Wednesday featured just two games (only one semi-meaningful game) on the schedule that left us with little to talk about.
So let’s put the snooze fest that was Wednesday behind us and look forward to what should be a great Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the NHL.
With just three days left in the regular season, we have three teams fighting for two spots in the Eastern Conference, including the Panthers and Capitals still to decide the Southeast Division. Out West, we have four teams separated by just four points in the Pacific Division and five teams (Kings, Coyotes, Sharks, Stars, Avalanche) still fighting for three playoff spots (third seed for the Pacific winner, plus the seventh and eighth seeds).
The Caps and Panthers play each other tonight, the Penguins and Flyers renew acquaintences on Saturday and the Sharks and Kings will play a home-and-home between tonight and Saturday that may very well decide the Pacific Division.
If you thought Tuesday night was crazy, the best may be yet to come over the next 72 hours.
Any way you slice it, we could be in for one of the more exciting finishes to an NHL regular season in recent memory.
Here are your links:
- The one notable moment from Wednesday’s pair of games came courtesy of Ryan Reaves, who was assessed a five minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct for this hit on Brad Stuart:
Reaves seemed to make contact with Stuart’s shoulder, not his head, and Stuart may have turned slightly towards the boards, but he was also already in a somewhat vulnerable position and looked to hit his head off the glass pretty hard, so it’s easy to see why in this age of head protection, the ref would make the decision that he did. The question is, what does Brendan Shanahan think of this?
- Sad news for the hockey world, as the ultimate Hockey Dad, Walter Gretzky has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (Sun News).
- An emotional Wayne talks about his father’s illness (The New York Times).
- Drew Doughty wants to end the Sharks’ season before the playoffs (Puck Daddy). If you want an absolutely awesome setup for the very last game of the NHL season (10:30 p.m. ET. on Saturday), then cheer for a Sharks overtime win in the first half of the home-and-home tonight. That would put both teams at 94 points with 34 regulation/OT wins each heading into Saturday.
- The Canadiens can learn from the never-say-die Jets and Sabres (Montreal Gazette).
- It’s rare you see a goaltender execute such a beautiful tape-to-tape pass like this one (theScore.com). Unfortunately for Peter Budaj, that pass is to an opposing player, who is wide open in front of Budaj’s gaping net.
- The Lightning’s unselfishness cost them Tuesday night’s game against the Habs (Bolts By The Bay). If you were wondering if the other Lightning players would be constantly looking for Stamkos to aid him in his quest for 60, read this short recap for your answer.
- Mike Babcock is pondering whether to keep Jonathan Ericsson paired with Nick Lidstrom (MLive.com).
- Home ice advantage is not something to be taken lightly for the Red Wings (Southgate News Herald). The question here is whether it’s better for Detroit to finish sixth and play the winner of the Pacific Division or try for fourth and have home ice against the Predators.
- The Blues are getting healthy for the playoffs (RantSports.com).
- Mark Messier is impressed with this year’s version of the Rangers (The Sporting News). Pretty crazy that an NYC subway train has been specially decorated just for the Rangers’ playoff run. No pressure or anything guys.