Three weeks ago,
The Canadiens have languished since general manager
If Montreal -- which entered Wednesday's games in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Florida -- can replicate that performance against Tampa Bay and Buffalo later this week, maybe Gainey has found something. The late-season coaching changes that have been effective involved an overhaul of styles --
Carbonneau, a finalist for the
Like the Montreal Expos did, the Canadiens have stumbled into the business of grooming talent for other organizations. The moral of the story: maybe the Next Great Coach is the coach you already have.
Think of the Buffalo Sabres. Although they have only faint hopes of making the playoffs, president
There is a Western Conference version of the Sabres in Nashville, a franchise that has plugged along under GM
Since Trotz coached his first game in October 1998, the New York Islanders have had nine coaches,
The long view, even in the go-go NHL, can often be the best one.
Just when Detroit goalie
The good news is that among NHL goalies, none is as adroit at selective amnesia as Osgood. Asked after the game how much concern he felt with the playoffs approaching, he said, "Zero."
But if statistics don't always tell the whole story, rarely are they a funhouse mirror that distorts the evidence of the eyes. Osgood has rarely looked sharp; his .884 save percentage and 3.18 goals-against average support that impression. Among the presumptive starters of possible Western Conference playoff teams, no other goalie has a save percentage worse than .900.
With the way GM
(Through Monday only San Jose, Columbus and Buffalo had allowed fewer total shots on goal than the Red Wings. The Blue Jackets, however, allowed a marginally higher shots-per-game total than Detroit.)
Osgood, who last spring came off the bench during the first-round Nashville series in place of
The number of the week: 42 percent.
That's the percentage of NHL players who, as of now, can be unrestricted or restricted free agents on July 1. With a stagnant salary cap for 2009-10 and a falling one in 2010-11, this is a lousy time to be coming on the market.