Tag: Mike Smith

Colorado Avalanche v Phoenix Coyotes

Coyotes grant Burke permission to interview for management gigs


An intriguing name has surfaced with regards to potential NHL job openings: Sean Burke.

Burke, the goaltending coach and assistant to GM Don Maloney in Arizona, has been granted permission by the club to speak about management gigs with other organizations, per Fox Sports Arizona.

“I haven’t wanted to say much about it and I haven’t gone down the path to doing interviews yet,” Burke said, noting that he’s already spoken to a number of teams. “I really thought that was something that should wait until the season is over.”

Burke’s versatility will make him a hot commodity on the open market. A former player, he’s has knowledge of and contacts throughout the league, having suited up for eight different organizations over a 19-year career. He’s also held in high regard as a coach, viewed as something of a “goalie whisperer” after reviving the careers of Ilya Bryzgalov, Mike Smith and Devan Dubnyk.

Burke has plenty of hockey operations experience as well. He’s worked under Maloney since 2012 and recently served as part of Hockey Canada’s management team for the 2015 World Juniors in Montreal and Toronto.

Per Fox Sports, it’s “unlikely” that Burke — who’s in the final year of his deal with the Coyotes — will be back with the club next season. It’s clear he wants to be in a full-time management role.

“I wanted to manage from the moment I retired,” he said. “Coaching is good because it gives you an additional avenue of experience, being in that dressing room every day, but when you stay in that role too long, it becomes more difficult to get where you want to go.”

The Penguins ‘finally got a bounce’ this weekend

Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes

Granted the opponent was only the Coyotes, but Saturday’s 3-1 victory by the Pittsburgh Penguins was a welcome one for a team that had spent much of last week in the cross-hairs of its critics.

Case in point, this is how Ron Cook, columnist at the Post-Gazette, led his most recent piece:

“So what was more surprising Saturday night? That the Penguins actually scored three goals and won a game against the lousy Arizona Coyotes? Or that they didn’t whine to the referees over every call and no-call?”

Can’t score.

No composure.

Those have been the two major criticisms lobbed at the Penguins, summed up in one paragraph by Cook. Neither criticism is particularly unfair, given the Pens haven’t been scoring very many goals and showed a decided lack of composure in a recent game versus the Red Wings.

But that’s not to say the Pens have been playing altogether terrible hockey. The four-game losing streak, the one in which they were outscored 11-2, actually saw them outshoot their opponents by a combined 140-100.

And with the caveat that there’s more to winning than a good Corsi (ask the 2014-15 Kings), it’s still worth noting that, in their last 20 games, the Penguins have the second-best score-adjusted Corsi in the league. In a good number of their losses during that stretch (10-8-2), the opposition goalie was named first or second star.

Evidence of Pittsburgh’s frustration? Here’s what captain Sidney Crosby said of the tying goal versus the Coyotes, one that Arizona goalie Mike Smith mistakenly banked off Brandon Sutter and into the net: “We finally got a bounce.”

Not that Crosby was willing to let his team off the hook in previous losses. (“[Cory Schneider] did make good saves when he had to, but we could have given him more,” he said after a 35-shot shutout loss to New Jersey.) But he clearly felt the bounces weren’t going the Pens’ way.

The Penguins have the day off today. They host the Blues tomorrow in what will be one of their toughest tests before the playoffs start.

“St. Louis is a top team in the West,” said coach Mike Johnston. “We had a good game against them out there. Now it’s coming in against them against a top team and really bringing our game to that level.”

Goalie nods: Markstrom tries to get on track

Jacob Markstrom
1 Comment

All the latest from the blue paint …

Markstrom hopes to make his … well, mark

There was a time when Jacob Markstrom seemed like the goalie of the future for the Florida Panthers. He was once regularly labeled as “the best goalie not in the NHL” (or at least the best goalie in the AHL).

Those thoughts feel a little distant for a netminder who is still only 25.

One thought that Ryan Miller’s injury might give Markstrom another opportunity to redeem himself, but Eddie Lack’s been so solid that his opportunities have been few and far between. Sunday stands as a big moment in the big Swede’s career, then.

On the bright side, he’s remained an impressive goalie at the AHL level. He’s currently 19-7-2 with a .932 save percentage for the Utica Comets, doing about all that can be asked of him in that regard.

These are the type of games that can make an impression one way or the other, however, so he aims for a strong showing against Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes.

As a bonus for those who kept reading, here’s a really random photo of Markstrom:

Jacob Markstrom
Source: AP

Almost feel like we’re seeing a hockey game from the perspective of HAL, huh?

Elsewhere …

Bruins at Lightning: Tuukka Rask (probably) vs. Ben Bishop (almost certain).

Ducks at Rangers: Expected to be Frederik Andersen vs. Cam Talbot, yet neither are confirmed.