3rd Round Playoff Matchups
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar is feeling better every game he plays. Probably not coincidentally, the Penguins’ power play has been dominant as of late. Meanwhile, Maxime Talbot is not getting down on himself for missing a couple golden scoring chances while playing alongside Malkin. Speaking of Malkin, he wants to and has proved his critics wrong. Planning on stopping them is one thing, but the Penguins are just that good, says Cam Ward.
- Carolina knows it has to be more physical with Malkin and Crosby. They may be down 3-0, but the Hurricanes believe they can comeback. Any chance of that happening depends on Cam Ward. Caulton Tudor doesn’t believe the Hurricanes will comeback, but he does believe they have no reason to be embarassed about that.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)
- Experience is paying off for Detroit this round, writes Ted Kulfan. Valtteri Filppula has been quietly terrific for the entire playoffs so far, explains Dave Dye. The Wings are hoping to have both Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom in the lineup tomorrow night. Looking at these two franchises make one imagine that ownership may just be the most important aspect of running a successful franchise. Some believe that Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall have been the best pairing this playoffs. Detroit is hoping to win tonight, even though the Wings lost twice in the same situation last season.
- “We can’t win three games at once,” said Patrick Sharp in the most classic cliche teams down 3-1 have to say. Wednesday night will be the Blackhawks’ first elimination game of the playoffs. It doesn’t help that the Hawks are 3-5 on the road this playoffs. By all accounts, it appears unlikely Nikolai Khabibulin will suit up tomorrow for Chicago.
Teams that are not in the playoffs:
- Terry Frei wonders if Patrick Roy is playing the Avalanche versus the Habs?
- Islanders coach Scott Gordon thinks Kyle Okposo could crack the 2010 USA Olympic hockey team.
- Eric Duhatschek examines who may start in Canada’s net in 2010.
- Could Team Russia be the favorite?
- Blues defenseman Erik Johnson is back on the ice three times a week working with Al MacInnis.
- The latest on the Coyotes saga from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star. David Shoalts of the Globe & Mail also has more on the myriad of issues each side is dealing with.
- Lance Hornby provides us with an update on Peter Zezel’s condition which apparently isn’t very good. (Writer’s note: Wishing Peter the best.)
- Jonas Gustavsson, the highly coveted free agent Swedish netminder, has put his NHL dreams on hold as he deals with the passing of his mother.
- The Manitoba Moose have advanced to the AHL Calder Cup Final.
- The Moose will be up against the Hershey Bears for the Cup, as Hershey defeated Providence yesterday to take the Eastern Conference title.
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