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The Breakaway: News and notes from around the NHL

by Shawn P. Roarke / NHL.com


* Things must be pretty tense in Calgary if Jarome Iginla is fighting with his coaches. But that is exactly what happened Wednesday morning, an incident confirmed by coach Mike Keenan.

* Need more proof? Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr called out several unnamed teammates for a lack of effort in a same-day tirade to reporters. It's hard to believe that, at the time, the Flames were deadlocked 2-2 in their series with the favored Sharks.

* And speaking of San Jose, how much does Joe Thornton have to do before he gets the credit he deserves? Even after scoring the winning goal in Tuesday's game against the Flames, in the last minute no less, Boston special advisor Harry Sinden said “Jumbo Joe” was a good-batting-average-but-no-runs-batted-in type of player. Well, CTN will take a Jumbo Joe and his 100 points a season on his team any day.

* Staying out West, Dave Nonis deserved a better fate in Vancouver, but the Canucks had to do something after missing the playoffs. In this case, it was easier to can the GM than the coach, it appears.

* CTN can't wait to see what names are floated as replacements for Nonis. You know it is only a matter of days, if not hours, before under-contract GMs like Brian Burke, Ken Holland and Lou Lamoriello are named as serious candidates, just as they were in Toronto a few months ago when John Ferguson Jr. was dismissed.

* CTN got the opportunity to see Dave "The Hammer" Schultz in the NHL offices the other day. It's hard to believe he was once the most-feared man in hockey. For his size, he would be considered a middleweight at best in today's NHL.

* How bad has 2008 been for the Ottawa Senators? Not only were they bounced in a first-round sweep, but they went a paltry 18-26-4 after Jan. 1.

* Want to know the difference in the Ottawa series against Pittsburgh? This might explain a little: Pittsburgh's top two
forwards -- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin -- had 15 points; Ottawa's Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley had one assist each.

* Darryl Sydor was added to the mix in Pittsburgh to add another veteran presence on the blue line. But the Penguins have matured so fast that Sydor has not been in the lineup yet during these playoffs.

* Nashville sure has a flare for the dramatic, doesn't it? In Game 3, Nashville scored two goals in nine seconds to win the game and become the first team in Stanley Cup history to go from trailing to leading in less than 10 seconds. In Game 4, the Preds scored 37 seconds apart to take a 2-0 lead and then scored just 11 seconds after Detroit had cut the lead to 2-1 in a 3-2 win.

* CTN feels for Detroit coach Mike Babcock. His choice on which goalie to start in Game 5 -- Dominik Hasek or Chris Osgood -- could well determine his team's fate in what is now a best-of-three series.

* Just a thought, but perhaps teams will want to think about toning down their goal celebrations before somebody gets hurt. It looked like Jason Arnott got dinged when he ended up at the bottom of a pig pile after scoring in Game 3. The same fate almost befell Alex Ovechkin in Game 1 against Philadelphia.

* Speaking of Arnott, Wednesday's game was the 100th playoff game for the Nashville captain. Congrats, Arnie!.

* And  speaking of Ovechkin, there's no denying that defenseman Kimmo Timonen has done a pretty good job of limiting AO's open ice. CTN wonders where Timonen got his all-offense rap from after watching the first week of this series.

* Is it just CTN, or does it appear that New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and Washington's Cristobal Huet are involuntarily auditioning for roles as crash-test dummies this postseason?

* Congrats to Sergei Samsonov on signing a three-year deal with the Hurricanes. It's hard to believe that Samsonov was on his way out of the NHL earlier this season before becoming a successful reclamation project in Raleigh, N.C. Here's hoping the revival continues.

The Sharks' Ryane Clowe returned from a knee injury he suffered in October to become a scoring machine. Ryane Clowe highlights
* The returning of Ryane Clowe is an amazing story, a story made more amazing that he is a scoring machine since his return. But let's not forget that this is a man that tore up his knee completely in October and was told there was no guarantee that he would play again this season. It's good to see hard work be rewarded so tangibly.

* It's hard to understand how the series between Colorado and Minnesota can be a dead heat after four games when you look at the stats. Minnesota has rarely led in this series; try less than five minutes on for size. And the Wild have not scored a first- or
second-period goal in any of the four games. But Minnesota isn't a team about stats, but rather about heart and grit.

* Colorado, though, has to also be happy to have a split after four games as its leading scorer, Paul Stastny, has yet to register a point in the series.

* Vincent Lecavalier had successful surgery on the shoulder he injured in the last week of the regular season. He should be ready for training camp. Get well, Vinnie!

* Congrats to the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League for bouncing the Memorial Cup champion Vancouver Giants out of the WHL playoffs. It's always a job well done to send home the champions.

* Finally, CTN gives a standing ovation to Philadelphia's Patrick Thoresen, who has shown all week, through his actions and his words, what the playoffs should be all about.  

 


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