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PLAYOFF SWEEP STILL RAW FOR CANUCKS’ SCHNEIDER
The Vancouver Province reports Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider hasn’t had any issues since suffering a groin strain April 22 against Chicago. It’s been tougher for Schneider to get over the playoff sweep loss to the San Jose Sharks than the groin.
“It’s still pretty fresh and raw and I try not to dwell on it too much,” he said of the early exit. “The lockout was so long and when the season came, it was over before you knew it.
“But I’m going to start working out this week and that excitement is back already. I’ve had zero issues with the groin and I’d like to think it was more of a one-off. I haven’t really had a history with that. It was just a different year with the compressed schedule and maybe playing six weeks in Switzerland (during the lockout), I may have lost some of the strength I built up in the off-season.
“It’s cool to watch those things,” Kane said. “It gives you a little confidence.”
The Blackhawks forward hasn’t scored a goal in his last seven postseason games, and he has just two assists in that same time frame.
There’s no doubt Kane is one of the most gifted players in the game. When he’s good, he’s very, very good. As the Blackhawks try to keep going in this postseason, they need Kane to be very, very good again – and start adding to that postseason goal videotape again.
“I think the attitude now is to stop waiting around and go get it done, whether it’s on the forecheck, in the defensive zone or giving your guy on the puck support,” Kane said. “I think sometimes you wait for it to happen. It’s not like all of a sudden you’re a bad player. I can still make plays. I just have to have the confidence and the will to do it.”
Penguins right wing Craig Adams, the team’s union representative, said the visor decision should remain with the players.
“It’s always been the player’s choice,” Adams said Wednesday afternoon. “How hypocritical is it of me to say I’m not going to wear one, but I’m going to make everyone else wear one?”
He offered this: “Maybe in 10 years everyone will look back and say how dumb we were for not wearing visors. To me, it’s a personal decision. I don’t feel like I should tell anyone else they have to do it.”
Adams is surprised so many seem to be in favor of the ruling.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had some bad injuries,” he said. “I’m sure some guys took that into account.”
“We have spoken to the Pens and the league about expressing our combined interest,” Luukko said. “Not sure if next year is a possibility. Penn State is very interested.”
Joe Battista, associate athletic director for Penn State’s ice arena and hockey operations, told WJAC- TV that his school is also interested in hosting an outdoor Big Ten game.
Battista said the NHL game, if approved, would probably have to be played in December before the stadium is winterized for the offseason.
OLCZYK OFFERS COACHING ADVICE TO MESSIER
The New York Post asks Ed Olczyk, teammate of Mark Messier on the Stanley Cup-winning team in 1994: What would be the one piece of advice you would impart to Messier, the six-time Cup champion as a player — who, without a single game of AHL or NHL coaching experience made known his desire to succeed John Tortorella on Friday?
“He’s going to need to have people around him that have a lot of experience,” said Olczyk, now an NBC in-game analyst in the midst of calling the Penguins-Bruins Eastern Conference finals.
“I don’t care how many Cups you’ve won or how many games you’ve played or where you come from, you need to have that experience alongside you and that trust factor.”
Olczyk went on to say he had no doubt Messier could handle the job, including the massive spotlight that would come with it.
“He’s got the greatest building block in the world in Henrik Lundqvist, in my opinion the best goalie in the world,” Olczyk said. “This is as good as any job in any sport.”
His thoughts on the new general manager: “Jim Nill has been sought after for a long time from a number of teams in the league. How we got him to agree to come to Dallas, no one really knows. I think he was excited about the opportunity to start fresh somewhere else. He’s one of the masterminds behind the Wings for 25 years, him and Kenny Holland. He knows everything about the game. He knows personnel. He knows everything that’s going on. He’s so prepared and diligent with what he does. I think we were very fortunate and lucky. If you’re saying you landed a free agent, the most available free agent, we got him as a GM. I think it all starts there. I think he knew it was going to happen with (Glen) Gulutzan. I think any GM that comes in kind of gets his own guy and creates his own team. But Jim is a very smart guy and has free range to do what he wants to do to get this team back to where we expect and those good times we had back in the day.”
“There are days I feel good,” Helm said. “I’m getting better slowly. I just feel like I have to get better. I talked to a lot of people and they said is just takes time and you got to stay positive and hope it gets better.
“I’ve taken it slower. I talked to people who’ve had back issues. They also don’t know what’s going on. They just take time. I’m thinking this is going to be one of those. Before we had timelines on where I wanted to be healthy and get out there and play.
“Now I have a few months to work with and get healthy and ready for training camp.”
“He’s a guy who has a good story, was always the underdog, maybe a little undersized guy that played in the minors a lot,” general manager David Poile said. “He battled, and I think he has a great story to tell younger players to what it takes to be a pro player.”
The Predators hope Nichol can develop a rapport with prospects and help them turn into more finished products by the time they reach the NHL.
“Whether it’s our first pick this year or someone in college, he can identify,” Poile said. “He played last year, he can tell current stories about situations he went through, and players can really identify with his messaging.”