Everything that the hyped up Caps-Pens game seven wasn't, was delivered in the other two game sevens on Thursday night. No one could ask for more intense playoff action than was delivered as the second round ended.
All the poor mouthing that I have done about having little interest in the Carolina-Boston series went out the window in the third period and overtime on Thursday night. After watching the early game, the Eastern game proved to be even more intense.
The last few minutes of overtime before ex-Pred Scotty Walker scored his first playoff goal was incredible back and forth action with fabulous saves on both ends to keep the game going. I had picked Boston to win the game but found myself pulling for Carolina as the game progressed.
To see a player who had meant so much to the Predators in the early years of the franchise score an OT game winning seventh game goal was really special. There is no doubt that I will be a Canes fan through the Conference finals.
Many folks only know Scotty for the apparent sucker punch on Aaron Ward and don't realize that is not his nature at all. I'm sure that's why he got the benefit of the doubt from Colin Campbell since he has been a model citizen for his entire career.
The early game started out looking like Detroit would walk away with it as they scored first and out shot the Ducks 17-6 in the first period. Detroit maintained the lead until the Ducks tied it in the third.
With time winding down, both teams played intense, desperate hockey that the playoffs are know for. With exactly three minutes left, Dan Cleary scored the game winning goal that gave Detroit the opportunity to host Chicago for the Western Conference title.
Amazingly, my original bracket picks (as seen below) had three of the four actual finalist correctly picked. The West is a mess however and the major flaw that cannot be undone is that the fourth pick was the San Jose Sharks going all the way and taking the cup.
In Predators news...
According to several sources, there has been considerable activity at the Predators select a seat functions with folks moving around and adding new seats.
It appears that Tom Callahan was the big winner in the celebrity bowling event Thursday night, reportedly rolling a 199 in his first game. The Celebs Strike Up A Cure event was organized by Eric Yutzy and included Preds Steve Sullivan, Vern Fiddler, and Scott Nichol, and a bunch more folks! Here's a weak story with no mention of Pred participants. I guess Sully, Vern and Scotty looked too normal in the alleys to be considered celebrities. This sounds like Big Lebowski stuff. I doubt there were any "mark it 8, dude" moments.
Tom Callahan will be doing an interview on Friday with Colin Wilson. If you have questions that you want him to ask, tweet him at @Predsradio.
Word on the next 303:30 which will air on Saturday is "Puck Daddy from Yahoo! Sports will join Codey & Jeremy on The 303:30 this Saturday. (2nd guest to be announced shortly)"
Around the Hockey World...
The schedule is set for the Conference finals. All games are on Versus in the US except for the Wings-Hawks Sunday contests which will be on NBC. It's hard to believe the NBC (Nothing But Crosby) network is passing on Sid. Maybe they are still mad about the outdoor screen issue.
The biggest hockey games going on for the next two days are at the Memorial Cup. Ganes will be shown on the NHL Network in the US.
In this AP piece from the ESPN site, Coyote owner Jerry Moyes admits that he was broke last October and that the NHL effectively took over in November.
This is a rerun from yesterday's late additions but a couple of links that you would not want to miss. Balsillie is now ready to play hardball per the Toronto Star. Here's a great quote from the story,"I tell you, by complying with the club rules you get 100 per cent denied the very thing you're looking for. There was no other team coming to Canada. It wasn't going to happen. There was no chance. Certainly not Hamilton. Guaranteed." Here's a video of the interview. It's about four minutes and worth a watch.
Here's the first link that I've posted from the local paper, the Arizona Republic. It's good to see that they woke up and realized something was up in Glendale. Here is a "Letter to the Editor type posting from Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes, himself. He's playing the victim card. If he hadn't been watching Oprah so much to learn the victim tactics, maybe he wouldn't be in financial trouble. @Jones36 points out "That's funny, Leipold pretty much said the same thing", which is true.
Based on the Balsillie "Canadian nationalism" principle, the stats in this Mirtle piece would make you think Canada would want a Hawks-Pens final.
Jackson's View from the Couch puts a final touch on the Pens-Caps series at the RLD.
Ten off season moves that make sense in by Kevin Allen in USA today includes Rads back to the Preds and Islanders taking Hedman.
Neil Bristow points us to the new Don Cherry biopic movie that will soon begin shooting.
Brian Metzer has an interesting game seven adventure story from the Pen-Caps final. To keep things even, here is Lori Russo's take on the Caps losing at NHLDigest.
Interesting Tweet from @JapersRink "Of the four #nhl coaches whose teams are still playing, three were in-season replacements. Coincidence? OK, Coach Q barely counts. Still..."
Sad story on the possible death of the UND Fighting Sioux.
ChicsHockey has a couple of good stories on conspiracy theories and a UK hockey fan.
Here's a weird story from the storied hockey publication, Time Magazine. Joel Stein, the "Hockey Beat Writer" for Time has been told hockey was no longer relevant so he is pleading with readers to support more hockey at Time, Inc. This comes on the heals of the horrible article at SI a couple of days ago on the worst owners in hockey that proved that hockey wasn't relevant at SI either since they put out such an ill researched argument.
Another odd one from Bleacher Report about the Braves Brian McCann using a performance enhancing device.
Funny story and picture, alleged to be true, of something real similar to Twitter that was done in London in August 1935.
Even further off topic - an award winning optical illusion. This proves some of the management and leadership emails I get everyday are worthwhile reading.
Buddy Oakes @ PredsOnTheGlass
This is really cool. From NASA an eclipse of the sun... by the space shuttle!
A stats comparison of the final four from Mirtle. Detroit looks strong in several areas among the four. My predictions tomorrow.
Make it Seven now has sponsors.
More bowling pictures of the Preds.
From SI (who has so much hockey credibility) has the sad story of ex-Pred owner Boots DelBiaggio's potential six year prison term.
High security on the wi-fi password at Joe Louis Arena.