Canes, Hawks see exit in NHL

May 26, 2009 5:08 PM
Power Plays by by Mark Mayer |
last wk

Carolina goalie Cam Ward has an unblemished record in Game 7’s and elimination games, but that is about to come on an end.

The Hurricanes made a valiant run in the Stanley Cup playoffs, upsetting both New Jersey and Boston in dramatic Game 7 road wins. But Pittsburgh just has too many guns. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have combined for a staggering 26 goals in the playoffs – far and away the top goalscorers among the teams still remaining.

Malkin, the league’s leading scorer during the regular season, completed a hat trick in Game 2 with a backhanded flip heading away from the net that the finest contortionist would admire. Then he added two more goals in Game 3, along with Crosby’s Cup best 14th tally.

Teams down 0-3 in the Stanley Cup playoffs are toast. So let’s just congratulate the Pens for reaching their second straight Cup final.

Also about to walk the plank are the Chicago Blackhawks, who are now down 3-1 to Detroit in West final. Chicago managed to pull out a 4-3 win in Game 3 after blowing a 3-0 lead. Game 4 was all Detroit.

So it seems the Red Wings and Penguins are headed on a collision course that produced a great Stanley Cup final a year ago. We can only hope for a repeat and that ESPN can somehow regain the hockey package that the NHL in its infinite stupidity allowed to fall into the hands of a network we still have trouble finding on our cable system.

But that gripe is for another day. We’re more concerned with the rest of the Cup playoffs and turning a profit for all of us.

Tuesday, May 26

Pittsburgh -125 at Carolina (5½): Game 4 and what’s likely the end for the Hurricanes. As we said, Ward has never lost an elimination game, but he has faced a bunch in this Stanley Cup and the bubble is set to burst. With Crosby and Malkin at their best, no way are we betting against the Penguins, especially at this cheap price. PITTSBURGH.

Wednesday, May 27

Detroit -230 vs Chicago (5½): Game 5 at the Joe and the swan song for the upstart Blackhawks. This is just like old times back in the NBA when Chicago couldn’t beat the Bad Boys. And, the Wings also seem to have Chicago’s number. DETROIT.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer