Blackhawks defeat the Bruins to tie the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece, Rangers to officially announce Alain Vigneault as their new head coach on Friday, new rules changes approved by NHL GMs, and much more.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/BOSTON HERALD: Brent Seabrook scored in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Boston Bruins 6-5 in a wildly entertaining Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final, tying the series at two games apiece with the series returning to Chicago for Game Five on Saturday. Though the Bruins rallied three times to tie the game, they were ultimately undone by uncharacteristically sloppy defense and shaky goaltending from Tuukka Rask.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask wasn’t the only one struggling between the pipes in Game Four, as Corey Crawford was beaten three times to the glove side and continued to struggle with rebound control. Fortunately for Crawford, his teammates bailed him, as the Blackhawks best players (particularly Seabrook, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp) came through offensively, plus they finally scored a power-play goal against the Bruins usually suffocating penalty kill.
The shaky goaltending aside, this was the most entertaining game of the Final, and surely has to rank among the most entertaining in Cup Final history.
TSN.CA: The NHL general managers yesterday approved many of the measures recommended by the NHL-NHLPA competition committee, including hybrid icing and the mandatory use of visors for all players entering the league.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s also expected to be a two-minute minor penalty awarded to players who remove their visored helmets before a fight.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Cited a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger that the league will likely ban the “spinorama” move in shootouts next season.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New York Rangers will officially announce Alain Vigneault tomorrow as their new head coach.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist denied putting pressure on management to fire former coach John Tortorella.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is expected to have a second interview today with Stars GM Jim Nill.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Ruff would be a good fit for the Stars, but it’s up to Nill to decide that.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Jerry Sullivan slams Sabres owner Terry Pegula for the club’s lack of improvement since he took over the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, at least he’s provided the Sabres with stable ownership. Sabres fans will forgive Pegula if the club shows real improvement under their current rebuilding plan.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Mike Halford noted a report from Newsday that Nino Niederreiter won’t be attending the NY Islanders annual prospect camp, though after attending the last three, he has the option to attend or not.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Halford observes folks will try to read into this as Niederreiter’s relationship with the Isles hasn’t been a warm, fuzzy one, though GM Garth Snow claims Niederreiter has never expressed unhappiness to him. Still, if the Islanders are indeed interested in LA Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, one wonders if Niederreiter could be used as trade bait.
DETROIT NEWS: Plans to construct a new $650 million arena for the Red Wings are moving forward.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators have re-signed defenseman Victor Bartley to a three-year, one-way deal worth $2 million.