First, some non-Stanley Cup stuff:
Larry Brooks runs some interesting scenarios, trying to figure out what it takes to keep Patrik Elias in New Jersey (login info.). Brooks suspects Elias is looking for a deal that will let him play with his friend, Martin Havlat, so the scenarios have Elias going to Ottawa or Havlat coming to New Jersey. Brooks also says the Senators might be able to keep both Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden in Ottawa. He doesn’t address why the Senators continue to keep together a team that can’t seem to move forward through the playoffs, though. It’s time for the Senators to start over, perhaps with some grittier forwards. Elias is a great player, but he’s not exactly Michael Peca.
Meanwhile, Tim Panaccio says Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock isn’t leaving Philadelphia for Vancouver (login info.). Hitchcock would be a big change from old coach Marc Crawford. I wonder if Vancouver’s top two lines could even play the kind of position-oriented hockey Hitchcock lives and breathes. I guess the feeling is that someone needs to teach the Canuck forwards defensive responsibility.
Sportwriter Chris Snow taking over some operations duties with the Wild is an old story, but I found some links I forgot to post. Here is something from the Boston Globe, Snow’s paper, on his new gig and the grand tradition of sportswriters running teams (login info.). And Boston Sports Media Watch had some quotes from Snow, a former Bruins fan. The interesting thing, though, is that back in November 2004 or so, someone in the NHLPA gave Snow access to their internal computer system, which they use to share client data, which they then leverage into deals for their players. You have to wonder if Snow’s familiarity with the system was a big draw for the Wild.
OK. Now some Stanley Cup stuff:
Edmonton is just pounding Carolina. Carolina can try and get faster, and can try and get emotional by bringing back injured players, but until they hit Edmonton back, and make Edmonton pay the price every time the Oilers cross that blue line, the Hurricanes are just going to keep spinning their wheels. The simple fact is, it’s very tough to score when all of your forwards are pinned against the glass. It’s very had to block a shot when you’re stuck to the boards. It’s hard to get speed going when you’ve got someone’s jersey in your face. The Hurricanes have one chance out of this mess: they’ve got to outmuscle Edmonton. If they don’t come out hitting, they’re going to spend another three periods with a huge view of wealthy Carolina fans banging the glass, watching the Oilers control every aspect of the game.