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Thursday, March 27, 2008

NHL Headlines 3/27/08

I'm only going to throw a few headlines at you today as I'm still exhausted from working last night. I'd actually still be asleep right now if it weren't for the construction on the apartment next door to us. This has been going on for about three weeks now and I've about had it.

Anyway, time to talk pucks.

Crosby To Return Tonight Against Islanders

Boy am I glad to hear this. Granted I was aware of it yesterday as I'm sure most of you already were as well. He says he feels good and wants to get back out on the ice, so if he thinks he's good to go I have no reason to doubt him.

As expected he'll be on a line with Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis who has missed the last two games to be with his wife in Atlanta who gave birth to a baby girl.

This is a redemption game for the Penguins after they pretty much tanked the last meeting with the Islanders on Monday night. No one showed up to play and Ty Conklin's slump continued.

Heading into tonight, the Penguins have a four point lead on the Devils in the Atlantic Division and trail the Montreal Canadiens by one point for the overall lead in the Eastern Conference.

Tortorella To Coach Team USA At IIHF Tournament

I know the list of American coaches is pretty short. Just read the article and you'll see my point, but it seems like Tortorella is getting this job by default. To quote Homer Simpson "The two sweetest words in the English language, de fault, de fault"

Anyway, I guess I'm OK with having him as the American coach. Afterall, he did coach the Lightning to a Stanley Cup victory a couple years ago. His recent success or lack there of worries me and I question how good of a coach he'll be with what will undoubtedly be a young team.

Anyone remember his rant on John Grahame during the playoffs a couple years ago? He totally threw him under the bus and honestly, I don't blame Grahame at all for the Bolts losing in the first round.

I was unable to find a clip of this outburst in which he breaks out the "25 percent rule" in reference to Grahame's save percentage during the series, but here's a gem interview he gave after Game 5 against the Devils last season. WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE IS USED.

Gagne To Sit Out Rest Of Season

Aswith any athlete this is subject to change, but he isn't ruling out playing in the Stanley Cup Finals should the Flyers make it that far. Sorry Simon, I know the bells in your head continue to ring and has given you some false hope, but your team isn't going that far this season.

I applaud the Flyers on making a franchise turnaround in one year from the worst team in the league to a team battling for one of the last spots in the playoffs. I really do, but injuries have killed this team and that's what is going to keep them from making a deep run in the playoffs.

I don't know if anyone knows the single season record for most concussions suffered, but if Lindros doesn't own it Gagne must with his three this year. The difference between Gagne and Lindros is that Gagne is sitting out the time he needs to recover. Lindros on he other hand rushed back from one of his 30 something (I know that's an exaggeration, but doesn't it seem like that many?) concussions and almost had his life cut short by Scott Stevens in the playoffs.

The sad/funny thing is that I called that hit during the pre-game broadcast when it was announced that he was suiting up.

Morrison Done For Season

As if the Canucks needed any more bad news about their playoff chances, now Brendan Morrison is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Morrison has only played 38 games this season so on paper this doesn't really seem like a big loss. The biggest problem here is that he is one of the veteran leaders on this club and you don't want to lose guys like that at this time of year.

The Canucks are currently the 8-seed in the Western Conference with a two-point lead on Nashville and are three points up on the surging Oilers.

If they do manage to hold on to the final spot, I don't see them getting by the Red Wings in the first round. Roberto Luongo may be able to push the series to six games, but even as good as he is that would be no small feat.

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