3rd Round Playoff Matchups
Pittsburgh Penguins (4) versus Carolina Hurricanes (6)
- Pittsburgh is the first team to return to the Finals with two different coaches since the Pittsburgh teams of 1991 and 1992. Getting close to the Cup and losing is not a pleasant experience, so the Penguins don’t want to repeat that once again. Hurricanes winger Scott Walker says the Pens are playing at a very high level right now. Last year they lost the Finals, so this season the Penguins had no problem holding up the Prince of Wales Trophy. Evgeni Malkin reminds Paul Maurice of Jaromir Jagr. Don Cherry loves the way Sidney Crosby plays these days.
- Just because they lost quickly in the third round, it should not take away from the Hurricanes’ playoff run, writes Chip Alexander. Yesterday marked the first time that Cam Ward has ever lost a NHL playoff series. It did not take long for Luke Decock to wonder what is up next for Carolina this off-season.
Detroit Red Wings (2) versus Chicago Blackhawks (4)
- The Red Wings play their own kind of tough hockey, writes Helene St. James. Throwing Patrick Kane’s mouthguard away amused some Red Wings. Both Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom are game-time decisions tonight. See, if you look at the Red Wings dressing room, Swedes and Finns can get along. Jonathan Ericsson has provided a great boost for the Red Wings in so many different ways.
- Cristobal Huet seems most likely to get the start tonight for Chicago. “It’s going to be 60 or more minutes that’s going to decide our future,” says Huet. The Hawks aren’t focusing on the 9% chance they’ve been given to win this series.
Teams that are not in the playoffs
- Darryl Sutter says he’s the best candidate to coach the Flames right now, but has not yet named himself coach of the team. Eric Duhatschek touches upon the likelieness of Sutter returning to coach the Flames.
- Mr. Hockey in Minnesota, Lou Nanne, will be honored by USA Hockey early next month.
- Peter Laviolette is interested in the Minnesota Wild head coaching position, writes Michael Russo.
- Are the Habs becoming a religion in Montreal?
- Staying in Montreal, the Molson family is apparently interested in buying the Canadiens.
- There are apparently some legal issues regarding seating for the New Jersey Devils.
- The Hall of Fame is not going to change Al Arbour’s plaque to account for his one new coaching win from 2007.
- The Rangers have signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to an entry-level contract.
- The latest on the Phoenix saga, courtesy of Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic. Safe to say that the sides are squabbling yet again.
- The Blues have re-signed Jay McClement to a three year, $4.3 million contract.
- Could there be a steroids controversy about to hit hockey?
- The Capitals are facing big-time competition from the KHL when it comes to re-signing their free agents.
Edmonton Oilers coaching hire
- Pat Quinn stayed humble during his time away from coaching in the NHL, writes Damien Cox.
- Quinn will have the chance to win the Stanley Cup, one of the only titles he has yet to win.
- Steve Tambellini really liked the experience and versatility of his new coaching hires.
- Terry Jones with all you need to know about Pat Quinn.
- Tom Renney as the strategy guy has worked well in the past.
- Kelly Buchberger is the only member of the Oilers’ coaching staff that will return from last season.
- Derek Van Diest gets the reaction of a number of Oilers players to yesterday’s hirings. (Writer’s note: Van Diest will be on the IllegalCurve.com Radio Show tonight to discuss the hiring and what’s next for the Oilers this summer.)
- It takes two special personalities for this coaching arrangement to work, writes Robert Tychkowski.
- The Oilers look to be an attacking team next season.
- Pat Quinn was a safe choice for Steve Tambellini, writes Eric Duhatschek.
Remembering Peter Zezel
- Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News remembers the classy Zezel from his time with the Flyers organization.
- Peter Zezel was the kind of guy that would literally give you the shirt off his back, writes Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star.
- Zezel played on a lot of teams, and all of his teammates loved him.
- Allan Maki tells readers that Zezel wasn’t just a great hockey player.
- The Moose are a round away from reversing some of the bad playoff luck from past seasons, explains Tim Campbell.
**The IllegalCurve.com Radio Show can heard live tonight from 7pm central time through to 9pm central time. Tonight’s guests include: Darren Eliot (Sports Illustrated and Versus) and Derek Van Diest (Edmonton Sun). We hope you tune in.**