The Minnesota Wild fired coach Todd Richards after he missed the playoffs the past three seasons.
News: Three NHL coaches are fired.
View: Richards was the latest to go, fired Monday morning by the Minnesota Wild. This is all about the playoffs. He has missed the playoffs in both of his seasons and the team’s three-year absence is the longest in team history. Considering Minnesota fans fill up its fabulous arena every game, it’s shameful they have missed the playoffs three consecutive seasons. It was no surprise that Cory Clouston (Ottawa Senators) and Peter DeBoer (Florida Panthers) are gone, but for different reasons. It seemed as if the Senators under-achieved under Clouston. DeBoer didn’t make the playoffs in his three seasons, but he also was not general manager Dale Tallon’s hire, and probably not his style of coach. Also, the Panthers are in the midst of change, and major change usually requires a change behind the bench. Although DeBoer hasn’t won at the NHL level, he has a good reputation and we probably haven’t seen the last of him in the NHL.
News: The Chicago Blackhawks squeeze into the playoffs after the Dallas Stars lose a must-win game.
View: If you are a Vancouver Canucks fan, you can’t be pleased with Sunday’s turn of events. There’s no true reward for being the No. 1 seed, because the difference between the top and bottom of the playoff seedings has narrowed in the salary cap era. But the Canucks owned Dallas this season, winning four games against the Stars by a combined 20-5 score. Now Vancouver faces a Chicago team that is 10 months out from winning the Stanley Cup. The teams split four games this season, and in one of those games, Chicago won 7-1. Certainly the Canucks can beat Chicago, but this matchup is not what they wanted. They have lost to Chicago the last two seasons in the playoffs. Now, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is saying he hopes to have Dave Bolland (concussion) back in the first round. “He made major progress this week,” Quenneville said in Sunday night’s conference call.
News: Adam Foote retires after 19 years in the NHL.
View: During the Coloado Avalanche’s strongest seasons, including the 1996 and 2001 Stanley Cup championship years, Foote probably was just as essential to the franchise’s success as Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg. He was the team’s shutdown defenseman, always matched up against the opponent’s top forwards. During his first stint with Colorado in 1995-96 to 2003-04, Foote was plus-121. During that era, he had a reputation of being one of the league’s most competitive players. He was playing close to 25 minutes a game. When you think of Foote, you think of the way he battled against forwards on the rush. When he locked up with a forward, it seemed like gladitorial combat. His mobility was always underrated. Even at 220 pounds, he could keep up with the league’s top fliers. He was also a dressing room presence, a good man who always had time to talk hockey.
News: Detroit Red Wings center/wing Henrik Zetterberg will miss the start of the postseason.
Views: If Pavel Datsyuk can play the way he did against Chicago on Sunday, the Red Wings will miss Zetterberg less. But Zetterberg is crucial to the hopes the Red Wings have of going deep into the postseason. The return of Niklas Kronwall will help the Red Wings, who were up and down in the final month of the season.
The Mucking and Grinding blog is Kevin Allen’s take on the news