2nd Round Playoff Matchups
Boston Bruins (1) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- “I don’t know that they keep time of possession stats, but if they do, you’ll definitely see a major difference between tonight’s game and the previous three games,” said Bruins netminder Tim Thomas after the Bruins’ impressive 4-0 home victory. Boston gave its fans what they deserved last night, writes Bob Ryan. Game 5 looked a lot more like Game 1 than any of the games in between, opines Kevin Paul Dupont. It didn’t hurt that Zdeno Chara was back to his dominant ways yesterday. The momentum was already in Boston’s favour, but the massive hit by Milan Lucic on Dennis Seidenberg got the crowd into the game. The Bruins were mad about a couple cheap shots yesterday. (Writer’s note: I am not one to defend cheap shots but c’mon here. Jokinen didn’t exactly two-hand Chara hard. I mean, the guy is like 6’7 and 260 pounds, a tap like that isn’t going to injure him. Secondly, Aaron Ward was going after Matt Cullen (who has a bad concussion history) and Scott Walker, one of the more well respected players in the league, stuck up for his player. Ward, the veteran defenseman that he is, has to be ready to defend himself. What did he think Walker was going to do? You go after a player with concussion issues, you are going to have to defend yourself and Ward isn’t exactly a soft player. It is unfortunate that Ward may have a broken orbital bone, but I didn’t think it was a “sucker punch.”)
- “I think we got sucked into their style of game,” said Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward. Carolina should not have been surprised with Boston’s performance Sunday night at the Garden. Claude Julien and Paul Maurice both have their opinions on the alleged cheap shots.
Washington Capitals (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- “And we have to believe that it’s capable of being done, and it is capable of being done,” said coach Bruce Boudreau about coming back against the Penguins. The Capitals head into tonight’s game confident that their play in must-win games has been very strong. Who as we kidding? The rivalry between these two teams is personal. Has Mike Green played himself off the Canadian Olympic team?
- “I don’t think there’s going to be a letdown. We know we’re going to face a team that’s good, that’s dangerous and that’s going to be giving everything they’ve got,” said Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. The Penguins’ defense has done a great job of blocking shots in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. Miroslav Satan has come back from the AHL and played very well in this second round series.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Anaheim Ducks (8)
- Last night’s scoreboard was closer than the play on the ice, writes Steve Schrader. Johan Franzen’s scoring in the playoffs has been astounding. The Wings are now playing this series the way the wanted to all along. “Depth can wear on you over a seven-game series,” said Dan Cleary.
- “We’ll fly home. We’ll re-energize, re-focus. We’ll visit on the things that we have to do and emotionally try to charge ourselves. We weren’t emotionally involved enough on a consistent basis,” said coach Randy Carlyle. Bobby Ryan wants his team to finish more checks. Was it the flu that was the reason for Ryan Getzlaf’s post-season point streak ending at eight games? “We had no business out there. They were better in every area and there’s no excuse,” said Teemu Selanne.
Vancouver Canucks (3) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)
- If the Canucks are going to comeback from down 3-2, they are going to need their veterans to step up. Willie Mitchell does have experience mounting comebacks. “Yes, there will,” said Alex Burrows when asked if there is going to be a Game 7 in this series. Down on the farm, Cody Hodgson has been assigned to the Manitoba Moose.
- The Blackhawks realize they are one win away from playing in the Western Conference Finals. Even though they are one win away, Chicago knows Vancouver is going to bring its best game on Monday. Brian Campbell’s play this playoffs has made critics forget his play during last season’s playoffs.
Teams that are not in the playoffs:
- There will be a Town Hall Meeting for Lightning fans today in Tampa.
- With his play in the World Championships, did Jason Spezza move his way into consideration for Canada’s 2010 Olympic Team?
The Coyotes situation:
- Does the NHL need to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix because of the market size?
- Did the NHL start running the Coyotes in return for cash?
- Hamilton continues to focus solely on working with Jim Balsillie.
- Apparently a deal between Hamilton and Balsillie could be completed as early as this week.