NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Thursday Edition): Expect Datsyuk to play tonight, reaction from Colorado and Bill Guerin’s brother doubles as real life Superman
Stanley Cup Final
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- Since Pavel Datsyuk has been out of the lineup, Henrik Zetterberg has been counted on even more. In fact, Mike Babcock says that Zetterberg has been overused. By the sounds of it, Datsyuk will be back in the lineup tonight. Although nothing is for certain as of yet. (Writer’s note: Bob Duff said on the IllegalCurve.com Radio Show last night that he expects Datsyuk to be in the lineup and that he looked great at practice on Wednesday.) The Wings are hoping that Game 4 continues to be Marian Hossa’s lucky game tonight. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press says one of the reasons the Wings have struggled on the penalty kill is the injury to Andreas Lilja. Here is a Q & A with Ken Holland.
- It may be a 2-1 series score like last season, but the Penguins feel different this year, writes Dave Molinari. If the Penguins continue to say that things are different this season, then Joe Starkey says they have to go out and prove it. Pittsburgh’s maturation from last season to this season has been very evident in the Final. Evgeni Malkin is showing his comfort level with the media now, with his constant jokes and more relaxed demeanor. Meanwhile, Penguins fans asking for more emotion from Dan Bylsma shouldn’t hold their breath. Liyun Chin tells us the value that a hockey team provides to the businesses surrounding the team. These days, Mario Lemieux is as engaging as ever. Apparently Bill Guerin’s brother John doubles as Superman in his spare time, as he helped a lady get her stolen tickets back.
Teams that are not in the playoffs
- Television ratings in the U.S. have been up on NBC.
- Even though he is undergoing hip surgery today, the Bruins feel very comfortable having David Krejci signed to a contract extension. Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald says many see Krejci as a potential 100 point scorer.
- After undergoing two surgeries, Sabres netminder Patrick Lalime says he feels good now.
- More details on the prospective sale of the Florida Panthers.
- Todd Richards, Craig MacTavish and Peter Laviolette have been mentioned as being coaching candidates for the Minnesota Wild.
- If Lou Lamoriello has a contingency plan in place in case Brent Sutter heads back to Alberta, he sure isn’t telling anyone.
- The Flyers feel Ray Emery is worth taking a chance on, writes Ed Moran. Are the Flyers set to target Jay Bouwmeester next?
- In Tampa Bay, Brian Lawton is getting to know each of the projected top three picks for this month’s Entry Draft in Montreal.
- Did the Leafs get a steal in the 4th round of last year’s Entry Draft? Brian Burke has stated he wants to move up to draft John Tavares, but if he can’t, he is interested in Brayden Schenn.
- Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press thinks it could be a very messy summer for the NHL.
The Avalanche coaching and management moves
- Terry Frei tells us that the Avalanche never really considered going outside the organization to fill the GM seat.
- Woody Paige suggests the Avalanche hire current Manitoba Moose coach Scott Arniel to become the next Colorado head coach.
- In the midst of his exit, Tony Granato handled himself with class, the way he always does.
- Pierre Lacroix’s health issues are luckily under control, but the Avalanche President remains in the hospital.
The Coyotes situation
- The other big three professional sports leagues know the precedent that could be set in the Coyotes’ case.
- Suddenly Jim Balsillie is conducting polls now too.
- Jim Balsillie and Gary Bettman are disputing the value of his bid to purchase the Coyotes.
AHL Calder Cup Final
- The Winnipeg Free Press lists the biggest goals in Moose franchise history. Moose defenseman Zack FitzGerald may have saved the series for his team when he blocked a puck going right for an open cage in Game 2. Hershey and Manitoba are just so evenly matched it is difficult to pick out significant differences.