Truth & Rumors > NHL

Ice thinning under Muller, too

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07:44 AM ET 04.17 | Kirk Muller, the owner of an 80-80-27 record in Carolina, has one year left on his contract -- and he may not return. The first question asked of [Muller] on Wednesday was about his status with the Carolina Hurricanes and if he would return as coach next season. "As of right now I'm the coach of the Carolina Hurricanes," Muller replied. But the fact Muller was holding an end-of-year press conference at PNC Arena three days after the season, after the Canes again missed the Stanley Cup playoffs, may have been an answer in itself. Muller, who has one year left on his contract, said he has met with general manager Jim Rutherford and Ron Francis, vice president of hockey operations, to evaluate the season. The Canes failed to reach the playoffs for a fifth straight year and the third time since Muller was named coach.

News & Observer

Kirk Muller, Getty Images Kirk Muller, Getty Images

Getzlaf avoided major scare

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07:44 AM ET 04.17 | Forgive Ducks fans for that sigh of relief. [Anaheim forward] Ryan Getzlaf appears to avoided a major injury after taking a puck to the face in Wednesday's playoff match against the Dallas Stars. After the game, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said Getzlaf was receiving [stitches], but as far as he was aware Getzlaf did not break any bones and should be ready for game 2 on Friday night. Getzlaf suffered the injury in the final minute of the Ducks' 4-3 victory, while blocking a point shot by Stars centre Tyler Seguin. Boudreau sounded less optimistic about the status of forward Matt Beleskey, who is suffering from a lower-body injury. Boudreau said Beleksey will "hopefully" play on Friday night. Beleksey scored a goal and added an assist against the Stars on Wednesday night.

TSN.ca

Ryan Getzlaf, Getty Images Ryan Getzlaf, Getty Images

Will Miller crack?

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40

07:42 AM ET 04.17 | The arrival of Ryan Miller to the Gateway City sets up as the final piece to the puzzle. The expectations placed upon Miller are simple: His abilities between the pipes are to elevate the St. Louis Blues from very good to great. Great, as in Stanley Cup champions and nothing short. Is it a pressure-packed spot for Miller? You bet. But that's the reality facing the 33-year-old netminder right now, and everybody's watching to see how he deals with it. Some players relish that level of scrutiny. Some are driven by it. Miller says it's just part of the gig. "I'm just another piece. I'm trying to take that approach," he said following Wednesday's practice in anticipation of opening the playoffs Thursday against the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. I don't feel it's a make-or-break situation."

Calgary Sun

Ryan Miller, Getty Images Ryan Miller, Getty Images

Lightning may be swept aside

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100

07:40 AM ET 04.17 | Don't let "5-4, OT" fool you. Don't be misled that it took extra time to determine a winner. And don't for a second think the Lightning was anywhere near the vicinity of being good enough to win Wednesday night's Game 1 of their playoff series against the Canadiens. The Lightning got exactly what it deserved. And if it doesn't soon figure out that playoff hockey is not the same as regular-season hockey, it will be getting something else it deserves: an early start to its summer vacation. ... Call it whatever you want. But call it this, too: alarming. You see overtime and you think it was a close game and the start of a long series. But if you know anything about hockey and you watched Game 1, you know this was a beat down and could be the start of a dominating sweep.

Tampa Bay Times

Carey Price, Getty Images Carey Price, Getty Images

Cup drought weighing on Sid

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07:44 AM ET 04.16 | No longer Sid The Kid, he hasn't raised the Cup since the time that nickname applied. Sidney Crosby, now 26, will attempt to cap a dream season by claiming the Stanley Cup for the first time in five years. Another Olympic gold medal was his in February. He won the Art Ross Trophy in a runaway, and the Hart Trophy almost certainly belongs to him in June. ... Four postseasons in his 20s remain, and while Crosby's legs might be fresher than most his age, he sounds hungry to pounce on another championship. "Each year you get banged up more and more," he said. "You appreciate how hard it is to win it all. It's not easy. It really isn't. I just want to make the most of a chance like this. I like this team. We got pretty close last year. But expectations here are higher than that."

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Sidney Crosby, Getty Images Sidney Crosby, Getty Images

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