NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Monday Edition): Teemu Selanne dealing with his struggles, Eric Staal dominates Game 6 and the circus that has become the Capitals/Rangers series
Boston Bruins (1) versus Montreal Canadiens (8)
- Did you know Mark Stuart and Shane Hnidy were only on the ice for one Montreal goal against in the entire first round? For now, the Bruins are just watching the playoffs to see which team they will meet in Round 2.
- Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette says the Habs are an awful bunch from top to bottom.
Washington Capitals (2) versus New York Rangers (7)
- The Capitals defeated the Rangers at MSG yesterday and now hold all the momentum going into Tuesday’s deciding Game 7. If Henrik Lundqvist was in the Capitals’ heads earlier this series, he sure isn’t anymore, writes Dan Steinberg. For a guy who was booed out of New York, Sunday’s four point performance must have been sweet revenge for Tom Poti. Speaking of defensemen, Mike Green is back on track offensively for the Caps.
- “You look at the score of the last two games, it’s hard to say we worked hard enough,” said Chris Drury. The Rangers just don’t look very good right now, explains Jay Greenberg. Subject to an elbow from Donald Brashear, Rangers center Blair Betts will miss Game 7. Meanwhile, Brandon Dubinsky claims he was bitten during Game 6.
New Jersey Devils (3) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- “One team played like there was no tomorrow; the other team played like there was,” said Devils coach Brent Sutter after his team’s 4-0 loss last night. You play all season for home-ice advantage and the Devils are hoping that will give them the edge in Game 7. Home-ice won’t even matter if the Devils’ best players don’t come to play on Tuesday.
- With a terrific performance from Eric Staal, it all comes down to Tuesday night for Carolina. Has Paul Maurice finally found the right combinations for the Hurricanes’ lines?
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) versus Philadelphia Flyers (5)
- Evgeni Malkin has had some important fans in the stands to cheer him on. It was sure important for the Penguins to avoid a Game 7 with the Flyers. Penguins GM Ray Shero is happy his team has faced some adversity during this season’s playoffs.
- The Flyers seemed at a loss for words when it came to identifying what went wrong this season. Here is the team’s free agent situation heading into the summer. Don’t expect the Flyers organization to panic after the series loss, says Comcast President Peter Lukko.
San Jose Sharks (1) versus Anaheim Ducks (8)
- As long as the Sharks keep sarcifing their bodies, they have a chance to win this series, opines Mark Purdy. If the Sharks are to win the next two games, they need Joe Thornton to play like he did in Game 5. Are the Sharks similar to the 2007 Dallas Mavericks?
- Teemu Selanne is keeping a positive attitude, even though he’s only tallied one assist all series versus San Jose. Having short-term memories really does help the Ducks from game-to-game, writes Dan Wood.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Columbus Blue Jackets (7)
- Here are the teams that the Red Wings could face in Round 2. The legendary Jimmy Devellano reflects back on his time with the Red Wings.
Vancouver Canucks (3) versus St Louis Blues (6)
- Kyle Wellwood has played really well so far this playoffs but he may be even more proud of the way his brother has played in the OHL playoffs. When it comes to who they may match up against in the second round, the Canucks don’t care. Ryan Kesler has become a beast for the Canucks, writes Grant Kerr.
Chicago Blackhawks (4) versus Calgary Flames (5)
- “We believe we can win in their building,” says Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. They may have confidence they can win in Calgary, but the Hawks know it won’t be easy.
- If the Flames want force Game 7, they will have to eliminate their mid-game lapses, writes Eric Duhatschek. “We don’t want it to be over, and we don’t believe it will be over. We believe we’re going to win that game and force Game 7,” said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. In injury news, Dion Phaneuf is still listed as day-to-day.
- Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says fighting isn’t always responsible for changing the momentum of the game. (Writer’s note: Maybe he’s been reading this site, as I’ve been arguing the same thing for the past two days)
- Not surprisingly, Canada dominated Hungary at the World Hockey Championships.