Kings cut Blackhawks series lead with a 3-1 win, Duncan Keith could face suspension, the Bruins and Penguins prepare for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, the Stars and Hurricanes unveil new uniforms, NHL competition committee recommends mandatory visors and more.
LOS ANGELES KINGS/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The LA Kings remain unbeaten at home in this year’s playoffs, as goals by Justin Williams, Slava Voynov and Dwight King lifted them to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The win cut the Blackhawks lead in the series to two games to one. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith could face suspension for swatting Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face with his stick, cutting Carter’s chin. Keith, who received a double minor for high-sticking, attempted to apologize to Carter for his actions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a huge win for the Kings, as they couldn’t afford to fall behind the Blackhawks 3-0. They’re not out of the woods yet, as they must win Game Four or face returning to Chicago for Game Five down 3-1. As for Keith, he’s a repeat offender, and while his action may have been unintentional, he has to be in control of his stick. This could result in at least a one-game suspension.
BOSTON HERALD/POST-GAZETTE: The Boston Bruins have it within their reach of making the Stanley Cup Final, and possibly winning the championship, for the second time in three years. Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma will make roster changes for Game Three, though he declined to say what they would be.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s premature to suggest the Bruins may be on the cusp of another trip to the Cup Final and another championship, but considering their domination of the Penguins so far in the Conference Final, who can blame Boston fans and pundits for suggesting it? It remains to be seen what changes Bylsma has in store for Game Three, but there’s no question this game is a “must-win” for the Penguins. As talented as they are, they cannot afford to fall behind 3-0 in this series.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHL-NHLPA competition committee has agreed to make visors mandatory for new NHL players starting in 2013-14. The committee has also proposed a study of all equipment, especially goaltending equipment. The league could also use nets which are 4 inches shallower, reducing it from 44 inches to 40, and could experiment next pre-season with hybrid icing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All these recommendations must be approved by the league board of governors, but it is expected to be merely a formality. The mandatory visor rule isn’t a surprise, given the use of visors has doubled by NHL players over the past decade to 73 percent. Given today’s technology, goalie equipment can be reduced without compromising goalie safety, while other player equipment can be adjusted to lessen the infliction of injury upon opponents. The reduction of the net size is to free up more space behind the net. Overall, I see all these proposals as steps in the right direction.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars yesterday unveiled their new logo and jersey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The color scheme reminds me of the old Hartford Whalers colors.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock reports on the Carolina Hurricanes unveiling their new jerseys, suggesting the move severs a link to their championship year. Meanwhile, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal confirmed there’s no question he’ll be recovered from his recent knee injury in time for September training camp.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche are expected to announce the hiring of Francois Allaire as their new goalie coach.