Here the morning papers for the second round playoff teams:
Montreal (1) versus Philadelphia (6):
- Carey Price had a little fun with the media on Wednesday, writes Pat Hickey. Meanwhile, Saku Koivu and Kimmo Timonen’s friendship will be on hiatus until the Habs/Flyers series is complete.
- Here is a complete breakdown of both squads, courtesy of Ed Barkowitz. Barkowitz likes the Flyers in 7. The Flyers understand that playing the Habs is a lot different than the Capitals. Philadelphia is a different team now than the one that was dominated by the Canadiens during the season.
Pittsburgh (2) versus New York Rangers (5):
- The Penguins plan to ignore Rangers winger Sean Avery throughout their series. If the Pens want to score, they know they will have to create a lot of traffic in front of Henrik Lunqvist. On the injury front, Gary Roberts will be a game-time decision for the Penguins tomorrow night.
- John Dellapina of the NY Daily News breaks down all the aspects of the Rangers/Penguins series. With all the talk about the Penguins’ youth, the Rangers think their young players are pretty good too. In an interesting article, Jaromir Jagr doesn’t think Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby are in Mario Lemieux’s league. (Writer’s note: I agree.) Well, that sure did not take long; as you can now say goodbye to the Sean Avery shirt.
Detroit (1) versus Colorado (6):
- The Wings are very excited to rekindle their rivalry with the Avalance, writes Helene St. James. This series includes arguably the two best players in the NHL when it comes to playing in front of the opposition’s net, writes George Sipple. It appears the Wings will play Game 1 without Kirk Maltby and Brad Stuart. Helene St. James likes the Wings in 7.
- Terry Frei has a nice article about the turnaround of Jose Theodore’s fortunes. The Wings are concerned about the Avalanche’s impressive power play. The Denver Post has a full analysis of the series.
San Jose (2) versus Dallas (5):
- The Sharks and Stars are very closely matched, writes David Pollak. Here is the schedule of the series. Hockey is hot in the Bay Area as Tuesday’s Game 7 was the region’s highest rated hockey game since 2002.
- It looks like Sergei Zubov is close to returning to the Stars line-up. Many of the Stars feel like their final game of the regular season versus the Sharks really brought them together.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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