Leading up to Monday’s Game 1, Puck Daddy is previewing every facet of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators — on the ice and off the ice. For various and sundry reasons, the Puck Daddy Beard Watch took a breather this postseason. Obviously, there wasn’t much turnover from last year’s Stanley Cup winners, which means there isn’t much novelty in the Penguins’ playoff beards.
There’s a wonderful moment in Peter Yates’s 1973 crime thriller picture, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, when the titular character, played by Robert Mitchum, is taken for a night out to the Boston Garden to watch the Bobby Orr/Phil Esposito-led Bruins play the Chicago Blackhawks. Coyle is loaded on cheep Garden beer, but he can’t stop marveling at Bobby Orr, a “kid” with his entire future in front of him. This, friends, is Boston’s version of Eden, the Gallery Gods edition.
The Detroit Red Wings saw their playoff streak come to an end earlier this spring, but their farm team in Grand Rapids continues its postseason run, qualifying for the Calder Cup final. The Griffins clinched a spot in the championship series with a 4-2 win against the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday. It has been during this playoff run that a trio of prospect forwards seem to have left quite an impression on Detroit’s coaching staff, led by Jeff Blashill.