Tonight's match between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins at the TD Garden is guaranteed to be an event where history will be made. The puck drop is set for 6:00 CDT and will be televised by Versus.
The winner of the contest will host the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night.
The series has been like Jeckel and Hyde with the Bruins taking the first three games and the Flyers taking the last three. There is really no way to project a favorite in the series that has made little sense.
From an historical perspective, only two teams have overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best of seven. The Toronto Maple Leafs did it in the 1942 Stanley Cup final against Detroit and the Islanders did it in 1975 in a quarter-final match with the Penguins.
The Bruins were in the same position last season, hosting Carolina in a simi-final game seven and lost to Carolina on a Scott Walker overtime goal, missing out on their first trip to the conference finals since 1992.
Since the best of seven format was introduced in the NHL playoffs in 1939, 132 series have gone the distance and the home team has won 80 times (60,6%). This year, the road teams are 3-0 and are 8-4 since 2008.
With all that being said, you can throw it all out the window when the game gets underway tonight. It will be interesting to see who wants it more, who gets the breaks, and which team will come away with a ticket to the conference finals.
Memorial Cup Gets Underway...
The final four our Canadian Junior hockey gets underway tonight and runs for ten days as the winners of the three CHL leagues meet with the hometown Brandon Wheat Kings to see who will be the overall champion of junior hockey.
The Predators will be represented by defenseman Ryan Ellis who's Windsor Spitfires are returning to defend last year's Memorial Cup Championship, and by Gabriel Bourque who's Moncton Wildcats were the last team to qualify for the cup match.
The entire series will be shown on the NHL Network in the United States. Here is the complete schedule with times shown in CDT.
Fri May 14 Preview Show 6:00 p.m.
Windsor Spitfires @ Brandon Wheat Kings 7:00 p.m.
Sat May 15 Calgary Hitmen @ Moncton Wildcats 2:00 p.m.
Sun May 16 Brandon Wheat Kings @ Moncton Wildcats 2:00 p.m.
Mon May 17 Calgary Hitmen @ Windsor Spitfires 7:00 p.m.
Tue May 18 Moncton Wildcats @ Windsor Spitfires 7:00 p.m.
Wed May 19 Brandon Wheat Kings @ Calgary Hitmen 7:00 p.m.
Thr May 20 Tiebreaker (if necessary) 7:00 p.m.
Fri May 21 Semifinal Game 7:00 p.m.
Sun May 23 Championship Pre-Game Show 1:30 p.m.
Championship Game 2:00 p.m.
World Championship Update...
At the World Championships on Thursday, Russia continued to roll as they beat Belarus 3-1. Norway sent France to the relegation round with a 5-1 win and Slovakia sent Kazakhstan to the same fate with another 5-1 win. In a good match, Sweden lost to the Czech Republic 2-1.
The stage is now set for the Qualification and Relegation rounds to get underway. Team USA will play France, Kazakhstan, and Italy in the relegation round robin.
Today's Qualification Round Games
Slovakia - Denmark 9:15am
Canada - Norway 9:15am
Finland - Belarus 1:15pm
Sweden - Latvia 1:15pm
In Pred Nation...
Marcel Goc answers fan's questions while at the World Championship in Germany. Many came from Nashville including several from SeePuckCity.
You can tell that there were no Team USA Preds at the World Championships as all nine Predators advanced to the second round.
Dirk the Forechecker presents his annual alternative NHL Awards. You might think he was a little rough on the Tootoo. He was up early today with his links that includes a new ice rink in Murfreesboro and a great story about Gabriel Bourque.
Wednesday's Slapshot Radio podcast is up and features Stu Hackel and Matthew Barnaby
See Puck City also checks in after a brief layoff with a variety of thoughts.
Mark Willoughby has his weekly View up already.
Jim Diamond pointed us to a nice piece about Blake Geoffrion graduating in four years.
Craig Custance at The Sporting News has a nice piece about the Preds and flood relief.
Pred's Title Sponsor, Bridgestone, gave $100,000 to Nashville flood relief.
Around the NHL...
From RT @stevelepore: NHL Confirms: Both Game 1's to be played Sunday. CHI/SJ 3PM NBC, MTL vs. BOS/PHI 7PM VERSUS.
ESPN Boston has a few facts and figures to put tonight's game in perspective.
Bill Daly appeared on NHL Home Ice yesterday with Mike Ross to discuss the Phoenix situation. Click here to listen. Pete Weber also talked Western conference hockey, listen here.
Ryan at the RLD offers a tribute to the Mellon Arena.
Another move is being made in Pittsburgh as Sidney Crosby is moving out of Mario's house.
Puck the Media analyzes the luck of the NHL in recent playoff match-ups.
J T Bourne writes what he would have written about Montreal before the playoffs.
Stay Classy has a few tips for Stanley Cup Playoff riots.
Odds and Ends...
For space buffs, the Delta Rocket program celebrated their 50th birthday yesterday. In all, there have been 348 launches for the program.
Staying with space, Atlantis is scheduled for its final launch this afternoon at 1:20 CDT on a trip to the space station with a Russian module and supplies.
It was also reported that parts of Transformers 3 will be filmed at the Kennedy Space Center and other sites in the Brevard County Florida area.
Steve Stirling, who is one of the principles at Intent To Blow, also has a real newspaper job and had an unbelievable story about a "large, tube-like object" floating over New Jersey yesterday. ITB was perfect training for this one.
Here is an interesting study of the least "shareable" words on Facebook as well as the most shareable.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass