Boston Bruins (1) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- The Bruins did everything they wanted to do last night versus Carolina, writes Fluto Shinzawa. Rust? There was definitely no sign of it from the Bruins on Friday, explains Dan Shaughnessy. One of the keys to last night’s win was Zdeno Chara completely shutting down Eric Staal. Marc Savard’s two goals didn’t hurt either. It really is amazing how much Phil Kessel has matured. Combine Phil Kessel’s maturation with Michael Ryder’s regained confidence, and the Bruins have two snipers on the wing. So, does anyone want to reasses that Joe Thornton trade now?
- ” We just made it hard on ourselves and played into their hands,” said Eric Staal after last night’s game. For some reason, the Hurricanes started pressing after Boston scored goal number two.
Washington Capitals (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- The Capitals do not care that the Penguins have a great record against them in past playoffs. Some of the Capitals didn’t even know this Penguins over Capitals dominance existed. One thing is for certain, the Capitals’ defense will be much more challenged in Round 2 than Round 1. George McPhee is happy the team he was able to build is playing some great hockey. Mike Wise pens the must-read article of the day with his profile of Donald Brashear.
- Dave Molinari likes the Penguins in six. He is a first time coach in the NHL, so there is no surprise that Dan Bylsma is learning on the job. Washington winger Chris Clark compares Evgeni Malkin to Alexander Ovechkin. While Ovechkin will garner much of the Penguins’ attention, they won’t overlook sniper Alexander Semin. The hype starts today.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Anaheim Ducks (8)
- The Wings and Ducks have two different perceptions of last night’s game at the Joe Louis Arena. Detroit did a great job of causing havoc in front of Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller. The team opinions of the Mike Brown hit on Jiri Hudler are very, very different. Meanwhile, young defenseman Jonathan Ericsson was terrific in filling in for Brian Rafalaski on the team’s number one defense unit. Speaking of Ericsson, his partner Nicklas Lidstrom was his usual tremendous self. With Rafalski sitting, Chris Chelios was the team’s sixth defenseman last night.
- “I think we had the determination and the work ethic and all that,” said Scott Niedermayer. Last night was the seventh straight game where the Ducks have been outshot in the playoffs. “We stopped doing some things in the third period,” said coach Randy Carlyle. Just because Brian Burke left for Toronto, it doesn’t mean he isn’t rooting on the Ducks.
Vancouver Canucks (3) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)
- Sami Salo plays the game of hockey for his father, who passed away when he was 17. Jeff Cowan is with the Canucks now, but he isn’t expected to play tonight. Vancouver has learned a lot from Game 1 of this series. Mats Sundin has a sprained MCL but look for him to be in the lineup tonight.
- Even though they came out on the losing end of Game 1, the Hawks are feeling confident heading into tonight’s Game 2, writes Chris Kuc. Jonathan Toews has not been producing lately, but he isn’t making any excuses.
Teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs:
- Lou Lamoriello liked his squad this season, but he will have to do some re-evaluating with a number of key free agents coming up this summer, explains Rich Chere.
- Mike Richards had the first of his two shoulder surgeries yesterday and it was a success.
- Sharks coach Todd McLellan says it is hard to appreciate his Jack Adams nomination with the way the season ended.
Teams that did not make the playoffs:
Other morning articles:
- Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman is at the World Hockey Championships with an eye on 2010.
- Eric Duhatschek wonders about the Flames’ cap problems, among other things, in his weekly notebook.