Stanley Cup Final
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
- Even though they are up 2-0 in the series, the Wings are confident they can still play better. Marian Hossa knows what kind of reception he will be receiving tonight. Dave Dye discusses the fact that Chris Osgood is probably the odds-on favorite to win the Conn Smythe after a sub-par regular season. Kris Draper is ready to suit up if he’s called upon, but if he isn’t, the Wings may dearly miss his face-off presence on the road. If Draper doesn’t get into the lineup this Final, what could be next for the long-time Wing? Don’t expect Pavel Datsyuk to play tonight in Pittsburgh. With Datsyuk absent, Henrik Zetterberg has been tremendous and one has to think he may be the next captain of the Wings when Nicklas Lidstrom retires. Finally, Drew Sharp has an interesting column calling out the fans and media for the criticism of LeBron and Crosby. (Writer’s note: I agree with Sharp. These two players receive too much unneccesary criticsm.)
- The odds may not look great, but the Penguins remain confident in their chances. Remember that Pittsburgh has both out-chanced and outshot the Wings through two games. Some contributions from non-superstars would be welcomed as well. The players in the Pens dressing room know they have be strong on the draws against a puck-possession team like Detroit. The Penguins are not letting the lack of penalty calls bother them. He doesn’t garner too much attention, but Rob Scuderi has turned into a rock on the Penguins’ back-end. In some nice news, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is going to be recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Montreal coaching hire
- Sean Gordon of the Globe & Mail tells us that Bob Gainey was looking for a defense-first coach who values discipline and Jacques Martin brought exactly those qualifications.
- This is the first time Montreal has hired a coach with past head coaching experience since 1992, writes Pat Hickey.
- Dave Stubbs chimes in on Martin’s boring coaching style.
- Questioning Martin’s playoff record, Red Fisher of the Gazette wonders why Bob Gainey was in such a rush to name Martin his new head coach?
- Now that Martin has been hired, many other decisions must be made.
Teams that are not in the playoffs
- The US television rating were up for Game 2 over Game 1.
- In Canada, CBC’s ratings have held steady.
- J.J. Taylor likes the move to bring in Joe Nieuwendyk as some semi-fresh blood. It is no guarantee that Dave Tippett coaches the Stars next season, explains Chuck Carlton. Nieuwendyk plans to build this Stars team through the draft.
- George Richards discussess possible replacements for Jacques Martin in Florida. Meanwhile, David Hyde is skeptical of the Panthers’ ability to hire a capable replacement.
- Devils prospect Petr Vrana has signed on to play in the Czech league.
- Sticking in New Jersey, Brent Sutter knows that he needs to decide whether he is returning to coach the Devils in the near future.
- The Rangers have unbelievably raised ticket prices in this economic climate. (James Mirtle had a good piece on this yesterday)
- Injured Blues defenseman Eric Brewer expects to be ready for training camp next fall.
- Sabres prospect Marek Zagrapan has signed a two-year deal with a KHL team.
- The Oilers have signed draft pick Milan Kytnar.
The Coyotes situation
- Here is a very interseting article on the thoughts of Gabe Macaluso, someone who has attempted to bring an NHL team to Hamilton before.
- As David linked last night, Jim Balsillie has filed a relocation application.
- The city of Glendale appears ready to help a purchaser willing to keep the team in Arizona.
- Let’s just say Wayne Gretzky could lose a lot of money depending on what happens with this sale.
- Finally, an article by Jim Balsillie himself.
Calder Cup Final
- With a 2-3-2 format for the Final, the Moose can ill-afford to be down 2-0 in this series heading back to Hershey. Just because they lost Game 1, doesn’t mean the team is suddenly losing confidence. Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun thinks special teams is the key for tonight’s game. In injury news, Alex Bolduc hopes to suit up for Manitoba tonight.
**Tomorrow night is the IllegalCurve.com Radio Show from 7pm CST through to 9pm CST. Tomorrow’s guests include Greg Logan of Newsday who will breakdown the Islanders’ draft possibilities and George Richards of the Miami Herald who will breakdown the Panthers’ GM situation and discuss Jacques Martin’s exit from South Beach.**