Despite the Pittsburgh Penguins exit from the playoffs just a day after tax day, the NHL playoffs are still moving forward. Though NBC executives might soon be weeping in their beers as the potential Round Two matchups feature fewer attractive TV markets and fewer marquee names. But Round One has to end.
Both teams benefit from a good trade, right? The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans watched Phil Kessel lift the Cup twice and even fill it with hot dogs (an all-time troll if there ever was one). Now, it is Toronto’s turn to reap the benefits from the trade as Kasperi Kapanen helped them take a 3-2 series lead Friday night (Toronto Sun)
What is goalie interference? Fans went nuts Friday on a call which swung the game to Toronto (USA Today)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Immensely talented hockey player from Nova Scotia leads his team to victory. Nathan MacKinnon overpowered the Calgary Flames, who dished high praise for MacKinnon. Really high praise (Denver Post)
Not playoff related, but talk is starting that Ken Holland, who was bumped upstairs but out as the Detroit Red Wings GM after 21 years for Steve Yzerman, should bolt for Edmonton (Sportsnet)
The first line of Travis Yost’s column on the San Jose Sharks should loudly resonate with Pittsburgh Penguins fans, too. What happens when a team doesn’t want to play defense anymore? (TSN)
Washington Capitals fireplug TJ Oshie suffered a serious injury in Game 4. The Capitals recalled last year’s playoff hero, DSP (RMB)
The New York Post already put the Oshie injury in a Round Two context (NY Post)
Later this morning, PHN will examine Phil Kessel’s curious comments this week. Patric Hornqvist was his usual high energy self even as he admitted he got frustrated and didn’t have a good season (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
I’m still disappointed he and Robin Lehner didn’t drop the mitts-trapper and go for it. That would have been a spectacle in an otherwise dark moment of Penguins history.