NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Wednesday Edition): Canucks fans getting on Roberto Luongo, Pavel Datsyuk’s struggles continue and Marc Savard is expected to play in Game 7
2nd Round Playoff Matchups
Boston Bruins (1) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- The Bruins performance last night allows for fans to see one of the great events in sports, a seventh game at the Boston Garden. Marc Savard left yesterday’s game as a precautionary measure, but is expected to suit up for Game 7. Mark Recchi’s leadership and clutch play are making Peter Chiarelli look good. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron really came to play on Tuesday. Boston was a motivated group last night. So much for Carolina’s home-ice advantage.
- “I believe in this hockey team, I really do,” said Paul Maurice after his team’s home loss last night. With the series heading back to Boston, the Hurricanes are once again the underdogs. Boston was winning the one-on-one puck battles on Thursday.
Washington Capitals (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- Tonight’s game is only the tenth Game 7 ever hosted by the city of Washington. If Capitals want to win this Game 7, then they will have to stay out of the penalty box. Combine staying out of the box with solid secondary scoring, and Washington should be in business. Winning tonight would conquer a lot of Pittsburgh demons for Capitals fans.
- Pittsburgh fans are unhappy with the play of Marc-Andre Fleury. Game 7 is Fleury’s time to prove just how good he is, writes Joe Starkey. Sergei Gonchar could possibly be in the lineup tonight against the Capitals. Experience could be a big benefit for the Penguins tonight. Off the ice, the Penguins have done a tremendous job marketing their product.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Anaheim Ducks (8)
- The Wings are going to need Pavel Datsyuk to step up on offense if they want to win Game 7 tomorrow night. Speaking of Datsyuk, Jonas Hiller turned aside his shot late in regulation, along with 37 others, as he kept the Ducks in yesterday’s game to force Game 7. Detroit had a slow first period and it took them a while to get going, opines Bob Wojnowski. Meantime, Niklas Kronwall reflects back on just how valuable his time in the AHL was to his current development.
- A healthy Ryan Getzlaf helped turn his team around yesterday, explains Helene Elliot of the L.A. Times. Anaheim is doing a good job of keeping Pavel Datsyuk in check, writes Lisa Dillman. Here is a description of the game play-by-play. Will the Wings now feel the pressure by hosting Game 7 at home against an eight seed?
Vancouver Canucks (3) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)
- What’s next for the Vancouver Canucks? Cam Cole isn’t sure that spending $8 million on a starting goaltender is the right way to do business in the salary cap era.
- Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune wonders if he can change his prediction that the Canucks would win the Round 2 series against Chicago? Patrick Kane is the real deal and many Chicagoans are finding that out one game at a time. Tim Sassone says he doesn’t buy the talk that the Hawks don’t care who they face in Round 3.
Teams that are not in the playoffs:
- Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch profiles Ohio State product and Washington Capitals center David Steckel.
- Apparently the Wild want to arrange for second interviews before naming the team’s new GM, but is has become difficult to schedule these interviews with a number of the candidates still involved in the playoffs.
- Johnny Oduya is that good, just ask his agent.
- Tampa Bay players better be ready for training camp, says coach Rick Tocchet.
- Brian Burke has shot down an absurd rumor about what he may possibly give up to move into the number two overall slot in the draft.
- Eric Duhatschek wonders if Canadian teams are going to win the Cup anytime soon?
The Phoenix situation:
- Wayne Gretzky is backing Jerry Reinsdorf’s bid to purchase the Coyotes.
- The Coyotes are asking to see what the possible terms were for a sale to Jerry Reinsdorf.
- Apparently the NHL wants to keep this deal quiet because it is not a high offer.
- Also, if you are in the Phoenix area, the Coyotes’ rally has been relocated.
- Apparently Jim Balsillie will want taxpayers to pitch in for the Copps Coliseum renovations.
- Want more information on the Coyotes situation? Stephen Brunt of the Globe & Mail has a chat about it later today.