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NHL Conference Finals Preview

nhl playoffs preview 2

The NHL Conference Finals are upon us and we have some very interesting match ups for a good number of reasons.

Starting with the Canadiens and Rangers battling for the Eastern Conference title after beating Boston and Pittsburgh respectively. The Canadiens won their last two versus the Bruins whereas the Rangers overcame what seemed to be an impossible 3-1 series deficit to the Penguins. This series will feature the Gold medal winning Carey Price and the Silver Medal winning Henrik Lundquist. The series starts Saturday at 1PM ET on NBC and CBC in Canada. The rest of the series will be on NBCSN in the US and CBC in Canada and have 8 PM ET start times.

And then there is Los Angeles vs Chicago which starts on Sunday at 3 PM on NBC and TSN is another series that will be interesting because it is a battle of the last two Stanley Cup Champions (LA in 2012 and Chicago in 2013), what’s more is that this will be the second straight season that these teams will meet in the Western Conference finals, Chicago won last season obviously as they were the Champions of the league.

Eastern Conference

Canadiens vs Rangers

This is one for the history books, an original six battle between the Canadiens and Rangers with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals hanging in the balance. The Canadiens road here went through the Lightning in a four game sweep, and then the Bruins in what was a hard fought seven game series. The Rangers path was a little different, they knocked off the Flyers in the first round and then they came back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

These teams play opposite styles, the Canadiens are more of an offensive style team whereas the Rangers play more of defensive style even though this season they have been more offensive than they were under John Tortorella and his defense first system.

I personally think the series will be a high scoring, light checking series. The key to the series will be goaltending, which goaltender does the best work for his team? Well if previous series’ are any indication than the Canadiens have the edge in net. I think the Rangers need to really pressure the Canadiens into making mistakes which is what Boston didn’t do for some reason, the Canadiens are a fairly young team and the Rangers are more experienced especially guys like Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis on that club.

My prediction is Montreal in seven games, I think the Canadiens will be the better of the two offenses, and I think Carey Price is locked in and will win the goaltending battle (again) in this series.

Western Conference

Kings vs Blackhawks

For the second straight season the Los Angesles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks will do battle for a chance to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals, last season the Blackhawks needed only 5 games to win the series, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the series this year will go 6 or 7 games, I expect seven to be honest.

The road to this series for both teams were tough, Chicago had a vicious six game series against the St. Louis Blues in what might end up being the series of the playoffs in terms of pure hatred, the Blackhawks then played Minnesota and that series were much calmer (actually all the second round series were pretty calm) and it was a laugher of a series, though give the Wild credit they tried their best to overcome the slow start to the series that they had.

Los Angeles on the other hand had an incredible series with the San Jose Sharks coming back from a 3-0 series hole to win the series over the Sharks and then they had another seven game series against the Anaheim Ducks (and who said California doesn’t know hockey? They got to see some great series this year) edging them out in a 6-2 game in game 7.

These teams are both very similar, they both play solid D and both are very good checking teams. I think that LA has the edge in goaltending though, Jonathan Quick is a playoff performer, he doesn’t get playoff jitters, he is as cool as it gets in the playoffs which has spelled success for the Kings making three straight Western Conference Finals and winning the Stanley Cup in 2012, you can’t deny the success of the Kings. But at the same time the Kings do not stack up against the Blackhawks who have won two Stanley Cups in 4 years and are going for a third in five seasons, one of the consistent factors is Patrick Kane who is a clutch playoff performer, he is as good of a player as it gets in these type of games, which is good because God knows Buffalo is disappointed in the rest of their sports adventures so it is nice for that city to see a local kid in Kane do well.

My prediction this series, I predict the Kings win the series in seven games. I think Jonathan Quick comes through again in the clutch, and I also predict Patrick Kane scoring a goal in the series deciding game, whether the series ends in four games or goes seven like I think it will.

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Re-Post: NHL Round Up: LA makes History; Tortorella Fired; Halak Traded; NHL Conference Semi-Finals Preview

Please head over to the new site to read this and to follow that blog because starting in a week or two I will not be using this site however I want to give people proper time to adjust to the transition.

http://www.enforcingthecode.com/nhl-round-up-la-makes-history-tortorella-fired-halak-traded-nhl-conference-semi-finals-preview/

The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup amid a Bruins collapse in the third period and a look forward to the off-season and the transition of the site of other coverage

Chicago Blackhawks celebrate the Stanley Cup Championship win after game six in Boston. Credit to Bruce Bennett of Getty Images.

