The Bruins sweep the Penguins to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the Kings and Blackhawks prepared for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, some notable points in the new CBA, and the Howe family face off in court against their ex-managers.
BOSTON GLOBE/TRIBLIVE.COM: Adam McQuaid scored the only goal and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves as the Boston Bruins shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final, sweeping the Penguins and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years. The Bruins also achieved a remarkable feat: shutting out superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in four straight games. It’s the first time that’s happened to the duo in their NHL careers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Bruins. They were the better balanced team, and shutting down the Penguins powerhouse offense was a superb example of strong goaltending and outstanding team defense. The Penguins, meanwhile, face what could be a summer of change, though it remains to be seen how much, and where. I’ll have more in the Soapbox today.
TORONTO SUN: NBC’s Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards on Friday compared Bruins forward Gregory Campbell’s bravery in completing a penalty kill shift in Game Three against the Penguins on a broken leg to a Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority officer who was wounded in a shootout with the Boston Bombing terrorists, and the soldiers who landed on the D-Day beaches in World War II.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Praising Campbell’s actions when seriously injured during a hockey game is one thing. Comparing him to law enforcement officials and soldiers who risk their lives in the line of duty is ridiculous. I daresay Campbell would be embarrassed by it.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Los Angeles Kings will need more from weary scorers Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar if they hope to avoid elimination by the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Game Five of the Western Conference Final. One reason they’re struggling to score is the play of Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival, who’s earned praise from his teammates and coach Joel Quenneville for his strong play against the Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings have struggled to score throughout this year’s playoffs, but could rely on Jonathan Quick’s superb goaltending and their stingy team defense to overcome that problem. Their offensive struggles, however, have come home to roost in this series against the Blackhawks. If their best forwards fail to find a way to overcome their scoring droughts, the Kings’ defense of their Cup title will end tonight.
SPORTING NEWS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL/YAHOO! SPORTS: Sean Gentille and James Mirtle list some of the unusual highlights in the new NHL CBA (“towel quality guidelines”, rules for snow shovelers) and an interesting new rule on arbitration awards (teams can walk away from awards of $3.5 million and up, but not those below $3.5 million), while Greg Wyshynski notes a new provision in which drug testing samples are to be immediately destroyed, along with related documents and records).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The arbitration award change is notable, meaning teams can’t just walk away from whatever award they deem too expensive. That could hurt terms with limited cap space down the road. Wyshynski makes a good point about destroying drug testing samples being a means to ensure there can be no follow-up on any future banned substances currently used now by NHL players.
DETROIT NEWS: Gordie Howe’s family is suing their former business managers for alleged theft of appearance fees and sports memorabilia.