The LA Kings eliminate the San Jose Sharks, the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings face each other in Game Seven of their series, the Avalanche officially introduce Patrick Roy as their new head coach, and more.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/MERCURYNEWS.COM: Justin Williams scored twice as the Los Angeles Kings edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in Game Seven of their conference semifinal series, eliminating the Sharks from the playoffs. The Kings await tonight’s winner of Game Seven between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE As the Kings march on, I believe the Sharks have to make some tough choices this summer. I’ll take to my Soapbox later today to explain.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Chicago Blackhawks have all the momentum – and all the pressure – entering tonight’s Game Seven against the Detroit Red Wings, who’ll need big things from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg if they hope to upset the Blackhawks and move on to the Western Conference Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In terms of pressure, it indeed falls more upon the Blackhawks. The Red Wings weren’t supposed to be this far, while the Blackhawks were considered by many the favorite to win the Stanley Cup this year.
TRIBLIVE.COM/CSNNE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby should be prepared for Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron to try to shut him down in their upcoming series, while Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is back skating again in practice but doesn’t yet appear ready to return full time to the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It should be an interesting battle between Crosby and Bergeron, two old friends who were also linemates with Team Canada going back to their World Junior days in 2005.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHL has released its schedule for the Conference Finals.
DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche yesterday held a press conference to formally announce Patrick Roy as their new head coach. The Avs are also expected to hire a new goalie coach, perhaps Francois Allaire.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Roy also made an interesting comment regarding the Avalanche’s first round pick, which is first overall in this year’s entry draft. I’ll have more details in my Rumors section.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: The Blues have re-signed Ian Cole to a two-year, one-way contract extension worth $1.65 million.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Newly re-signed Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney is working on re-signing head coach Dave Tippett.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tippett would undoubtedly be the most pursued free agent coach this summer, but I doubt he’ll be available on July first, as I believe he’ll re-up with the Coyotes once the team’s new ownership is officially announced, which I believe is coming in June.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The NHLPA will release the results of its poll of its membership regarding the mandatory use of visors on June 4.