Devils edge Rangers to tie series, Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal suspended one game, updates on Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane, and more.
NJ.COM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: David Clarkson’s goal early in the third stood up as the winner as the New Jersey Devils edged the NY Rangers 3-2, tying their Eastern Conference Final series at a game apiece. Rangers head coach John Tortorella wasn’t please with the play of Rangers forward Marian Gaborik, benching him for all but four shifts in the third period. Tortorella’s unwillingness to discuss it in the post-game press conference, followed by his abrupt walkout, has some pundits grumbling his “act” with the media is wearing thin. All that matters to the Blueshirts front office is how well he gets the team to perform on the ice.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Phoenix Coyotes will be without forward Martin Hanzal for Game Three of their Western Conference Final series against the LA Kings, as he was suspended for one game for boarding Kings captain Dustin Brown in Game Two. The Kings, meanwhile, have had a shorter route to Game Three of the Conference Final compared to 1993, the last time the franchise played its first Conference Final home game. If the Kings win this one tonight, they’ll have a stranglehold on the series. Indeed, they’ve been so dominant against the Coyotes thus far that some pundits and bloggers are already crowning the Kings as Cup Finalists. A tad premature, but understandable.
THE TENNESSEAN: With a few roster tweaks, the Nashville Predators could be contenders again. Especially if they get Ryan Suter and Shea Weber re-signed to long-term deals, and add another scoring forward.
CSNNE.COM: Bruins forward Tyler Seguin is recovering nicely from recent hand surgery and should be back to normal within ten weeks of the surgery. A few fans had asked me why Seguin wasn’t playing in the World Hockey Championships. Now, you know.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: David Haugh believes it would be a stupid move by the Blackhawks to trade Patrick Kane because of some pictures showing him overindulging in alcohol, but believes it’s up to the team to “save” the 23-year-0ld from himself. In other words, determine if he has a drinking problem, or at the very least, overcome his current bad image arising from his drunken antics.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Former Stars and Canadiens GM Bob Gainey is ready for the challenge of his new role as a management advisor with the Stars.
USATODAY.COM: As per the current CBA, the NHL has informed the NHLPA of its intention to terminate and/or modify the current labor agreement. It’s strictly procedural, and comes as no surprise, but that hasn’t stopped a few nervous nellies in the media and blogosphere from adopting a “doom and gloom” attitude. Look, everyone knew this was going to happen. Worry when we get to September if there’s been no serious negotiations or if the two sides aren’t close to getting a new deal in place.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Could Hockey Night in Canada’s days be numbered? CBC’s former executive VP believes it is. The network’s current contract with the NHL expires in 2014, and there’s a very good chance it could lose those rights to rival CTV, which owns TSN and would love to have exclusive rights to Canadian NHL games on Saturdays and throughout the playoffs.