The Stanley Cup Final doesn’t begin until Wednesday, so if you’re looking for some high-level hockey to watch tonight, the Toronto Marlies will fight for their playoff lives in Game 6 of the American Hockey League Western Conference Final in Texas, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on LeafsTV. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ farm club is down three games to two to the top-seeded Texas Stars.
Jeff Veillette of The LeafsNation points to two huge reasons why the Marlies are down in this series, and if it wasn’t for the goaltending of Drew MacIntyre, their playoff run probably would have been over a week ago. In short, the Marlies need to figure out a way to move the shots needle in their favour and stop taking so many penalties.
The NHL Western Conference Final was as entertaining a series of hockey as you’ll see, but the goaltending from both Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford was pretty abysmal. As James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail writes, their track record over the last three years puts them right around league average, which isn’t the type of goaltending you’re expecting from two guys signed to big money and long term.
Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings is the NHL’s longest-serving head coach, but that title might be relinquished if the Wings can’t get him under contract by the end of next season. The rumours will be rampant, as I know plenty of Toronto Maple Leafs fans would love to see Babcock behind the bench in the Big Smoke, but Red Wings general manager Ken Holland expressed his desire to get his bench boss re-signed to a long-term deal soon, as per Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels is the consensus number-two defenseman for this month’s NHL Entry Draft behind Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts. The big, mobile d-man who likens himself to Jay Bouwmeester of the St. Louis Blues sat down with Kelly Friesen of Yahoo! Buzzing The Net and answered a few questions.
This is from a while ago, but I missed the news that Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson is suing a guy over a car accident in July 2008 because of injuries he says contributed to him not being able to make the Nashville Predators the following season. Lawyer Tyler Dellow of mc79hockey shares why he thinks Franson’s case isn’t very strong, or at least not strong enough to win in court.