The Bruins shut out the Penguins, the Blackhawks down the Kings, the ongoing search for a new NY Rangers coach, the new NHLPA members of the competition committee and more.
BOSTON GLOBE/POST-GAZETTE.COM: David Krejci scored twice and Tuukka Rask made 29 saves as the Boston Bruins blanked and frustrated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Conference Final. Penguins forward Matt Cooke received a game misconduct for hitting Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sight of Evgeni Malkin brawling with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby yapping with hulking Zdeno Chara were the lasting images of a playoff game in which the Penguins tried to prove they could be as physical as the Bruins, rather than playing their game. The Pens got frustrated, and the Bruins took advantage of it.
Yes, the Penguins had quality scoring chances in Game One, and out-hit the Bruins throughout, but the Bruins succeeded in getting under their collective skins, while Rask did an outstanding job keeping the Pens off the scoreboard. I expect we’ll see a more disciplined, determined effort from the Penguins in Game Two on Monday. As for Cooke, it doesn’t sound as though he’ll receive supplemental discipline for that hit.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Conference Final in a game which wasn’t anywhere near as close as the score. The only good news for the Kings was center Jarrett Stoll returned to action for the first time since being injured early in the series against the San Jose Sharks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: 31 of the Blackhawks 36 shots came in the first two periods (17 of them in the first period), and they outhit the Kings 44-38. If not for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, the score would’ve been a blowout in the Blackhawks favor. I said in my series preview the Blackhawks would have to step up their physical game and work harder to thwart the Kings defense. Mission accomplished in Game One. It’ll be interesting to see what the Kings do to counter in Game Two this afternoon.
NHLPA.COM: “David Backes (St. Louis Blues), Cory Schneider (Vancouver Canucks), Michael Cammalleri (Calgary Flames), Ron Hainsey (Winnipeg Jets) and Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues)” have been named as the NHLPA’s competition committee members.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEWSDAY: Pat Leonard believes NY Rangers GM Glen Sather would be taking a big gamble hiring Mark Messier as his new head coach, while Andrew Gross suggests Sather would be put in a bind if Messier wants the coaching job.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I understand Messier’s desire for a bigger role within the Rangers organization, it should be in management, not coaching. He has no pro coaching experience, which is something the Rangers need in their new bench boss, whoever that may be.
DENVER POST: Terry Frei interviews former Colorado Avalanche GM and president Pierre Lacroix as he looks back on his years with the organization.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson is on the mend following off-season shoulder surgery.
WATERLOO RECORD: Former NHL player Brett MacLean has turned to coaching after a heart condition nearly killed him and ended his playing career last summer.