Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Pair of 2-0 Series Leads and Hump Day Highlights

Two game twos were played last night with similar results to Sunday's game ones in NHL Conference final action.

In the late game, the Chicago Blackhawks continued to overwhelm the San Jose Sharks as they won 4-2 at the HP Pavilion. Four different players scored for the Hawks while Patrick Marleau had both goals for the Sharks.

The teams have two days off as they move east to Chicago for the next two games. Adrian Dater feels that the Hawks have dynasty potential in a post at Versus.

In the Eastern Conference finals, Montreal failed to show up again as the Flyers won 3-0. Daniel Briere's goal 4:16 into the game proved to be the game winner.

Michael Leighton continued his fairy-tale season with the shutout which was his second in a row. His story is unbelievable and you could tell that he was really enjoying the moment as the clock ticked down.

There are no NHL games tonight as Philadelphia moves to Montreal for game three tomorrow. The schedule will alternate nights for the rest of the third round but it's not clear that either series will be a long one at this point.

Memorial Cup...

In the match between Pred Prospects, Windsor beat Moncton 4-3. Ryan Ellis had two assists for the Spitfires while Gabriel Bourque again did not make the scorecard. Windsor heads straight to Sunday's final Championship Game at 6:00 p.m. where they will try to repeat last season's championship.

Tonight Brandon will play Calgary to wrap up the preliminary round robin at 7:00 p.m. CDT on the NHL Network.

World Championships...

After a full slate of games yesterday, the World Championship arenas will go dark for a day in preparation for tomorrow's quarterfinal action.

Team USA won the relegation round with a 3-0 record but they had to go to the shootout to beat Italy 3-2. T J Oshie's shoot out goal sealed assured that the US would not be sent to second tier status next year. France was the other survivor of the relegation round while Italy and Kazakhstan were demoted.

In other games, Russia beat a Pekka Rinne-less Finland 5-0. Germany beat Slovakia 2-1, Sweden beat Switzerland 5-0 and Canada was upset by the Czech Republic 3-2.

Thursday's quarterfinal match between Canada and Russia has the appearance of a projected early exit by the Canadians. Russia has been unbeatable and Canada has been sub par to say the least.

Here is Thursday's complete quarterfinal schedule.

Finland -Czech Republic 9am
Sweden - Denmark 9am
Russia - Canada 1pm
Switzerland -Germany 1pm

In Pred Nation...

Holly Gunning has the Hockey's Future outlook for Pred's prospects in the AHL and ECHL. has the news that all nine Predators and prospects advanced to the Final round at the World Championships.

Jim Diamond has the story of ex-Pred captain Tom Fitzgerald's son Ryan, being selected in yesterdays USHL Future's draft. I remember when Ryan played in the same soccer league as Jackson in Brentwood and everyone would get excited when Captain Tom showed up for games on Saturday morning.

The Predator's ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones, returned home for game three of the Kelly Cup finals with a 2-0 series lead but lost to the Idaho Steelheads 4-3 in a double-overtime thriller. Evan Barlow scored his second goal of the game 48 seconds into the second overtime to cut the Cyclones lead to 2-1. Here is some video.

Bryan Mullen has the news of former Pred fan favorite Scotty Nichol raising money for Nashville Flood relief. Dirk Hoag also pointed us to the David Pollak piece from San Jose on the fundraiser.

Paul McCann checks in with an update and a reminder of tonight's Slap Shot Radio.

Pekka Rinne is listed as the ninth best late round selection in recent history at Bleacher Report.

Restoration of the Bridgestone Arena from flood damage appears to be proceeding without any issues.

Around the NHL...

Michelle Kenneth has tips for attending the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Next month. She mentions our planned trip to In-N-Out Burger with a plan to be liquored up for the journey.

Steve Lapore has the latest ratings news from Sunday's NBC game. Versus broke all records for ratings in second round NHL contests (even ESPN). Similar success was reported for the combined first two rounds. Over 2 million viewers watched last Friday's Bruins-Flyers game seven.

Matt Reitz has numerous betting opportunities for the conference finals that you might not find in Vegas.

Scott Burnside chronicles Michael Leighton's journey through numerous towns that led him to where he is now. As he won last night, you can't help but be excited to the guy. He really was enjoying the last couple of minutes of the game and it showed.

Ryan Porth has the story on how Dale Tallon's Chicago stint led the Hawks to their current success. Steve Gorton has a Tallon round-up including word of a news conference this morning at 10:00 CDT.

Nathan Fournier has the update from yesterday's USHL Future's Draft.

Odds and Ends...

I had shared recipes with reader @littz11, and she reported success with the squash croquettes. As an added service, I'll be happy to email a few recipes to anyone who is looking for something different for dinner.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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