Bruins take a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, an update on Mark Streit, the latest on Pavel Datsyuk and Logan Couture, and more.
BOSTON GLOBE/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Dan Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored the game’s only goals and Tuukka Rask made 28 saves as the Boston Bruins shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final. The absence of Marian Hossa (injured in the pre-game warm-up), a powerless power-play, and the Bruins dominance in the faceoff circle were among the reasons for the Blackhawks defeat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The game was over once the Bruins went up 2-0, as their defense slowly squeezed the life out of the Blackhawks offense. After lighting up Rask for four goals in Game One, the Blackhawks have only scored once over the last two games. If they don’t find a way to solve Rask, start cashing in on the PP and improve in the faceoff circle, this series could be over on Saturday night.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final was the most-watched NHL game in NBC Sports Network history.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren denied reports from TSN claiming the Flyers had signed defenseman Mark Streit to a four-year, $21 million contract (as did Streit’s agent), but claimed he was “confident” of getting Streit under contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers cannot officially sign Streit until they’ve cleared salary cap space to absorb his contract. Otherwise, they’ll be in violation of the NHL’s “tagging space rule”, meaning a team cannot sign a player to a contract during this season which exceeds the salary cap for next season. That includes the off-season, when teams are allowed to exceed the cap ceiling by ten percent. Streit’s new contract pushes the Flyers well above that limit. Once they clear sufficient cap space – hello there, compliance buyout for Daniel Briere – his new contract will be signed and officially announced.
TSN.CA: The Detroit Red Wings are reportedly close to re-signing forward Pavel Datsyuk to what’s expected to be a three-year contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Datsyuk last night tweeted today could be a big day for him, though because he still has one year left on his current contract, his new deal cannot be officially signed and announced until July 5.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Logan Couture has reportedly agreed to a contract extension with the San Jose Sharks. Terms weren’t disclosed but it’s believed the extension will be for five or six years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Datsyuk, Couture’s new deal cannot become official until July 5.
NHL.COM: The NY Rangers have reportedly signed coach Alain Vigneault to a five-year, $10 million contract. Vigneault will be officially introduced as the Rangers new head coach on Thursday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The new contract will reportedly make Vigneault the NHL’s highest paid coach.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The future of the Phoenix Coyotes will be determined later this month by the Glendale City Council, who must vote on a tentative lease agreement with Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, the prospective buyers of the Coyotes. If the city council rejects it, the NHL will turn to its backup plan of relocating the franchise to Seattle before next season.
NEW YORK POST: The owner of the New Jersey Devils has missed an interest payment and is in danger of defaulting on its new loan. This comes less than six months after restructuring the loan. The Devils declined to comment while the NHL called the story “inaccurate”.