Morning Skate: Lady Gaga getting in B's way

Morning Skate: Lady Gaga getting in B's way

By JoeHaggerty

BOSTON If things go awry this week for the Bruins, the only place to slap some blame will be in the direction ofandrogynous Madonna wannabee, Lady Gaga. Not only is she liberally lifting sheet music from Madonnas Express Yourself to create her own new brand of pop music, but she also brought her overwrought theatrics toMontreals Bell Centre on Monday night.On its own that would be no sweat, but its problematic when coupled with the fact it forced Game 6 to Tuesday night at the Bell Centre --and creates a potential back-to-back situation for Game 7 on Wednesday night at TD Garden.It would appear given the schedule of Rush and Lady Gaga concerts at the Habs'barnthat perhaps Montreal Canadiens ownership banked on getting home ice for the first round of the playoffs when booking dates, and hence the scheduling snafu. Either way it doesnt appear Bs fans will be joyfully warblingBad Romance or Alejandro if the Bruins get into a Game 7 situation with tired legs or weary minds."Blame it on Gaga" will become the order of the day but at least theres a Game 6 for the Bs to take care of business and renderthe situation moot. Either way the Bruins appear to be prepared for whatever scenario comes their way.I guess as a team right now, were not thinking about Game 7, said coach Claude Julien. Were thinking about Game 6. That is what is on our mind. That is what should be on our mind.We realize how important it is to come and play probably our best game of the series. Thats basically where our focus is right now. And just to talk about something else right now I dont think is the right approach. Its also a waste of energy and time. We have to focus on the moment. You hear a lot of coaches and you hear a lot of players talking about the moment, and thats what he have to focus on is the moment. The moment is tomorrow, us being ready to play game six.Its certainly not about letting Lady Gaga and her poker face get in the way.On to the links: The Globe and Mail has a rundown on Vancouver native Tom Gagliardi, the prospective new owner of the Dallas Stars. A nice job by home girl Mary Paoletti on Tim Thomas and the job he did to exorcise some postseason demons in Game 5 for the Bruins. It looks like the Penn State hockey program has found its ace-in-the-hole coach, and its a good hire. Habs and Bruins bloggers are getting together for some wagers on the series for charity, and its something everybody can still get involved in. Adrian Dater was ahead of the curve on starting Cory Schneider over Roberto Luongo in the Vancouver playoff run, and it makes plenty of sense. Hockey News scribe Ken Campbell takes on a few subjects: crazy playoff comebacks and the ageless Teemu Selanne continuing to shine in the playoffs. Unfortunately the Nashville Predators were just a little brighter. Heres the Predlines blog with a History Will Be Made commercial featuring the Nashville Predators. Ill admit it wasnt something I thought Id ever see unless it featured Barry Trotz and his amazing twitching eyebrows. Elliotte Friedman has 30 brilliant thoughts on his CBC blog, and breaks down the Roberto Luongo in the thoughtful manner he does just about everything. SI.coms Stu Hackel says that its about time people starting taking the Nashville Predators and Smashville a little more seriously. Fear the Puck blog has the short history of where the term Black Aces originated. I was in as soon as I read Eddie Shores name.Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Sabres' Okposo back on the ice


Morning Skate: Sabres' Okposo back on the ice

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while officially in the Dead Zone of the NHL offseason.

*A great sight to see is Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo taking the ice in a summer league in Minnesota after a health scare at the end of last season.

*Nolan Patrick might be fresh off abdominal surgery, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be rushed if he plays for the Flyers.

*Here’s an offseason power ranking of the offseason moves for the NHL teams, and the Bruins rank 28th out of 31 teams with the organization being “stuck” in the estimation of this writer. I don’t disagree that they’re kind of paralyzed right now until David Pastrnak signs an extension, with other things being held up because of that. The Paul Postma and Kenny Agostino signings were about as small time as you can get on July 1. But the Bruins’ goal for this summer wasn’t to win in the offseason moves department, but instead continue to let their interesting mix of young players and established veterans grow into an effective mix. Winning the offseason power rankings really isn’t the thing for the Black and Gold, and that’s perfectly okay given their situation.

*There’s a wide gap between the Detroit Red Wings and Tomas Tatar with salary arbitration looming.

*It’s a good thing that Barstool Sports is here to ask the really tough questions, like whether Jaromir Jagr is being treated unfairly by NHL teams because of his hair.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Johnny Gaudreau really high on the window for the Calgary Flames to compete over the next three years with the young, talented group they have in place.  

*Nico Hischier is looking to be a playmaking force for the New Jersey Devils right off the bat after being the No. 1 overall pick in Jersey.

*A slew of soon-to-be college sophomores starred in development camps across the NHL and showed what they learned at the NCAA level.

*Classy tweet from the Arizona Coyotes wishing war hero and distinguished statesman John McCain well in his battle with brain cancer.

*Players that are on AHL contracts will be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics this season. While the loss of NHL participation would be a difficult blow to the Olympics and fans, part of me is happy that some of these AHL guys will get to experience playing for their country when they might not have been able to otherwise.  

*For something completely different: Paul Pierce sees some very good things with first-round pick Jayson Tatum, but he’ll need to see “killer instinct” from the Celtics rookie for him to live up to the Pierce comparisons.


AHL allowing players on minor-league deals to go to Olympics


AHL allowing players on minor-league deals to go to Olympics

Players on American Hockey League contracts will be eligible to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

President and CEO David Andrews confirmed through a league spokesman Wednesday that teams were informed they could loan players on AHL contracts to national teams for the purposes of participating in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The AHL sent a memo to its 30 clubs saying players could only be loaned for Olympic participation from Feb. 5-26.

The Olympic men's hockey tournament runs from Feb. 9-25. Like the NHL, which is not having its players participate for the first time since 1994, the AHL does not have an Olympic break in its schedule.

The AHL's decision does not affect players assigned to that league on NHL one- or two-way contracts. No final decision has been made about those players.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report that the league had told its 31 teams that AHL players could be loaned to play in the Olympics. It was an AHL memo sent at the direction of that league's board of governors.

When the NHL announced in April that it wouldn't be sending players to South Korea after participating in five consecutive Olympics, Andrews said the AHL was prepared for Canada, the United States and other national federations to request players.

"I would guess we're going to lose a fair number of players," Andrews said in April. "Not just to Canada and the U.S., but we're going to lose some players to other teams, as well. But we're used to that. Every team in our league has usually got two or three guys who are on recalls to the NHL, so it's not going to really change our competitive integrity or anything else."

The U.S. and Canada are expected to rely heavily on players in European professional leagues and college and major junior hockey to fill out Olympic rosters without NHL players.