Here are the morning papers for the Western Conference playoff match ups:
Detroit versus Nashville:
- Goaltending switch aside, the Red Wings need to focus on controlling the puck more and winning draws, writes Helene St. James. In between the pipes, Dominik Hasek does not seem to moping around after being benched for tonight’s Game 5. Meanwhile, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press is not a fan of rotating goalies. The Predators have never won a road playoff game, so the Wings are hoping to continue that streak tonight at the Joe.
- The Predators know that if they want to win this series, they will need to win at least one road game, writes John Glennon. The Predators’ attitude towards scoring hasn’t changed with Chris Osgood being named starter.
San Jose versus Calgary:
- Jonathan Cheechoo has given the Sharks a huge boost the past two games, writes Mark Purdy. Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News was impressed with the Flames’ determination last night. (Writer’s note: If you are playing a must-win playoff game and you could choose any player in the world, how could you not choose Jarome Iginla right now? He’s been that good.) It looks like Kyle McLaren may be lost to the Sharks for Game 6 with a knee injury. (Writer’s note: The guys at Battle of California get their wish!)
- “Now we have to win two games in a row and we believe we can do it,” said Flames captain Jarome Iginla after last night’s tough 4-3 loss at San Jose. The Flames played well but their defenseman made key mistakes and that is why they are heading back to Calgary down 3-2. Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun bluntly states that the Flames’ secondary scoring just hasn’t been there.
Minnesota versus Colorado:
- Jose Theodore is the main reason the Wild is down 3-2 in the series going back to Colorado, writes Michael Russo. Has anyone seen Marian Gaborik? The slick Slovak has disappeared since the playoffs began, writes Jim Souhan. The Wild is hoping to get a lead in Game 6 as they know it is far easier to play from ahead using their style.
- Adrian Dater predicted the Wild would win Game 5, so it is fair to say Jose Theodore single-handedly spoiled his prediction. Woody Paige agrees that Theodore is the reason the Avalanche is up 3-2. Shockingly Terry Frei makes it a trifecta of Theodore won Game 5 articles.
Anaheim versus Dallas:
- The Ducks took a couple bad penalties and made some inopportune mistakes and that is why they find themselves down 3-1 to Dallas heading back to the Honda Center. The Ducks have to play more simple hockey or they’ll be golfing in a week. Are the Ducks going to start Jonas Hiller in Game 5?
- The Stars are getting terrific contributions from their young players, writes Brandon George. Marty Turco has been one of the main reasons that the Ducks have not been able to sustain forechecking pressure. Turco was terrific last night, writes J.J. Taylor.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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