We couldn't enjoy these great playoffs for too long without some sort of off-ice drama rearing its head. Enter the latest in the always-fishy Coyotes saga:
- Jerry Reinsdorf's bid is said to be dead (again) and rejected suitors Ice Edge Holdings -- they were the ones who pledged not to move the team, remember -- are reported to be asked back in. Reinsdorf's bid was always seen as weaker by outside observers (he wanted the right to move after five years), so his selection by city and league smelled like: 1) Old boys club dealings, and 2) Bizarre Glendale politics. Sooner or later, the league will need a conclusion, so naturally that first link floats Winnipeg.
- Today's World Championships opener between USA and Germany in Gelsenkirchen (2 p.m. EDT, Universal Sports) should break a hockey attendance record by attracting 76,000 fans. Hey, Kyle Okposo and Jack Hillen are used to intense college-like crowds. And Eric Nystrom played in the Michigan "Cold War" game which will lose the attendance record tonight.
- Don't forget WebBard's FanPost and poll on the worst Islanders draft class ever.
- Couple days old, but how fun would this be? Mike Keenan interested in the Devils job. [Post]
- Concerned note: On the NHL Network in the wee hours, they run "History Will Be Made" commercials constantly. It actually gets old (particularly when they add goals from this postseason that aren't that ... historical).
The Red Wings threw a blanket on the Sharks' clinching plans with a 7-1 rout. Johan Franzen's six points on four goals were the most since Geoff Courtnall in 1998. (Heh, that was the series where Courtnall ran Kings goalie Jamie Storr, drew a five-minute powerplay out of the King's retaliation,, and helped the Blues reverse a 3-0 deficit to win.) Last night, Joe Thornton got angry in the third, knocking down Tomas Holmstrom after the whistle and horse-collaring Nicklas Lidstrom in the ensuing scrum to earn 14 PIM. ... After talk in yesterday's 1975 thread about the 33-year (or so) cycle for 3-0 comebacks, Mike Babcock invoked that idea in his predictable "we can do it" spiel. Scary thing? If anyone can do it... [More at Fear the Fin | Winging It]
Penguins-Canadiens: In a far closer game, the Habs got two third-period goals to flip the Penguins, 3-2 and give us a series, baby. A bad Maxim Lapierre wraparound goal tied it; Brian Gionta bounced a cross-slot pass off Kris Letang and in for the winner. The Habs' first goal, by Tom Pyatt, was heli-soft, so I'm still waiting for back-to-back stellar games from Marc-Andre Fleury. [More at Pensburgh | Habs Eyes on the Prize]