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NHL Morning Papers

NHL Playoff Morning 3rd Round Papers (Sunday Edition): Sid the Kid rules the playoffs, From out of the playoffs to Conference Finals, Eric Cole wary of Orpik, Datsyuk ready to break out of slump, Jonathan Toews is the perfect Hawks captain.

3rd Round Playoff Matchups

Eastern Conference

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)

  • Sidney Crosby is back where he belongs, the prime scoring areas around blue-painted goal creases.  Penguins followers didn’t need to break a sweat to work up a hatred for the Capitals. Not with the ‘Canes.  Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar took a third consecutive day off on Saturday.  The Penguins are aware that the ‘Canes are loaded with experience.  Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik leads the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs with 60 hits.  How did the Penguins get from the brink of irrelevance 92 days ago to playing for a return to the Stanley Cup final?
  • You had to figure it would take more than a game-winning goal in the playoffs to make Scott Walker cry, although given how long he waited, no one would begrudge him if it did.  Canes and Pens share some odd historyEric Cole still wary of Orpik.

Western Conference

Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)

  • For Wings’ Windy City natives, series is extra special.  Here’s how much coach Mike Babcock thinks of Justin Abdelkader: Babcock had Abdelkader on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa during Saturday’s practice.  After going without a goal in the seven-game series against Anaheim, Datsyuk‘s ready to face the Chicago Blackhawks.  It’s a good thing the Red Wings have a game today, otherwise, Dan Cleary’s skates might never touch the ground.  ‘Little guy’ Jiri Hudler proves that one size fits all.  Wings’ own Terminators leading way to playoff salvation.
  • The talking ended Saturday. Now it’s time for the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings to decide which of them will go to the Stanley Cup finals. Dustin Byfuglien has taken game to another level during playoffs, and his Minnesota hometown couldn’t be more proud of what he has accomplished.  In 1961, the last time the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they beat — yes — the Detroit Red Wings.  In the Western Conference, the road to the Stanley Cup has gone through Detroit for many years. The young Hawks are in a position to change that.  The Blackhawks didn’t want to force the captain’s responsibilities on Jonathan Toews, but both soon learned he was ready for the job. 

Teams that are not in the playoffs:

  • Its time for the Bruins to retool.
  • Giguere has no intention of leaving as is determined to stay and regain his starting role with the Ducks.
  • Some ex-Leafs get the last laugh.
  • Ovie showed up first, sometime after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, eager to see his friends in a social gathering for the final time before they scattered to different ends of the globe for the summer.
  • Memorial Cup: Drummondville notches OT win over Windsor.
  • College Hockey: One of the burning issues with the Nebraska-Omaha program this offseason has become a little clearer.
  • AHL Hockey: Manitoba Moose take a 2-0 series lead.

The Phoenix situation: