NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Saturday Edition): Eric Staal needs to step up, John Tortorella could be suspended and Saku Koivu’s future with Montreal
Boston Bruins (1) versus Montreal Canadiens (8)
- The Bruins have no problems with waiting until late next week to start Round 2. “You have to take the positive out of it. It gives us an opportunity to rest and we’re actually a pretty healthy team right now,” said coach Claude Julien. In Round 1, Boston did a very good job of staying out of the box. Simply, Zdeno Chara is the man.
- Could both Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis be part of the Habs’ off-season plan? Dave Stubbs wonders if Saku Koivu has played his last game as a member of the Canadiens? Here is Red Fisher’s Saturday Notebook.
Washington Capitals (2) versus New York Rangers (7)
- Matt Bradley did not just score once last night, he scored twice, as the Capitals forced a Game 6 back at MSG. Some guy named Ovechkin was pretty good last night too. Stephen Whyno thinks the Rangers missed Sean Avery. It also didn’t hurt that Henrik Lundqvist decided to take off his cape and take a night off from being Superman.
- Make no mistake, the Rangers are John Tortorella’s team. One of the ways Tortorella has made his mark as Rangers coach was by benching Sean Avery for last night’s contest. Avery wasn’t against his benching saying, “I totally stand behind what Torts did.” During the third period of yesterday’s frustrating loss, Tortorella got into a fight with a fan.
New Jersey Devils (3) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- It looks like Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner will be back in the lineup for Game 6. John Madden has made it clear that the Devils want to end things tomorrow night. If this series goes seven games, it really could be an all-time classic.
- Tomorrow is put up or shut up time for the Hurricanes. Luke Decock of the News & Observer says it is time for Eric Staal to step up.
Pittburgh Penguins (4) versus Philadelphia Flyers (5)
- If the Penguins win today, it will allow them to forget that the Flyers have really been in control the past three games. Not unexpectedly, Bill Guerin has taken on an important leadership role fo the Penguins. Speaking of veteran leaders, if the Penguins do win this series, their veterans need to pick up the pace. A seventh game wouldn’t surprise anyone.
- Forget hockey, one of the Flyers’ scouts actually saved the lives of a mom and child last week. Meanwhile, Phil Sheridan gives John Stevens some credit for being patient with his team. The Flyers are doing their best to forget the long odds of coming back from down 3-to-1. Surprisingly, rugged forward Daniel Carcillo has been one of the keys to the Flyers’ turnaround.