Patrick Kane darted behind the Pittsburgh Penguins net, seemingly intent on trying to bend a wraparound past Marc-Andre Fleury. Halfway there, the Chicago Blackhawks star changed his mind, instead flipping a backhand pass to Artemi Panarin at the left post. Panarin flicked the puck off an unsuspecting Fleury - caught looking the other way - and into the net.
Ken Holland swiveled away from a visitor in his office at Joe Louis Arena, picked up a thick book and plopped it onto his desk. ''This collective bargaining agreement was put in place for parity and competitive balance,'' the Detroit Red Wings general manager said. The NHL's salary cap was established following the lockout in 2005 and designed to bring powerful teams like Detroit back to the pack.
Just a few weeks ago, the San Jose Sharks had visions of tracking down the Chicago Blackhawks for the best record in the Western Conference and home-ice advantage for the first three rounds of the playoffs. The team's longest losing streak in six years ended those hopes and now has the Sharks scrambling just to secure home-ice for the opening round.
|Puck Daddy||Chicagoin 7||Great, gritty battle between two teams loaded with big names and quality grunts. The Hossa Hex ends, much to our chagrin.|
|Sam McCaig||Chicagoin 6||Chicago's depth, skill and speed will prove to be too much for Philadelphia to overcome, and the 'Hawks can keep pace physically with the Flyers.|
|Ross McKeon||Chicagoin 6||The 'Hawks are poised to win their first Cup since 1961, but if we’ve learned anything from these playoffs it’s to expect the unexpected.|
|Matt Romig||Chicagoin 6||Give the 'Hawks the edge in skill, speed and special teams. Philly brings enough intangibles to extend an otherwise one-sided series.|