 

First off as a Boston Bruins fan I want to extend my congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks, they did a great job in this series and deserve to win the Stanley Cup even if it was hard to watch the Bruins give up a lead in the final 80 seconds of game six when it looked like a game seven was all but certain so the disappointment that came over me and I am sure a lot of other Bruins fans was felt and it hit hard. But it is time to move on and I want to do this by first saying that.

But now lets just take a look at the series, because this part that makes it easier to handle losing the series. Not once did I feel that the Blackhawks did anything cheaply, it was different from what the Canucks did in 2011 when they were flopping a lot and just really wanted the Stanley Cup handed to them by the NHL. But in this series there was no diving, no whining to the referees, and really nothing to dislike about the way the Blackhawks played this series. The blackhawks did it straight up and for that part I gained respect for them, a lot more than when the Canucks were playing the Bruins in 2011. So if you’re a true hockey fan, you love the fact that Chicago played straight up hockey and they deserve that recognition as a world class team. There was a reason that the Blackhawks lost just 7 games in regulation during the 48 game season and the playoffs and more so in the finals they showed why.

Let me talk about the game a little bit because I felt like the Bruins came out flying in the first period, Boston outshot Chicago is 12-6 in the first period but missed on several shots and scoring opportunities. Which to me as a Bruins fan stuck out as the main reason they lost this game because they failed to convert on their chances. It felt like they spent all their energy on the first period and that is part of the reason that the Bruins only mustered just 13 shots the rest of the game.

Now on to the Bruins collapse late in game six because I feel that the Bruins missed assignments on the back check on both of Chicago’s last two goals which lead them to eventually lose. So in essence I blame the Bruins more in terms of those last two goals, than I credit the Blackhawks for the two goals. That is not to say the Blackhawks don’t deserve credit on either goal, but I feel like those two goals were more a product of soft back checking than it was talent on Chicago’s side which by no means discredits them they got to the dirty areas and popped that puck into the net.

One thing I said in my preview piece that I fully admit that I was wrong about is Chicago’s defense not being as good as Boston’s. I have to say this much, they were better than I expected them to be, and I am amazed that they were better in this series. And it was thanks to a lot of great plays by Duncan Keith who to me deserved the Conn Smythe trophy, he was insanely good in the Stanley Cup Finals, he made a lot of great plays for Chicago.

So that is my bit on game six and the finals for this blog, once I can focus more on the series, which was by the way a great series, I will probably go back and add more later on this week. 

And in case you are wondering I will post some more hockey stuff soon, especially in terms of looking at the off-season which is going to be interesting, in fact it already has been with some of the coaching moves being made including today’s news that John Tortorella being hired by the Vancouver Canucks, Ilya Bryzgalov being part of the Flyers compliance buy-out options, the other one being Daniel Briere last week. So those stories along with Lindy Ruff and Alain Vigneault finding jobs in Dallas and New York (Rangers) respectively.

So it has been an interesting post-season and already an interesting off-season to this point and I need a couple days of a hockey break but there will be more hockey during the off-season and I’ll probably transition a little bit into baseball because I typically do during the summer months since nothing else is on except for soccer which is a sport I don’t care for, and also lacrosse which is a sport I kind of like to watch from time to time if it is on TV but I don’t follow it nearly as well as other sports including baseball and basketball and even those sports are ones I don’t die for unlike hockey and football which will be coming up in late August for the college season and early to mid September for the NFL.

Of course there will be a lot of video games as well especially since this is the best line up of games coming out in a long time, with Saints Row IV, Grand Theft Auto V, Madden 25, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified all coming out before the end of September, so the next three months will be crazy which leads us into an even crazier of the year with the expected release of both next generation consoles, and great games such as Watch_Dogs, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, NBA Live 14 NBA 2k14, and Need for Speed Rivals.

So my job here is far from done, but for hockey, it is going on the back burner for a little bit so we can focus and catch up on video games and other sports going on. Plus the first review of the site will be up this week as well, looking like a Thursday or Friday time frame since The Last of Us deserves to be finished and I have yet to finish it though I am getting close. So we’ll have that up soon.

Here is to moving forward Bruins fans, it will be just another four short months before the hockey is back on the ice once again, and this time there was be no bogus lock-outs getting in the way which is a thing most hockey fans will rejoice about especially after the debacle of the NHL lock out that shortened the 2012-2013 season.

06/16/13: Bruins tie series with Blackhawks 1-1 with an OT win, Desjarins makes 40 saves to bring the Calder Cup Finals back to Syracuse

Daniel Paille proved to be the OT hero in game 2, as he scored the game winning goal at 13:48 to help the Bruins win 2-1 and even the series at 1. Tuukka Rask stole the game in the first period for the Bruins by making 18 saves on 19 shots and a controversial disallowed goal for the Blackhawks which I feel was the right call going by the rules, however I truly do hate the intent to blow the whistle rule.  The other two goals were scored by Patrick Sharp which happened in the first period, and then the second was scored by Chris Kelly in the second period with a little over five minutes left in the period. Now the series heads to Boston on Monday night at 8 PM for game three and it can be seen on the NBC Sports Network and CBC in Canada.

Meanwhile in the Calder Cup Finals for the AHL the Syracuse Crunch escaped with a 5-2 win. I say escaped because they had to win because of the stellar goaltending of Cedrick Desjarins who made 40 saves on Grand Rapids 42 shots on net to preserve the win. With a minute and a half left 45 penalty minutes were handed out thanks to four misconduct penalties With the win the Crunch head home to try to even  the series at 3-3, and that will take place on Tuesday night.

Stanley Cup Final Predictions

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Gesterling: I want to start off with a little historical playoff perspective, Boston and Chicago is the first original six Stanley Cup match-up since 1979 when Montreal beat the New York Rangers, and the first playoff match-up between the Bruins and Blackhawks since 1978.

The road to the finals consisted of Boston beating Pittsburgh in a surprising upset to many. I am not terribly surprised that they got past Pittsburgh, but more so the fashion that it happened in winning it in just four games. Chicago only needed 5 games to take care of the Los Angeles Kings with game five going into double overtime.

Now onto the match-ups, in terms of offense I like Chicago, I think they are better offensively, not by a land slide like I thought of the Penguins over the Bruins, and we saw how that went. On defense I give Boston the edge, I don’t think this is a landslide either, I think the Blackhawks are a really good defense, so they will be no push overs. In net I give the edge to the Bruins, while Crawford has been in the league longer, I feel like Tuukka Rask really is the better of the two goalies, that might be a product of the Bruins defense, but I think his fundamentals are pretty much top notch when he is confident and he seems extremely confident coming into the series.

The key players for both teams will be the tougher guys like Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic on Boston and Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw on Chicago. These guys are key elements to their teams success, to me Bickell and Lucic are a wash physically and Bickell in the playoffs has 8 goals, so he is no slouch. Another key match up could be Patrice Bergeron and Jonthan Toews, will Bergeron have to smoother Toews like he did Crosby? I think the better question is that, can the Bruins contain Patrick Kane? If they can then Chicago is in trouble.

Chicago needs to find an answer for the red hot Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton line because they’ve been incredible in the post season, if the Blackhawks have an answer for that than the Bruins are in big trouble because Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Seguin are not getting pucks in the net.

Speaking of Jagr and Seguin these guys are close to getting some pucks in the net I feel, they’ve come close so many times that is it impossible not to like what you see from them, and eventually it will pay off. I just do not want it to happen during a street hockey game in the summer time when it doesn’t matter.

So here is my prediction, I’ll go Boston in six games. I think the Bruins will pull it off because Tuukka Rask has been red hot, and the Bruins defense is better. I firmly believe that defense and goaltending wins titles. I think this is where Boston is stronger than Chicago, but if Crawford can get into a zone it could be a series of low scoring games, which again plays in Boston’s favor.

Whetstone: In my prediction, I have no doubt who will win the series since Boston Bruins made through tough times: Maple Leafs, and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Chicago Blackhawks were the hottest team this very short season, but like I said in my last couple posts, I do not want to see Chicago Blackhawks to enter the Stanley Cup Final but I have no choice and say this; I am very impressed with their performance and their hungry for the cup. My prediction that Boston Bruins will win the series because I want them to win, not because I like them, it is because of what happen in Boston due to Boston Bombing.

Hockey Playoff Games/Recap June 5-6, 2013

I flat out forgot to post something about hockey yesterday, I’ve been around as you can tell but just flat out messed up. So we’ll update what’s happening in the NHL and AHL real fast.

Kings 3 Blackhawks 1: Justin Williams scored his second goal of the series and Jonathan Quick was amazing in the win making 20 saves which isn’t a lot but the quality of the saves was the clincher. The win cut Chicago’s series lead to 2-1 with game 4 tonight at 9 PM ET on NBC Sports Network and CBC.

Bruins 2 Penguins 1 F/2 OT: Tuukka Rask and the posts stood tall in the win, Rask made 53 saves and the post probably made 2-4 themselves to help the Bruins win 2-1 in double overtime on a Patrice Bergeron tip in on a pass from Brad Marchand. The Bruins took a 3-0 series lead with game 4 tomorrow night with a chance to sweep.

In the AHL Oklahoma City ended up winning game six on Tuesday night and last night in a pivitol game seven the Grand Rapids Griffins pulled off the win to force their way to the Calder Cup Finals, they will be in Syracuse to face the Syracuse Crunch in game one on Saturday night. The Griffins won game sever against the Barons 5-4 after erasing deficits of 2-1 and more critically 4-3 in the third period and won it late on a Tomas Jurco goal.

Hockey Playoff Games June 4, 2013

NHL:

Bruins 6 Penguins 1: Brad Marchand scored 28 seconds into the game, and it was the first of three goals the Bruins scored the first period before Pittsburgh finally answered and made it 3-1 on a Brandon Sutter goal on a little floater. And then Brad Marchand scored 25 seconds later to put Boston up 4-1 and deflated the Penguins from that point forward the Bruins controlled them the rest of the way. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.

Blackhawks @ Kings 9 PM ET (NBCSN/TSN/RDS) Chi leads series 2-0

AHL:

Oklahoma City Barons @ Grand Rapids Griffins 7 PM ET (AHL LIVE) GR leads series 3-2

Hockey Playoff Games June 3, 2013

NHL:

Blackhawks 4, Kings 2 (CHI leads series 2-0): Chicago scores the first four goals of the game and by the time LA got a goal it was late in the second period, ultimately meaning they were late to the party. Corey Crawford made 29 saves in the win.

Bruins @ Penguins 8 PM ET (NBCSN/CBC/RDS) BOS leads series 1-0

AHL:

Griffins 3, Barons 0: Joakim Andersson had 2 assists in the game to go along with Petr Mrazek’s perfect 37 for 37 shutout performance. Grand Rapids took the 3-2 series lead and game six will be played in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Tuesday night at 7 PM ET.

Hockey Playoffs Recap/Schedule June 2, 2013

NHL:

Bruins 3, Penguins 0 (BOS leads series 1-0): David Krejci had 2 goals, Tuukka Rask made 29 saves in the Bruins 3-0 win over the Penguins. Pittsburgh also hit 3 posts and outchanced the Bruins but was unable to convert. The game had a little nastiness, Matt Cooke boarded Adam McQuaid and got a 5 minute boarding major and a game misconduct. And Sidney Crosby appeared frustrated all night and it showed in his play, and childish actions at the end of the second period when he elbowed Tuukka Rask and then Rask gave him a tap in the legs before Crobsy came over a cross checked him afterwards which sparked a scrum at center ice in which Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin dropped the gloves and had a little scrap. The third period was mild in terms of rough stuff but it had two Boston goals to put the Penguins away.

Video of the end of the second period situation here:

Credit: http://www.hockeyfights.com

Blackhawks 2, Kings 1 (CHI leads series 1-0): This was a hard hitting affair where both teams were throwing hard hits. The Blackhawks outshot the Kings 17-2 in the first period and 36-22 overall in the game in what was an entertaining wide open game. LA stuck first in the first period when Justin Williams scored at the 14:23 mark and gave the Kings a 1-0 lead going into period two. Patrick Sharp  at the 12:29 mark of the second period to tie it at 1-1. Later in the period Marian Hossa scored the game winning goal at the 16:22 marker.

The rest of the game remained scoreless thanks to good goaltending down the stretch.

