Here are your NHL News and Notes for Tuesday:
The Chicago Blackhawks are the first team to advance to the Conference Finals by virtue of their 7-5 win over the Vancouver Canucks last night. Roberto Luongo gave up 5 goals in the series against the Blues, and the Hawks hung 7 on him in one game last night, including 4 in the 3rd period, and hat trick by Patrick Kane.
Here are the dizzying highlights. Five lead changes in this game:
Congratulations on a great job by the Blackhawks, head on over to Second City Hockey for the euphoria, or if some good old fashioned schadenfreude is your thing, stop over at Nucks Misconduct for the post mortem. Just remember to play nice, that was us two weeks ago.
In the Eastern Conference, the series I guess someone has to win is going to Game 7. After Sidney Crosby tied the game with 4:18 remaining, David Steckel won the game for the Capitals, sending the series back to D.C. for the deciding game tomorrow night. Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have combined for 13 goals and 10 assists in this series. And oh yeah, Evgeni Malkin has 8 points too. Check out Japers Rink and Pensburgh for more on these series.
It's do or die tonight for the Boston Bruins, who travel to Carolina for Game 6 of their series with the Hurricanes holding a 3-2 advantage. Bad blood should be flowing tonight after Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward was dropped to the ice by what Bruins coach Claude Julien termed a "sucker punch" from Canes winger Scott Walker. Walker was fined but not suspended, and the Bruins have promised to have long memories on the incident. Game 5 had 29 penalties, unheard of for playoff hockey, but we could see more of the same tonight. Stanley Cup of Chowder has all your Bruins coverage, and don't forget to stop in and see Bubba at Canes Country.
Here's a video of the Walker-Ward incident:
The Anaheim Ducks are also facing elimination tonight when they take on the Red Wings in Game 6 of their series. The Ducks are looking to bounce back from an awful performance in Game 5, but its not going to be easy against a Detroit team that seems to be finding their game. For more on tonight's game, head over to Winging it in Motown for Red Wings coverage, and if you haven't seen it, Battle for California is the place for all things Ducks, and some cartoon fun from its manager, Earl Sleek.
In other NHL News,
- The Tampa Bay Lightning removed the interim tag from coach Rick Tocchet, signing him to a multi-year deal. Assistant coach Mike Sullivan has an offer to stay with the team, but odds are he is headed to NYC to be John Tortorella's assistant.
- Interesting article in the Phoenix Business Journal about the precedent that could be set when the Coyotes case gets to bankruptcy court next week. I don't think hockey in Phoenix can be saved at this point, but it appears that the NHL is going to fight moving the Coyotes tooth and nail.
- Mike Modano announced yesterday he will return for a 20th season with the Stars, check out the story over at Defending Big D. He's an original Minnesota North Star, glad he will be sticking around another year.
Finally, a question to ponder:
The NHL has its own network, channel 215 on DirecTv, and available on most cable systems. So can anyone explain to me why the NHL Network couldn't show the beginning of the Nucks-Hawks game last night when the Pens and Caps went to OT? Makes absolutely no sense. When the Blackhawks game started, the NHL Network was showing 2007 Stanley Cup playoff highlights. Seems to me that this is the type of situation where having your own network helps. Oh yeah, the Ducks won the Cup in 2007.