils in six games in a series that felt very different than the Bruins-Canucks battle a year ago. Chiarelli thinks the 2011 series had more drama.
“There was always something happening, and there didn’t seem to be too much drama between those two teams,” Chiarelli said, referring to the Devils and Kings. “I noticed that, but wondered if it was just because I was a part of [last year’s] series.
“With our team and the Canucks it was two opposing styles and there might have been a little bit of that. It was kind of an oil/water clash and I think there were a lot more things happening on the ice.”
Perhaps, but both series had compelling stories to tell. The Boston Bruins were a team that won their series by the skin of their teeth and frequently had to dig themselves out of holes. To an extent, theirs was a tale of redemption after blowing a 3-0 series lead just one year prior.
The Los Angeles Kings were a team that defied the odds and did so in spectacular fashion. They were an eighth seed that butchered the competition and only lost four games over the course of the playoffs.
Both teams were worthy of their Stanley Cup wins and they both should be legitimate Cup contenders in 2012-13.
As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
(He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)
The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.
Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.
As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.
More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.
That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.
(Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)
By Marian Gaborik‘s often-fragile standards, he’s been relatively sturdy as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Still, few should be shocked when they hear of a lower-body injury for the veteran winger. In this case, it’s serious enough to land him on injured reserve, as the team announced on Saturday.
Gaborik had a bumpy time with zero points from Jan. 9-23, but he’s been more productive lately, scoring five points in his past seven contests.
And, again, it was an unusually healthy run for Gaborik:
LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen indicates that Gaborik was placed on IR in part so that the Kings could make room for Peter Budaj.
Update: The Minnesota Wild made it official. Still no word yet on a replacement.
It looks like the Minnesota Wild have no love left for Mike Yeo on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Apparently an eighth consecutive loss (falling to the Boston Bruins) was the final straw, as Yeo has been fired, according to Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Yeo confirmed as much via text (pauses for comment about this being a strange time for us all) to Russo:
The Wild haven’t made an official announcement yet. The writing certainly seemed to be on the wall with Graff reporting that there were especially long meetings between Minnesota management and Yeo after today’s loss to Boston.
Yeo mentioned that he wouldn’t quit following the game.
One big question remains: is GM Chuck Fletcher safe to work the trade deadline or will there be sweeping changes for the struggling Wild?
Also: who coaches them going forward? Will an assistant be bumped up to interim head coach or will the franchise go to someone looking for a gig? Perhaps this option …
Who knows, really. PHT will keep you up to date either way.
/paging Jacques Lemaire …
The Carolina Hurricanes probably can save a few ice buckets tonight, as the New York Islanders will be without winger Cal Clutterbuck.
The Isles announced that Clutterbuck won’t play on Saturday because of an illness. Their next game is against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, and then they don’t suit up again until Thursday, so Clutterbuck’s sickness may not be too much of a nuisance.
According to Yahoo’s numbers, the amusingly named forward has delivered 55 hits in 14 career games against the Canes (not to mention a solid five points).
Matt Martin‘s among the most frequent hitters in the league, too, so it’s not like the Hurricanes will leave tonight’s game totally unscathed.
Here are the Islanders’ tweaked forward lines: