|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 23 April 2008 23:59|
Thursday, April 24
Philadelphia at Montreal (7 p.m. EDT). The Flyers and Canadiens face off after both teams won seven-game series in the first round.
The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche will rekindle one of the NHL's best rivalries on Thursday night in Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal. Detroit and Colorado met in five postseasons between 1996-2002 - with the Avs advancing three times - and the franchises combined to win five Stanley Cups during that seven-year stretch.
Attempting to quiet speculation that general manager Brian Burke might leave Anaheim for Toronto, the Ducks announced Wednesday that he will remain with the team at least through next season and will continue to negotiate a contract extension. Burke, whose current four-year deal expires at the end of the 2008-09 season, has put together a team that has won six postseason series in three years, including a run to the franchise's first Stanley Cup title in 2007.
The Vancouver Canucks hired agent and former NHL player Mike Gillis as general manager on Wednesday. Gillis replaces Dave Nonis, who was fired April 14 after the Canucks missed the playoffs one season after winning the Northwest Division. The 49-year-old Gillis, who signed a five-year deal, will decide whether to keep coach Alain Vigneault.
Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Nicklas Backstrom were chosen Wednesday as finalists for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL's top rookie. Kane, the first pick in the 2007 draft, and Toews, the third pick the year before, are teammates on the Chicago Blackhawks. Backstrom plays for the Washington Capitals, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Philadelphia in seven games.
``We pushed each other to be the best. It was a slugfest back and forth - figuratively.'' - Red Wings forward Darren McCarty said Wednesday before facing Colorado for a sixth time in the playoffs.