Bits: Snow talk; Frans advances; Hamonic's fire

Big win for Norway over the Swiss. Kind of glad Mark Streit wasn't there.

Tonight's NHL schedule has a heavenly nature second only to those first-round nights with four overlapping games: Two big conference finals, each separated by just one game, staggered in time from East to West so that they stack up one behind the other. It's a night for the Man Cave, to be sure. ... Meanwhile, I'm getting a kick out of Ken Hitchcock's coaching thoughts about both series, with his Game 2 thoughts for Habs-Flyers and Hawks-Sharks now up.

The USHL's draft is today (that's where Anders Lee played), and SB Nation will be having coverage all day long.

Islanders This and That

Dee relays the final part of her sit-down with Garth Snow, in which life at the cap floor and adding size are the hot topics. [7th Woman] ... If you haven't checked the official site recently, last week they had brief audio of Clark Gillies talking about the 1975 0-3 comeback with NHL Live -- interrupting Gillies on the golf course. (Boy, retirement sounds like it's no fun.) ... Nice shot of Ken Morrow in SI's series of playoff beards. ... If the Blackhawks win tonight, they tie a road playoff win streak shared by the 1980 and 1982 Islanders, among others. ... Anyone get the sense that, in addition to Town of Hempstead and Nassau and Wang all playing the tactical game, the Wilpons will be playing the NHL and MLS off one another? I trust no one in this chess match.

Travis Hamonic on his burning desire to win the Memorial Cup ... Hamonic's agent tells Katie Strang they're close to a deal with the Isles.

World Championships: Strange Times

Strange results yesterday: Norway (pictured), which was slaughtered by both Canada and Latvia, beat Switzerland {Martin Gerber: 12 saves on 15 shots} who themselves had beaten Canada. Meanwhile, Belarus beat Denmark (which has about 4,000 hockey players total within its borders). But Frans Nielsen's team still advanced, as do Russia, Canada, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. There are two quarterfinal spots left. ... Steven Stamkos' jaw wasn't so bad, apparently, so he'll play today against the Czechs.

NHL News: Sexton Goes Down

The long public Hawks execution of Dale Tallon is complete. Tallon moves to Florida to replace Randy Sexton. Litter Box Cats looks back at Sexton's short tenure, made possible by Jacques Martin's coaching wanderlust. ... An interesting examination of Evgeni Malkin's (overpaid) value at Flames Nation, followed by a Pensburgh reminder that he's only 23. Also at Pensburgh: An interesting old video of Tom Barrasso rationalizing his perennial cold shoulder to the media.

Next report card (assuming my story on off-track betting in the Himalayas doesn't interfere): Trent Hunter

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