Tuesday night's mercy killing of the Carolina Hurricanes by the Pittsburgh Penguins was welcome news for fans ready to move to the Stanley Cup Finals. All we need is for the Wings to finish off the Hawks tonight so we can get ready for a more competitive series starting this weekend.
Carolina came out and actually looked like they wanted to win the game and lead 1-0 early in the first period. The Pens tied the game and and then Cam Ward drove the nail in the Hurricanes coffin with the worst non-stop of the playoffs so far when he missed a little floater shot by Max Talbot to give the Pens a 2-1 lead.
Beyond that point, it was just a matter of time running out for the Pens to be rightfully crowned with the Conference Championship so they can move on for what appears to be a rematch with the Wings. Carolina looked bad in the second and third periods and took several sloppy penalties which did nothing but put them further behind the eight ball.
Much of the post game talk was about Sidney Crosby and the team touching the Conference trophy, which they did not do last season. It didn't make a difference last year and it won't this year. I'm glad they chose not to follow a stupid superstition and did the honors of posing with the trophy that they worked hard to acquire. For those who missed it, here is a video of the game's end, handshakes and trophy touch.
Tonight's match up between the Wings and Hawks will also be an interesting game. After a meltdown by team and coach alike on Sunday, it will be key to see if the young Hawks gain their composure and compete with the Wings or if they are too far gone to make a game of it. I honestly don' know how they will react but I do expect the Wings to wrap it up tonight, one way or another. Preview and game sim at the RLD.
In Predator News...
John Glennon has a new post today about athletes who use Twitter, including Steve Sullivan (@Sully26) and the Titan's Alge Crumpler(@GetCrump). He also quotes Paul Nicholson (@pwnicholson) who is the originator of the @predfans group among other things. John has a second article about the announcement yesterday that Colin Wilson was the USA Hockey player of the year.
Jim Diamond has a good piece about how Barry Trotz's longevity is a rariety in the NHL. Only Lindy Ruff of Buffalo has been with their team longer than Trotz. Over 100 coaching changes have been made elsewhere during Trotz's tenure with the Preds.
The Hockey Writers have a thorough examination of the Predators goaltending situation. The only flaw that I saw in their analysis was with their treatment of Drew MacIntyre who will be a UFA come July 1. Unless the Preds trade Dan Ellis or if they want to create competition for the back-up position in camp, I do not see them resigning big Drew in spite of his stellar season at Milwaukee.
Hearing in Phoenix...
Today's court hearing in Phoenix will be another circus. The main point when it was originally scheduled was for the judge to get a update on the "mediation" between Moyes and the NHL on the control of the team. It was reported Monday that some progress had been made on day to day operations of the team, but none on the issue of whether Moyes had enough control to file bankruptcy on his own.
There were numerous filings yesterday by all parties but the one getting headlines concerns Balsillie's new "deadline" of June 29th when the sale must be completed. Balsillie also proposes that the BOG meet to approve bids by June 12 and the auction to be on June 26. From experience, I can say that the BOG doesn't move on anyone else's timetable so I would really be surprised if that changed on behalf of Jim Balsillie unless they wanted to deliver a big fat NO!
Around the NHL...
Breaking news from the Denver Post, Patrick Roy has turned down the Av's offer.
Condolences to the family of Peter Zezel who passed away yesterday from complications from a rare blood disorder that he had been battling for over a decade. He was a well like Toronto Maple Leaf player who played 15 years at the NHL level. Zezel was only 44.
Jackson and I were discussing Dan Bylsma's past last night after he was interviewed by the CBC. Like magic, Mirtle answers all the questions that we had in this post.
In an effort not to lose headlines after Edmonton's announcement of coaches Quinn and Renney, Daryl Sutter called his own press conference to say that he was the best person that he knew to lead the Flames next year, but that he would interview other candidates. The dynamics of this "I'm the best unless I find someone better" situation seems a bit odd to me.
Federov and Kozlov jumping to the KHL isn't the only bad news in DC. Puck Daddy has a story that we will probably hear much about in the future. Allegations have been made during an arrest in Polk County, Florida that a steroid dealer has sold his goods to several unnamed Capital and National players. Hopefully, the allegations aren't true but regardless this is the kind of news that never seems to go away. On a lighter note, go here for Puck Daddy's Stanley Cup replica contest.
Chris Wassel from The Program announced that tonight's BTR show will be early this week at 6:00 Central.
Off topic space news... Three additional astronauts were sent in to orbit by a Russian spacecraft this morning to join the three already at the International Space Station. This will mark the first time that the ISS has been fully staffed with the intended crew of six.
The folks at @Astronautics continue their crusade against Twitter spammers with fake girl names by posting a list of "girls" that have invaded their space (pun intended).
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Here's an odd one courtesy of @pwnicholson and @forechecker via RT. Rolling Hills Community Church is sponsoring a family night with the Predators in the west parking lot of the Thoroughbred Cinema in Franklin from 6-8 tonight. Barry Trotz will allegedly be there and they advertise "more fun than you can imagine". You can even get your picture made with Gnash. WooHoo!
Per @CraigCustance Datsyuk and Lidstrom out tonight
Nathan Fournier is reporting a Noon Eastern Presser by Patrick Roy to announce that he is staying with the Quebec Remparts.
A new interview with Jim Balsillie appeared in the Toronto Sun prior to today's hearing. Balsillie has now resorted to the Oprah school of being the victim in the whole Make It 7 matter. Basically, my interpretation is that he just wants to be one of the boys and the NHL won't let him play. Poor fellow, all dressed up and no team to play with. I hope Canada gets as many teams as they can support and Balsillie doesn't get any of them. What a whiny jerk, he is! Mirtle has a more even keeled response to the interview.
Here is another pre-hearing story from the Wall Street Journal about teams using bankruptcy as a tool if the Coyotes succeed in their sale.
After pouring through over 100 Tweets from @TheYotesDiva, @kash2112, and @kmcgran the best I can tell, little was resolved at today's hearing in the desert other than a few scheduling issues . The judge admitted that there was no precedent case law in this matter. The next major hearing will be June 9 with briefs being filed by June 5. This will be on the relocation and Glendale lease matters. The judge admits that no matter what is decided that it will be appealed. Several other dates were floated for a sale or auction but really are not worth discussing until the mobility issue is resolved. here is the Globe and Mail's first take on the hearing as well as the Hamilton Specs first report.
The NHL and the Washington Caps deny any knowledge of the steroids story linked above.
Rumors continue on next season's Winter Classic being held at Fenway Park. Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs discussed the posibility today.