What an exciting game last night in Vancouver. That is the epitome of what playoff hockey elimination games are all about. The Sharks held on for dear lives but Kevin Bieksa ended their hopes halfway through the second overtime period. Congrats to the Canucks and their fans. We are in your corner for the finals.
I don't normally discuss my other job but dealing with the devastation in Joplin, Missouri from Sunday's tornado is really taking it's toll. Everyone's thoughts and prayers are need for the folks that survived the storm and are left with nothing. Here is a video of the estimated $3 billion dollars in damage that took out a third of the town.
Back to hockey, make the jump for today;s news and links...
In Pred Nation...
Mark Willoughby has a very detailed look at components of NHL teams' profitability in the first of a two-part series.
David Boclair talked to Paul Fenton to get the lowdown on signee Victor Bartley.
Jeremy Gover is up to number ten in his top 15 moments list and features David Legwand. He also has an open invitation for Preds fans to join some of us at the 6:30 viewing of The Hangover on Thursday at the Thoroughbred 20 in Cool Springs. You need to get tix in advance because it will sell out.
Dirk Hoag has the number four moment of the Predators season and a good look at Kevin Klein in his report card story. Also, Dirk has his morning links and steers me away from wearing my formal gown at the Awards in Las Vegas.
Predatorial has part two of their offseason signings post.
Puck Daddy had some interesting numbers including the stat that Jordin Tootoo was the best at drawing penalties of all NHLers in ten postseason games or more this year.
ESPN has a long story about Dierks Bentley who went to school with Tim Thomas for a year and is now a Preds fan (and music star).
Canucks 3 Sharks 2..
Last nights 3-2 double overtime win by the Vancouver Canucks over the San Jose Sharks will be a game that goes down in history as a great elimination game effort by both teams. The Canucks head to the finals for the third time in their 40 year history and the first time since 1994.
The game had a curios ending as the puck bounced of a stanchion in an odd way and went straight to Kevin Bieksa in the high slot who one timed it past Antti Niemi who was out of position not known where the puck had gone.
In spite of the weirdest goal in the playoffs so far, the Canucks were the better team, taking the series 4-1. The Sedin brothers were back in their top form in the series making the effort that the Predators made against them that much more impressive in the rear mirror view.
Boston at Tampa Bay...
On Monday, it was announced that Dwayne Roloson would start game five in the Boston-Tampa Bay series for the Lightning but Mike Smith ended up in net when the game started. Boston won 3-1 but it was not on Smith but had more to do with the great keeping of Tim Thomas.
In tonight's game six elimination game, Guy Boucher is going back to Roloson in goal as Tampa tries to stave off elimination and Boston tries to make the finals for the first time in 21 years. I'm hoping for a game seven and a win for the Bolts tonight. At this time of the year, you have to savor every game and hope for as many as possible.
If Boston closes out the Lightning, the Stanley Cup finals could start as early as Saturday night and could produce back to back weekend games if the league holds to their current plan
Atlanta to Winnipeg...
It was a relatively quiet day on the movement front bit Illegal Curve had plenty of stories reporting different aspects of the move.
NHL Home Ice had an interview with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Paul McCann wonders why no Tuesday announcement and compares the Globe and Mail to Harold Camping.
Around the NHL...
Elliotte Friedman has his weekly thirty thoughts and also discusses realignment possibilities.
Kevin Allen says that Brian Rafalski was born to play with the Red Wings.
Chris Botta has the latest on the political dealing to get the new arena vote on the August 1 ballot on Long Island.
Hockey Prospectus has their full top 100 list of prospects listed now.
Michael Langlois would not like to see another NHL team in Toronto.
Kingscast has part three of their post season round table and appears to have debuted at MayorsManor.
Sad news that Chicago legend Stan Mikita has been diagnosed with tongue cancer.
Dough Weight will announce his retirement at a news conference tomorrow.
Even if you team loses in the Conference finals, you can "what-if" with these leaked pictures of the T-shirts.
Now that the rapture has been rescheduled for October 21, the Las Vegas Wranglers have set their opening night game on the 21st as the last hockey game on earth.
Odds and Ends...
Here is an extensive article on how to spot a psychopath.
Ellen visited the Palms in Las Vegas and even dealt a little blackjack. It is a good video to preview what you might see at the NHL Awards SHow on June 22.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass