Before we get into the games, we would like to thank Travis Hair aka Odin Mercer of Five for Howling for a thoughtful, engaging 45 minute long conversation on POTG Radio about the situation in Phoenix. The whole debate isn't really about Make it Seven or Keep it Six, but a group of fans that live and die with their team and don't want to lose them. The folks in Phoenix would love for Southern Ontario to have a team, just not theirs. Check out the podcast, you might be surprised at what you learn.
Back to the games... In everyone's dream match up, Washington battled back in overtime to beat Pittsburgh to force game seven at home on Wednesday night. It was an incredible match that had something for fans of both teams. The game was tied and sent to OT on a Sidney Crosby goal with a little over four minutes left in the game. 6:22 into overtime, David Steckel deflected a shot from Brooks Laich past Marc-Andre Fleury to give everyone (except Pens fans) the game seven that the hockey world wanted to see.
The later game was equally enthralling with a game that had lead changes throughout until the Hawks scored the last three in a row to seal the 7-5 win and their first trip to the conference finals since 1995. Many will lay the blame on the Canucks loss at the skates of Roberto Luongo, but credit needs to go to the Hawks who played a great series. Patrick Kane's hat trick was icing on the cake for the home town Chicago crowd. Will this be an all Central Division Conference final and a rematch of the Winter Classic? My bet is yes!
Patrick Kane Hat Trick
I really don't see how tonight's games can be any more exciting, but the potential is there with Boston and Anaheim fighting for the lives in game six, win or go golfing situations.
Boston really played well on Sunday night, so we'll see if it was one last hurrah or if the momentum will carry over to tonight's game. Same in the West, as Detroit can seal the Conference finals if they play like they did on Sunday. I'm all for game sevens, but I'm not sure we will see one in either series.
Ryan at the RLD has complete breakdowns on tonight's action.
In Predator Nation...
The Milwaukee Admirals blistered the Houston Aeros 7-0 to force a game seven in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. Seven different Ads scored goals in a game that was never really a contest. Robert Dietrich was the big point man with a goal and three assists on the way to a +4 rating.
Houston's starting goalie, Anton Khudobin, was chased at the 12:52 mark in the first when he gave up the Ads second goal on eight shots. After a collapse in game five, the Aeros staff had little patience with Khudobin. For the Ads, it was Drew MacIntyre's first shutout of the playoffs as he stopped all 21 Aero shots. Game seven is Wednesday night and the winner will advance to the Conference finals.
For the Houston angle on the game T3I and Ms Conduct provide the perspective.
Mark from The View from 111 checks in with a post about the venom being spewed between US and Canadian fans over the Phoenix debate.
Rachel from What the Puck moves on with Part 5 in her year end Preds wrap-up.
Forchecker puts a good end-cap on the World Championships with his post looking at each Predator participant.
Around the NHL...
Puck Daddy has a pair of good articles on the playoffs on Chicago and on the Pens-Caps game seven.
The Toronto Star reports that the Moyes-Balsillie clan won a minor court victory yesterday and points out that Dallas may be the next team to file for Bankruptcy
The great mainstream hockey publication, Forbes, reports on Wayne Gretzky stabbing Gary Bettman in the back.
In a new feature at XM204 Mick Kern and Eric Gage square off in the One Percentile podcast.
Chris at the Program writes of something you don't hear much about in this area that is known as "The Dirtiest Day in Sports".
Over at HPT Blake writes that Mike Modano will be back with the Stars for season #20. He is the last link to the North Stars that remains with the team.
It appears I don't get out much because I had no idea that the Nashville Roller Girls actually existed until now. Roller Derby season appears to be during the hockey off season. Maybe this might be a good alternative to Sounds Baseball. The nest roll takes place Saturday versus the the Dixie Derby Girls of Huntsville. If you are interested, they are recruiting and have tryouts this Sunday from 1-3 at the Fairgrounds.
Finally, not to wear our Puck Daddy today, but I liked this one in a weird sort of way.
More later as the day progresses...
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
This is a bit of an odd post that asks who will have the greater sports legacy in Nashville, Barry Trotz or Jeff Fisher?
The Toronto Star had a fairly positive article about Save the Coyotes.
We received a link from Versus today to a Podcast where Brian Engblom answered questions submitted by NHL blogger.