NHL Playoff Morning Papers (Friday Edition): Game 7 is the difference between never and forever, reaction to Marc Crawford hiring and Heatley would be perfect fit for Oilers
Stanley Cup Final
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart says it is “kind of surreal” to have your season success determined by just one game. Wings GM Ken Holland says that in this situation, you cannot let your mind wander off. Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma really doesn’t remember Mike Babcock’s Game 7 speech from 2003. Drew Sharp says that the Wings have all the pressure tonight. Speaking of pressure, it does not bother Chris Osgood. Wings defensemen Brian Rafalski is a favorite in his home state. Not only is Rafalski the favorite son in Michigan, but he is also very experienced in Game 7s. The distance in this game tonight is between never and forever, writes Mitch Albom.
- Evgeni Malkin has been dreaming of holding the Cup with Sidney Crosby. With Game 7 only hours away, the talk does not matter anymore; all both teams have to do is play. Once the puck is dropped, adrenaline should carry the players through the entire game. All the numbers in favor of Detroit winning tonight do not mean anything to Pittsburgh. The Stanley Cup has a special place in Dan Bylsma’s mind. Mario Lemieux has full confidence in his Pittsburgh players.
Teams that are not in the playoffs
- It appears that long-time Avalanche checker Ian Laperriere has one foot out the door.
- People in Minnesota believe that Todd Richards is still the favorite to be hired as the new coach of the Wild.
- John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if Ray Emery brought his baggage with him back from Russia?
- Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle examines the Sharks’ outlook for next season.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal says Dany Heatley is exactly what the Oilers need. In other Oilers news, the team has let go Pete Peeters as goaltending coach.
- The province of Quebec is willing to give a loan to any Quebec based groups interested in buying the Canadiens.
The Marc Crawford hiring
- “His biggest asset is the way he holds all his players accountable,” said Stars center Brendan Morrison, who played for Marc Crawford in Vancouver.
- Joe Nieuwendyk went about hiring Crawford the old school way, writes Mike Heika.
- Here is a recap of former Stars coach Dave Tippett’s tenure in Dallas.
- Most people in the game, do not believe Dave Tippett will be out of work for long.
The Coyotes situation
- “If the Buffalo Sabres’ silence means that they are working against Hamilton’s bid, then Hamilton and the surrounding area residents should join in boycotting the Buffalo Sabres along with the Toronto Maple Leafs,” said a Hamilton city councillor.
- Jim Balsillie is convinced that a June 22nd auction is good for his efforts to bring the team to Hamilton.
- Can the city of Hamilton afford an NHL team?
- Stephen Brunt of the Globe & Mail questions the NHL’s due diligence process.
AHL Calder Cup Final
- Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press sets the stage for tonight’s Game 6 of the Calder Cup. With so many veterans on the roster, the Moose are not panicking. Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun explains that the Moose organization didn’t set up the team’s homecoming at the airport two days ago, rather, it was the Winnipeg Airport staff. (Writer’s note: Nice gesture by the airport staff to get behind the local team.)