Happy Thursday! The weekend appears to be in sight. You could not ask for two more competitive games than the ones last night that both went to overtime.
After having Amber Alerts sent of for being MIA, Evgeni Malkin showed up to play on Wednesday night and had his best game of the playoffs. The game was great for back and forth action and was sent to the extra period with less than two minutes left on a goal by Nicklas Backstrom who had not scored during the playoffs. The game was decided on a goal at 11:23 into the extra period on Kris Letang's first playoff goal this year. Varlamov was again the player of the game for the Caps, stopping 39 of 42 Pens shots. It was a good night for players stepping up and playing as they were expected to play. This one is definitely headed for seven games, just as Gary Bettman ordered.
To most folks surprise, Carolina won in OT to take a 2-1 lead over Boston in the series. After going down 1-0 Carolina clearly outplayed the Bruins for most of the game out shooting them 41-23. Boston sent the game into the extra period halfway through the third period on a goal by Mark Recchi. It was Jussi Jokinen's fifth goal of the playoffs that won it for the Hurricanes 2:48 in to the extra period.
Tonight's action returns to the West with Vancouver playing at Chicago and Detroit playing later in Anaheim. Vancouver played their most complete game of the series in game three so it will be interesting to see if they will continue tonight. With a loss tonight, the Wings will have their baxks up against the wall and will have to win out. For a change I'm going with both road teams in the #twtpool tonight.
Ryan at the RLD has complete previews of tonight's action.
At the World Championships, Team USA moves into a match against Russia after beating Pekka's Finland team on Wednesday. Ryan Suter had the GWG and Colin Wilson also got on the boards with an assist. Canada beat Latvia by a score of 4-2 on Thursday and will play the winner of Sweeden and the Czechs. Dan Hamhuis scored Canada's second goal on a power play.
The Milwaukee Admirals are down 2-1 in their series against Houston and need a win desparately tonight in Houston.
David Poile appeared on XM204's HTM today and covered several topics. Here is a link to the podcast. He discusses the US team beating Pekka in yesterday's game and "didn't feel sorry for him" because he's had a great year. He indicated that he had been seeing Radulov daily but would sit down to talk in a few weeks. He also discusses the Arnott/Weber in the locker room with Rads issue. Finally, he discusses the potential of Paul Fenton going to Minnesota and the new play by Jim Balsillie. There's not a lot of new ground broken but its worth a listen.
Stay Classy has a projected 2010 US Olympic team that includes Ryan Suter.
After jumping on board in full support of the Coyote fans in defense of the vulture Jim Balsillie yesterday, I listened to several of their bloggers on The Program on BTR last night and really feel for their situation. POTG will support the Phoenix fans in their efforts to find new ownership that will keep the team in Phoenix and grow the fan base. We will have regular updates on the situation and we have provided links to relevant sites (lower right of this page) to keep you abreast of the situation that is so similar to what we went through two summers ago.
Additionally, next Monday's POTG Radio will feature some of the folks involved in the effort. We may have a representative from a planned rally report from the scene. I actually don't plan to turn this forum into "CoyotesOnTheGlass" but these folks do need our support.
To set the stage, The National Post does a great job setting the stage of Balsillie's long history of vultureness (or attempts to acquire a team if you are pro-Balsillie).
In my opinion, this whole situation appears to be an effort from Owner Jerry Moyes to try to up the price that the team eventually sells for by bringing in Balsillie with a high offer on the front end to set the stage. Who is using who here? Moyes financial issues are much more deep rooted than the Coyotes and he is trying to bail on a situation that the league was bending over backwards to help with. Here's what Gary Bettman said yesterday.
New friend Heather at Reflections From the Ice Hockey Diva lays out the "To do" list for Coyote fans in her post here. Five For Howling is the SB Nation link for the Coyotes and has quality info. They are also selling "Keep it Six" shirts. Here's another interesting post from the Virgin Hockey Fan that includes some marital advice.
Twitter updates on the Phoenix situation can come from @TheYotesDiva and @OdinMercer
I also got a nice note from Matt Prielipp of dabuzz Media that pointed me to this article that lays out how to save the Yotes. Matt is, among many other things, is the radio engineer for visiting teams when they play the Coyotes. We will hear more form him in the future.
I am not blind to the fact that the same folks that felt Nashville didn't deserve a team still feel that Phoenix doesn't need one. Here's the Globe and Mail story with Teemu Selanne giving his two cent's worth and one from Ross McKeon. The Big Haired Hockey Show is also pro-Balsillie. The NYT's Morning Skate takes a long look at the situation too. The Spec has a story about Balsillie getting Hamilton close to a team. Puck Daddy asks if Jerry Reinsdorf will be the savior for Phoenix fans.
I'm glad that @goverjkg will keep us in line in the @predfans group by giving us a different side of the story too. That's what keeps Twitter interesting.
Other News around the League...
The big Tweetup in New York sounded like a lot of fun last night with Glenn Anderson showing up. He predicted that the Ducks would take it all this year.
Chris Nadeau has an interesting point on how the NHL has failed in marketing Ovie-Crosby.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Mirtle has an interesting post on the Anti-trust slant on the Balsillie purchase attempt.
For up to the minute coverage of the hearing in Phoenix follow @TheYotesDiva - She is in the court room tweeting everything. Here is a summary of her tweets from Five for Howling. She did much better than the press from the Toronto Star or the Globe and Mail.
Forechecker writes of saving everyone from Jim Balsillie. Great read as usual.
Here is a link to ESPN WNER's podcast with our friend Tyler from NHL Digest. You can skip to the 19:40 mark to hear his segment.