Truth & Rumors > NHL

Lightning may be swept aside

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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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107

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

The NHL's model franchise?

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2396
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140

07:43 AM ET 04.16 | For the first time playing in an Eastern Conference playoff series, the Red Wings will face another Original Six team in a compelling first-round matchup. Maybe the rules of superstition suggest we should wait for the Bruins' first-round playoff series with the long-admired Detroit Red Wings to be complete before making such a declaration. But it's the truth now, and it should be acknowledged now. The Bruins, not the Red Wings, have become the model franchise in the NHL. And the exclamation point on that sentence will be provided by this series, which starts Friday night at TD Garden. ... [The Bruins] are the better team -- deeper offensively, stronger and more physical defensively unless Niklas Lidstrom comes out of retirement, and with a more dependable goalie. And they they will prove it all.

The Boston Globe

Tuukka Rask, Icon Sports Tuukka Rask, Icon Sports

Sens shopping their captain

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31

07:41 AM ET 04.16 | With the second season moving on without the Senators, owner Eugene Melnyk took the occasion to frame the state of the franchise. [Melnyk] told reporters in a conference call Tuesday he expects to make the playoffs every year and is having a difficult time getting over his disappointment this season. Though he's willing to forgive coach Paul MacLean for "a bad year," top centre Jason Spezza could be getting a change of scenery because this team will not look the same next year. ... [Said Melnyk:] "There is no magic bullet, but changes will need to be made." The No. 1 change is expected to involve Spezza. The Senators will likely shop him around before the NHL entry draft in Philadelphia. As reported by the Sun, the asking price is player who can help right now, a top prospect and No. 1 pick.

Ottawa Sun

Jason Spezza, Icon Sports Jason Spezza, Icon Sports

Murky status on Flyers starter

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840
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42

07:41 AM ET 04.16 | In one corner, you have The King -- in the other, you have a question mark. Depending on how you interpret the tone of general manager Paul Holmgren and coach Craig Berube, goaltender Steve Mason might not be ready for Game 1 of the Flyers' first-round series with the Rangers tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. Either that, or the Flyers prefer to keep their opponent guessing with gamesmanship. Mason practiced for nearly 20 minutes yesterday before a planned exit from the ice whisked him into video review and meetings. Holmgren said Mason, still suffering from the ill effects of a collision with Jayson Megna in Pittsburgh on Saturday, was out of the training facility a short time later and "receiving treatment." ... For now, the Flyers are remaining mum on Mason's "upper-body" injury.

Philadelphia Daily News

Steve Mason, Icon Sports Steve Mason, Icon Sports

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