You might be wondering what cowboys and cats have to do with today's round-up. There is a link between the image to the left and hockey, but I'll explain that below. Round Two of the NHL Playoffs are underway, and we had a champion crowned in the KHL. More on the Russian champions tomorrow as we wrap up that season, but we have lots to cover here today. Let's not waste any time. Here we go.
- The Bruins welcomed back Marc Savard yesterday only to see another major piece of their forward unit go down. Marco Sturm's season is over tearing both his ACL and MCL in a freak play yesterday. It didn't appear that Sturm did anything unusual in finishing his check on Philly's Matt Carle, but he crumpled to the ice on his first shift of the game. Knee injuries are always scary because they could spell the end of a player's career, and it would be tough to see the 31 year-old not return. Best of luck, Marco, and a speedy recovery!
- The game in Pittsburgh today looked a little different with neither Andrei Markov or Jordan Staal on the ice for the teams. The Penguins could have used Staal's face-off prowess and defensive abilities, while Montreal always looks a little off on the powerplay without Markov. There times in today's game where Pittsburgh dominated down low, but a credit goes out to the Canadiens' lineup that bent but didn't break. Much like the Washington-Montreal series, it looks like this one might be a long one.
- News out of Minnesota today stating that the Wild will wear a tenth anniversary patch for the entire season with the exception of two games. The only games that won't feature the patch on the Wild's jerseys will be their opening games in Europe for the NHL Premiere games. If you found it in that article, the Wild will don the Roman number "X" on the patch.
- Also in that article above, the Wild are apparently getting good feedback from the NHL about hosting the 2012 Winter Classic, and it appears the venue will either be brand-new Target Field or TCF Bank Stadium if Minnesota is selected. The first holds just under 40,000 people while the latter holds 50,000. I'll tell you this right now: I'm there if they get the 2012 game.
- How much time off is bad for hockey players? That's a question that the Hershey Bears must ask as they will have at least a week off after eliminating the Albany River Rats in four straight games. The Atlantic Division Final is tied at two games apiece, so the earliest that that series will be decided on is May 7. Will the week off hurt Hershey? Only time will tell, I suppose. As cryptic as that last line may be.
- Thanks to Washington's early exit, the Hershey Bears will become extremely scary now. The Capitals re-assigned defencemen Karl Alzner and John Carlson to the Bears, and both men are NHL-seasoned. I'm not crowning the Bears as Calder Cup Champions just yet, but gaining these two men as they enter the Eastern Conference Final makes them that much more dangerous. Yowza.
- The OHL Championship has nearly been decided, and the defending Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires lead the Barrie Colts by a 3-0 lead in their series. Taylor Hall and his Spitfires can book a ticket to Brandon, Manitoba if they are able to win on home ice on Tuesday night. Windsor has been surgical in dismantling teams along the way to the Championship, including rallying from a 3-1 deficit against the Plymouth Whalers. Could Windsor repeat? The odds look good right now.
- Great article penned by Jeff B. over on his site, Third String Goalie, about the demise of the Winnipeg Jets. He has linked up just about every video available online about the death of Winnipeg's NHL team, and the article he wrote is extremely well-written. While the videos could occupy you for the next 48 hours or so, the article itself should be read. Well done, Jeff!
While I wasn't rounding up cats, there's your quick Sunday round-up for this week. KHL news tomorrow, so join us to see who took home the Gagarin Cup!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!