NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Tuesday Edition): Blackhawks need Kane and Toews to step up, Fleury outduels Ward and the Coyotes situation reaches decision day
3rd Round Playoff Matchups
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- Shelly Anderson with a quick recap of Game 1. Many of the Penguins were giving credit to Marc-Andre Fleury for keeping the team in last night’s contest. Apparently Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey felt the same way. Fleury was good, but two unlikely contributors were also the key for Pittsburgh on Monday. “He was cutting across the middle. I turned sideways to hit him, and he turned the other way. I almost fell over, too,” said Matt Cooke about his hit on Erik Cole. (Writer’s note: Let’s call a spade a spade. Matt Cooke is a dirty hockey player and has been for sometime now. He continually makes cheap plays and last night’s hit on Cole was no exception.) Penguins fans unfamiliar with Tuomo Ruutu should realize his game is very different from his brother’s.
- He was very, very good but last night Hurricanes fans realized that Cam Ward is, in fact, human. It is not like the Canes haven’t been down 1-0 before this playoff season. Scott Walker has more important things on his mind than hockey, but it helps that his wife is tougher than his teammates.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)
- Mike Babcock wants his Red Wings players to improve in the puck control department for Game 2. Having been a veteran of so many playoff battles, do not expect Tomas Holmstom to panic because of his current goal-scoring drought, writes George Sipple. Superstitions are running rampant in the Wings dressing room. Even though he’s been a Red Wing for a while now, Chris Chelios still has a place in his heart for Chicago.
- Can Patrick Kane bounce back from a poor Game 1 performance? Jonathan Toews will also try to do the same. It will certainly help if they leave Game 1’s performance behind him like the rest of their teammates have done. WIll Wings fans want to fight Bob Probert after hearing that he’s rooting for Chicago? Many Blackhawks fans probably remember Daniel Clearly from his days with the Hawks, and boy, has he come a long way. “The thing is against him is you need to be hungry to keep the puck and not give it up,” said Jonathan Toews about playing against Nicklas Lidstrom. Mike Imrem of the Chicago Herald wonders why Dale Tallon doesn’t get more credit for the job he’s done in Chicago?
Teams that are not in the playoffs:
- Here is some video on the possibility of Teemu Selanne retiring from the OC Register.
- What’s next for the Bruins? Meanwhile, Bruins netminder Tim Thomas is going to try not to agonize all summer long over the Game 7 overtime goal he let in. Sure they had a heartbreaking loss, but at least the team is trying to learn from this setback and move forward. In other Boston news, long-term Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson may have played his final game for the franchise.
- Patrick Roy may deny it, but Adrian Dater is reporting that the choice is up to him whether he coaches the Avalanche next season or not.
- Michael Russo gives readers an inside view at the personality and perspectives of Minnesota Wild acting GM Tom Lynn.
- In Philadelphia, Flyers center Daniel Briere has decided to undergo corrective eye surgery.
- Some notes about the Sharks, courtesy of John Ryan.
The Coyotes situation:
- Could Jim Balsillie be stuck with the Coyotes in Phoenix?
- David Naylor elicits help from Bankruptcy experts in an attempt to predict which way the court will rule today.
- Apparently if Balsillie loses the court ruling, he won’t appeal.
- Winning cures everything, writes Paolo Boivin of the Arizona Republic.
- Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic has an interesting piece examining whether the Coyotes really are viable in Phoenix.
- Did only 7,000 homes tune into Coyotes games on television in the Phoenix area last season?
- One thing is for certain, the other professional sports league are supporting the NHL.
- The Manitoba Moose have taken a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Houston Aeros in the Western Conference Final.