NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Thursday Edition): The experts like Detroit, a closer look at Judge Baum and Dany Heatley’s issues with Senators run deeper than just the coach
Stanley Cup Final
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- Writing for USA Today, Jacques Demers likes the Wings in Game 7. (Writer’s note: Kelly Hrudey also picked the Wings last night on the IllegalCurve.com Radio Show.) (Second writer’s note: You figure if Demers is submitting a piece to USA Today, they could at least spell his name right!) If Detroit wins on Friday, Helene St. James thinks Chris Osgood is a shoe-in for the Conn Smythe. Meantime, Michael Rosenberg disagrees with Wings coach Mike Babcock and says Marian Hossa is indeed pressing. Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press thinks Friday night will be a showcase of the next great hockey rivalry. Good thing for Wings fans that home-ice has been a huge advantage in past Game 7s. That said, in Game 7s, it is just 60 minutes of play, so predictions carry very little weight. If people are wondering, Chris Chelios has no intention of retiring at season’s end.
- Tomorrow night is Dan Bylsma’s shot at Game 7 redemption. Look for Petr Sykora to miss tomorrow night’s game. Penguins fans ask Dave Molinari if the Penguins can win in Detroit? Many of the players have already played Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in their imagination as little kids. Sidney Crosby has gone two games without a point, but has never gone three post-season games in a row without getting on the scoreboard. Winning in Detroit may be hard, but the Penguins are optimistic.
Teams that are not in the playoffs
- This year’s rating for Game 6 of the Final were down from last season, however, last season’s game did not go up against the NBA Finals.
- Ducks goaltending coach Francois Allaire has left the organization to join the Leafs in the same position.
- Meanwhile, Paul Hunter provides the Toronto perspective of the Francois Allaire hire.
- Brian Burke was not done with the hire of Allaire, as he made some other staff changes yesterday. Here is more on those changes from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun.
- The Molson Brothers have bid on the Canadiens. “We think our offer has all the ingredients to be well received by the potential seller and the National Hockey League,” said the Molson family.
- One thing is for certain, buying the Habs will not come cheap.
- Apparently Cory Clouston is not Dany Heatley’s only issue with the Senators organization.
Stars fire Tippett
- Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News points out that Tippett’s expected replacement, Marc Crawford, has not had any more recent playoff success than Tippett.
- The truth is, the Stars have not finished higher than third in their division over the past three seasons.
Flyers sign Emery
- Apparently the Flyers brass holds Ray Emery in very high esteem.
- “I don’t view it as a big gamble“, said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren about Emery.
The Coyotes situation
- Former Coyotes executive Jeff Shumway has accused the Glendale City Manager of trying to destroy a document, which would be illegal under Arizona law.
- If the Coyotes were to stay in Arizona and possibly be viable, they’d need concessions from the City of Glendale.
- The NHL may be looking to add an indemnity fee to the requirement for a relocation fee.
- Mary Ormsby of the Toronto Star takes a closer look at Judge Redfield T. Baum.
- Damien Cox wonders if maybe the Leafs should cut a deal with Balsillie now, so the organization doesn’t risk getting low indemnity payments handed down by the Court.
- David Shoalts tells us that a team in Hamilton would be worth at least $300 million, and some think a whole lot more.
- Word out of Phoenix is that if Balsillie’s bid fails, the Coyotes will be put up for auction.
- Jeff Blair of the Globe & Mail tells Balsillie to just cut the cheque and prove to everyone that you are for real.
- Toronto aside, the Buffalo Sabres are worried about the possibility of a Hamilton franchise.
AHL Calder Cup Final
- Scott Arniel does not want his Moose players to feel content about bringing this series back to Winnipeg, he wants their focus strictly on forcing a Game 7. Paul Friesen wonders why Moose fans were so giddy yesterday, when the team hasn’t won anything yet? Mark Fistric luckily only lost clear vision in his eye for about ten seconds, after taking a Karl Alzner shot to the face.