Heartfelt apologies for the lateness of today's links...
Phoenix Coyotes must wait to clinch playoff spot
With the Dallas Stars' win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, the Phoenix Coyotes will have to wait at least another day to clinch a Western Conference playoff spot.
The Desert Dog Blog: Jovanovski Eager to Return to Lineup This Week - The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
Dave Vest blogs about defenseman Ed Jovanovski's long-awaited return to the lineup this week. Also, Taylor Pyatt and Lauri Korpikoski are expected back. Still no word on Martin Hanzal...worrisome.
azcentral.com blogs - Ice Chips - JimGintonio - Bryzgalov, Whitney look at stretch run
About all players can do when they have one game in seven days and other contending playoff teams try to catch them is watch as many games as they can and keep track of scores.
More links after the jump...
News From Around the Hockey World
Azcentral - Red Wings beat Wild 4-2, clinch Central Division
Azcentral - Finishing every check: Fun to watch, not always smart to do
Good read from Bourne...
On Frozen Pond
The PHWA's statement regarding the voting boycott being made by certain team's media members.
Who is the NHL's top defenceman? - The Globe and Mail
Speaking of media members, the Globe and Mail hockey writers debate who deserves the James Norris Memorial Trophy...here's my favorite comment from our favorite G&M writer:
The key words in the Norris Trophy are "all-around," words which too often were ignored with the award going to the highest-scoring defenceman in too many years.
If you apply them, then the Norris has to go to Shea Weber, who effectively applies his skills at both ends of the ice. He leads the Nashville Predators in scoring (okay, I know, not exactly a Herculean challenge) and he is a defensive force in his own end. It is time for Weber to get his first Norris, and if I decide to vote he will be No. 1 on my ballot.
I was picked as a trophy voter but this business about Chris Botta and the New York Islanders has me undecided about voting. I am leaning toward not voting because I believe the Islanders' revoking Botta's media credential is an attempt to deny independent and legitimate criticism but still have not decided.
If I do vote, Nicklas Lidstrom will be No. 2 on my ballot for reasons my fellow hockey writers have aired here, with Zdeno Chara a close third.
Since the trophy is to go to the defenceman who demonstrates his all-around skills "throughout the season," I am not putting Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes or Dustin Byfuglien in the top three. They are both having big years but both were somewhat off in the last couple of months.
So, let me get this straight...the Norris is an "all-around" award and shouldn't be focused on the top scoring defensema, but Keith Yandle has been "off" the last couple of months (presumably because his point accumulation has tailed in this time). Yandle's overall play has done nothing but improve all season especially as he's been forced into differing roles with our d line getting hurt every game. But yeah, Dave, his game has been "off" - don't worry about not voting for him, we don't need your "support" anyways.
The Final Howl
Down Goes Brown: April Fools - NHL style
A few days old, but no less fabulous.
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