Here are the morning papers for the Eastern Conference playoff match ups:Montreal versus Boston:
- The Habs brass was impressed with the play of veteran Patrice Brisebois in Game 1 of their series against Boston. The ugliness of coach Guy Carbonneau’s Game 1 tie is still being talked about in Montreal. Meanwhile, Boston netminder Tim Thomas compares being in the Bell Centre for Game 1 with being a gladiator. Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette wonders if the Bruins are due for a victory.
- The Bruins have made some changes to their forward lines for tonight’s game, in an effort to increase their offensive output. Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe thinks Claude Julien made a couple of poor line up decisions for Game 1. In positive news for Bruins fans, Marc Savard feels healthy heading into Game 2.
Pittsburgh versus Ottawa:
- Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been extremely impressed with the play of Evgeni Malkin in the first two games of the playoffs. The Penguins made sure they didn’t blow the game after giving up a three-goal lead last night, writes Dave Molinari. Injured Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton is hoping that the Penguins go far enough in the playoffs that he can return at some point.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun opines that anyone who says goaltending is an issue for the Senators should put in last night’s game tape, because it isn’t the case. The Senators were extremely displeased with the officiating last night.
Washington versus Philadelphia:
- The Capitals impressively rallied from being down 4-2 to comeback and defeat the Flyers 5-4 at the Verizon Center last night. Mike Wise of the Washington Post says that Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington fans have a connection. There is something refreshing about coach Bruce Boudreau, writes Jason La Canfora.
- Alexander Ovechkin wasn’t the only great player on the ice last night, writes Sam Donnellon. On the final goal of the night, the Flyers had a match up on the ice that they had been trying to avoid all night. Meanwhile, Phil Sheridan wonders if Martin Biron is good enough for the Flyers to win this playoff series.
New Jersey versus New York Rangers:
- “They definitely are taking control of this series, but we feel we’re not far away,” said Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur after his team’s 2-1 home loss last night to the Rangers. The Devils were furious with a number of poor calls by the officials last night. If the Devils want to get this series turned around, they will need to improve on their powerplay, writes Colin Stephenson.
- The third periods have been the difference this season for the Rangers versus the Devils, writes Larry Brooks. Goals 23 seconds apart from Jaromir Jagr and Sean Avery was the difference last night.
Here are the morning papers for the Western Conference playoff match ups:
Detroit versus Nashville:
- For some reason, Henrik Zetterberg is a star in Sweden but not in the United States. Nashville coach Barry Trotz has a lot of respect for the Red Wings’ top line. Both Dallas Drake and Chris Chelios are relishing the opportunity of playing in the playoffs.
- If the Predators are to have a chance in this series, they will need to get production from their top line, writes John Glennon. The Predators are really going to miss Scott Nichol and all he brings to the line up, so the team is hoping David Legwand can return for Game 2 this afternoon.
San Jose versus Calgary:
- Mike Keenan was unhappy with the officiating in Game 2, and Ron Wilson was unhappy with his team’s powerplay, writes David Pollak. Former Sharks center Mike Ricci admits that he really misses the game.
- The Flames were unhappy with the officiating on Thursday night, however, they know they have to stop giving the officials reasons to send them to the sin bin. Bruce Dowbiggen of the Calgary Herald thinks we have a series on our hands. Also, the Flames promise they are going to work harder to lessen Miikka Kiprusoff’s heavy workload.
Minnesota versus Colorado:
- Here is some video of the Wild players post-game. It was an unlikely source, but the Wild will take an overtime goal from Keith Carney to send the series to Denver tied 1-1. People are starting to take notice of Mikko Koivu, writes Patrick Reusse.
- The Avalanche know they have to start playing better in the third periods, writes Adrian Dater. Apparently the Avalanche have yet to sell out Monday’s playoff home game.
Anaheim versus Dallas:
- The Ducks need to stay away from the box if they want any chance of winning Game 2 tonight versus Dallas. There were not many positives to take from Game 1.
- Ducks forward Todd Marchant says he would have been more worried about Game 1 had his team played a good game and lost. The Stars are heading into Game 2 a very confident bunch, writes Mike Heika.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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