Back by popular demand, here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
The most unpredictable series in the postseason heads back to Pittsburgh for Game 5, as Marc-Andre Fleury and Ilya Bryzgalov battle in another round of "who sucks less?" One of the keys for the Penguins in extending the series? Winning the even strength battle. Erik Gustafsson is in for the concussed Nicklas Grossmann.
The Red Wings are facing their earliest elimination since 2006. No Hal Gill for the Predators, but the Honey Badger has been released. Is this Nicklas Lidstrom's final game for the Red Wings? There are $10 playoff tickets in Nashville, which is awesome.
• Listen to today's Marek Vs. Wyshynski for Hologram Bill Masterton.
• Gary Bettman said Brooklyn may not be a viable option for the New York Islanders because it's too far away from their fan base. So, in summary: Brooklyn travels to Queens to see the Mets; Queens can't go to Brooklyn to see the Islanders. Got it. [CP]
• "Mike Cammalleri finally got his hands back on the last sweater he wore for the Montreal Canadiens. The familiar No. 13 jersey arrived in the mail along with a hand-written letter from Habs owner Geoff Molson, according to a message Cammalleri posted Friday on Twitter." [CP]
• Deadspin takes a critical look at the NHL's relationship with Buzz Feed. [Deadspin]
• Stu Cowen: "The NHL's new slogan could be Concussions "R" Us.Whether we like it or not, violence sells. And while NHL officials won't admit it, they must also know it's true. Either that, or Gary Bettman, Brendan Shanahan, the referees and everyone else running the NHL is incompetent. " [Gazette]
• The Glendale City Council is making some "we've reached the end of our collective rope with the Coyotes" noise. [AZ Central]
• The son of Colorado Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke and fixing the Avs: "If I was a fan, that's what I'd be saying too, to throw a bunch of money at the situation," he said. "But when you're sitting at the other side of the table, you want to do right by your fans but you also want to protect your team a little bit, especially in a hard cap system. You want to make sure you don't get yourself in a position where it's going to be really hard to get out of and inhibit yourself from going forward." [Denver Post]
Puck Daddy Reader Comment of the Day: From 'Canucks Fan First, Hockey Fan Second'
10 games is a joke. Give him the Rome suspension from last year...4 games. Mind you, Raffi isnt a first-line player....so he's a perfect scapegoat for Shanahan to FINALLY TRY to make a difference in this league. Had the NHL gone with NFL-level fines and suspensions...this conversation might not be happening.
This all falls into the "too little too late" catagory...the NHL has had plenty of chances to try get headshots out of the game, and has fallen short up to now.
Raffi simply served up an easy one for the NHL to make him the poster child. Imagine if this was a Matt Cooke hit?
Bold Prediction: Johan Franzen pushes this series to six.
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