Tonight’s game: Kings @ Blackhawks 8 PM ET (NBCSN/TSN)

AHL:

Syracuse Crunch 7 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins 0 (Crunch win series 4-1); Gramd Rapids Griffins 4 Oklahoma City Barons 0 (Series tied 2-2)

Today’s Game: Grand Rapids Griffins @ Oklahoma City Barons 5 PM ET

Hockey Playoff Games June 1, 2013

NHL:

Kings @ Blackhawks 5 PM ET/2 PM PT (NBCSN/TSN/RDS); Bruins @ Penguins 8 PM ET/5 PM PT (NBC/CBC/RDS)

AHL:

Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins @ Syracuse Crunch 7 PM ET (Crunch lead series 3-1); Grand Rapids Griffins @ Oklahoma City Barons (Barons lead series 2-1)

Scores:

Crunch 4 Penguins 2 F

Griffins @ Barons PPD

The following is from theahl.com home of the American Hockey League

Tonight’s Game 4 of the American Hockey League’s Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Barons and the Grand Rapids Griffins has been postponed following dangerous weather conditions around the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

Game 4 will now be played on Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT, with Game 5 set to take place on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. CT.

The Barons announced that tickets for tonight’s postponed game will be honored on Sunday.

With the Oklahoma City metro area under a tornado emergency, the arena was evacuated and all occupants were moved to safety in the parking garage beneath the Cox Convention Center at approximately 6:45 p.m. local time. After nearly 90 minutes, everyone was permitted to return to the building but it was determined that in the best interests of fans, players, officials and staff, the game would not be played as scheduled.

 

NHL Conference Finals

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Gesterling:

First off this should be a great series, both teams are talented I see it going seven games, and anyone who says Pittsburgh in four or five is completely discounting the Boston Bruins entirely.

With that said that isn’t to say the Penguins can’t or even won’t win the series, because on paper they should. But to me it will come down to Bergeron and his ability to contain Sidney Crosby, if he can take Crosby’s effectiveness away then the Bruins have a good chance of winning the series.

But I don’t see Bergeron containing Crosby for an entire series, in fact he will face insane challenges in this series along with Marchand and Jagr trying to also contain Kunitz and Dupuis, That last part scares me, the fact that the aging Jaromir Jagr will have to cover either Kunitz or Pascal Dupuis, I just do not think he can skate with either of those two, I can see Chris Kelly replacing Jagr on that line in all honesty. And the other big line combination will be Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton will be countered with James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, and Jarome Iginla. And the Jarome Iginla angle is already known, so that is another element that will be fascinating to watch out for.

Those top two lines for both teams will be key factors for both teams but another line that Pittsburgh might want to watch out for is Daniel Paille, Gregory Campball, and Shawn Thornton because they played great in the Conference Semis against the Rangers, if you want to talk about a real series changing line, that very well could be it.

In terms of defense I like Boston’s defense more, I think they have the better depth which should suit them well in a long physical series if need be. They might be playing with two rookies but they rookies have been amazing. Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski have both been very good when called upon, with no promises that Andrew Ference will be back, these guys need to really be sharp. That isn’t to say Kris Letang, Matt Niskanan or Brooks Orpik won’t be important pieces to the series because they can get the job done themselves, but in terms of depth I like the Bruins better in this series.

In terms of goalies, I think it is an even match up. I think both Rask and Vokoun are very solid goalies and I think the goalie with the most timely saves will win the series. Which if we go by the first two rounds than that would mean Tomas Vokoun. But no one can say how this will play out.

At the end, I think defense and goaltending will prevail over the offense. So I say Boston in seven games, I think this will be an outstanding series and possibly the best series of the playoffs.

Whetstone:

Tough decision on who will win the series but I favor Boston over Pittsburgh for many reasons because Boston has a courage to win the series because of Boston Bombing. However, Pittsburgh may win the series easily because they been in playoffs for a long time and they have a lot of key players in the team (Crosby, Cooke, etc.) but if I have to decide on whom will win the series, I will say Boston to win the series.

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Gesterling:

These two teams have two different styles, Los Angeles is more of a sit at home defensive team while the Blackhawks can bring a solid offensive game. So this is a tough one, because I like LA for the same reason I like the Bruins, I think defense and more so in this case goaltending with Jonathan Quick being on another one of his incredible rolls in this years playoff. I think if Quick can keep it up the Blackhawks will struggle. I also think LA is a deeper and better team in this series. That isn’t to take away from the Blackhawks because they’re a great team, but in terms of depth I feel LA is deeper.

One thing I am looking for is how the Chicago Blackhawks top line does versus Los Angeles’ top defense because I think that match up will be critical for Chicago’s chances in this series.

For key players in this series, I think for Chicago it is Patrick Sharp, and for the Kings is has to be Justin Williams. I choose these two because they both can score, but on typically focal points to the series say like the likes of Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown for LA and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa for the Blackhawks, so keep an eye out for those two players.

