Here are the morning papers for Saturday the 18th of April:
Boston Bruins (1) versus Montreal Canadiens (8)
- Matt Hunwick got quite the welcoming to the NHL playoffs on Thursday. Milan Lucic continues to prove he is made for prime time, writes Fluto Shinzawa. Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton appears to have grown tired of comments from Georges Laraque. One player who won’t back down from the Bruins’ physical play is defenseman Mike Komisarek.
- The Habs got a little feisty after the whistle last game, writes Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette. In injury news, Andrei Markov is back on the ice for Montreal but won’t play in Game 2. The Habs just want to get over “the hump”. Meanwhile, Red Fisher talks about the high number of firings in the NHL this season.
Washington Capitals (2) versus New York Rangers (7)
- Jeff Schultz has an undisclosed injury and has been pulled from the Capitals lineup in favor of Brian Pothier. Washington has noticed the increased aggressiveness of the Rangers since John Tortorella was hired. Mike Wise of the Washington Post has an interesting article on the career of Sergei Fedorov.
- The Rangers had a huge scare at practice yesterday, as Henrik Lundqvist was shaken up. With two days between games, the Blueshirts want to make sure they maintain the momentum they created in Game 1. New York better be good today because Jose Theodore won’t be worse than he was in Game 1, opines Larry Brooks. In other Broadway news, the team signed highly-coveted young defenseman Matt Gilroy to a two-year deal.
New Jersey Devils (3) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- New Jersey not only lost the game yesterday in overtime but they may have lost captain Jamie Langenbrunner for a prolonged period of time, writes Mark Everson. Brian Rolston will have to pick it up for New Jersey. Paul Maurice was happy with his team’s improved intensity after a 4-1 loss in Game 1.
- Eric Staal seemed to create more for himself and the whole Hurricanes team brought an increased intensity in Game 2, writes Chip Alexander. Everywhere you look there is a Sutter.
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) versus Philadelphia Flyers (5)
- The Penguins knew they had to score on their 5-on-3 in overtime, and they did just that. Those two penalties on Philadelphia ended up being the difference, writes Shelly Anderson. (Writer’s note: Penalties should be in quotations because the cross-check they called was absolutely not a penalty in my opinion.) Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Penguins deserved last night’s victory. Marc-Andre Fleury was clutch.
- At least the Flyers improved over Game 1, writes Sam Carchidi. Sam Donnellon thinks experience is the difference in this series. Luca Sbisa is making quite the transition on the fly.
Western Conference papers up next.