Goaltending I give the edge to Los Angeles, Quick has been strong again this playoffs and could steal them another Stanley Cup. But it will be very interesting to see if Corey Crawford can step in and steal Quick’s thunder.

My prediction is Los Angeles in six, I think on paper the teams are even outside of goaltending where I think the Kings have the advantage in this series, and every series down the road regardless if they move on and have to play either the Bruins or Penguins.

Whetstone:

I don’t like Chicago Blackhawks very much for many reasons but one of many reasons that they beat my team, Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, you can say that I am a bitter fan but hey, I will tell you my predication. I think that Kings have a so/so chance to win the series but this series is a gambling series because both of them are very good in their own ways. I gotta say that Kings to win the series.

NHL and AHL Playoff Scores; Red Wings-Blackhawks recap; John Tortorella fired; Stars eyeing two coaches; Michael Ryder update; Western Conference Finals Schedule

Scoreboard:

NHL:

Red Wings 1 Blackhawks  2 OT (CHI wins series 4-3)

Justice preveiled even after the Blackhawks felt wronged by the referees. What happened was that Chicago thought they had a goal with 1:47 left in the third period but it was waived off because the referees called matching minors for a scrum in from of the benches. The penalties were called and the goal was disallowed and the teams played 4 on 4 the rest of regulation and 11 seconds into overtime after the clock was reset to 1:49. So 3:35 into the extra frame Brent Seabrook netted the game winner on a wrist shot from in between the tops of the face off circles in the Eastern side of the ice if you were watching on TV. The biggest problem with the game winning goal was Niklas Kronwall played the puck too passively on defense and it burned him and goalie Jimmy Howard. Howard was still named second star with his 35 saves on 37 shots against. Los Angeles will travel to Chicago and play the Blackhawks on Saturday with the start time of 5 PM ET/2 PM PT. The rest of the schedule is below.

AHL:

Oklahoma City Barons 4 Grand Rapids Griffins 1

Jonathan Cheechoo netted a goal and had an assist for the Barons and Barons enforcer Ben Eager was tossed for instigating a fight with Griffins enforcer Triston Grant, in all Eager got 27 total penalty minutes including a misconduct for abuse of officials. Former Montreal Canadiens goalie Yan Danis made 20 saves on 21 shots for the Barons. Game 4 will be Friday night at 8 PM ET.

Syracuse Crunch 2 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins 0

Cedrick Desjarins made 22 saves in an shut out effort against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. Vladislav Namestnikov scored the game winner and JT Brown added an empty net goal. The next game is Friday Night at 7 PM ET

John Tortorella Fired:

On Wednesday the New York Rangers fired John Tortorella, just 4 days after they were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Tortorella made the playoffs four times with the Rangers and only won 3 playoff series. The front runners to replace Tortorella according to reports are Mark Messier, Glen Gulutzan and Alain Vigneault.

Stars eye Ruff and Vigneault:

Reports from TSN is that the Dallas Stars are eyeing Lindy Ruff and Alain Vigneault as possible replacements for Glen Gulutzan. Lindy Ruff was fired by the Buffalo Sabres during last season because the Sabres were not getting it done and the Sabres felt like a change was the best option for their team. The Sabres went 15-11-5 since firing Ruff and Ron Rolston is now the head coach of the Sabres. Alain Vigneault was fired by Vancouver after another disappointing playoff run this past season.

Micheal Ryder out in Montreal:

Micheal Ryder’s agent Thane Campbell has told reporters that his client Michael Ryder is not part of Montreal’s off-season plan, with this news it is expected that the 33 year old winger will test Free Agency this off-season.

Western Conference Finals Schedule:

DATE

TIME

TEAMS

CHANNEL (US & CANADA)

SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2013

5 P.M.

LOS ANGELES AT CHICAGO

NBCSN, TSN, RDS

SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2013

8 P.M.

LOS ANGELES AT CHICAGO

NBCSN, TSN, RDS

TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2013

9 P.M.

CHICAGO AT LOS ANGELES

NBCSN, TSN, RDS

THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2013

9 P.M.

CHICAGO AT LOS ANGELES

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

*SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2013

8 P.M.

LOS ANGELES AT CHICAGO

NBC, CBC, RDS

*MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013

9 P.M.

CHICAGO AT LOS ANGELES

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

*WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2013

TBD

LOS ANGELES AT CHICAGO

NBCSN, CBC, RDSben

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