Stanley Cup Stories: Reimer on hot seat, another Hollywood ending
Toronto fights to stay alive while Detroit, Anaheim try to survive
James Reimer and the Maple Leafs meet Boston in Game 6, the Ducks and Red Wings will decide things on the west coast, the Rangers try to find their scoring against the Capitals, and the Habs pack up for the summer as Stanley Cup Stories look to Sunday.
1. Question: If you poke a bear, can you run fast enough to get up that tree before he catches you? The Maple Leafs will work that one out on Sunday night when the Boston Bruins and their bruised pride take the ice for Game 6 of their Eastern Conference playoff series in Toronto (CBC, CBCsports.ca, 7 p.m. ET). Leafs’ coach Randy Carlyle used the bear metaphor, but you have to wonder if the pressure isn’t all on Boston, given that club blew a 3-0 lead to Philadelphia back in 2010 and don’t want it to happen again. Toronto goaltender James Reimer will attempt to transform the blue and white from a perennial loser to the comeback kids. Then his wife, April, and captain Dion Phaneuf’s girlfriend Elisha can stick their fingers in that heckler’s face and go all Nelson Muntz on him – "Ha. Ha!"
2. Off to the second round go the Pittsburgh Penguins and that goal scoring machine Brooks Orpik, where they run into those pesky Ottawa Senators. Jason Spezza may be back in this round for the Sens, but it’s a big maybe. A big question for the Pens will be who starts in goal? Do they go back to Marc-Andre Fleury or stay with Tomas Vokoun, who won the last two games and played great. And while we’re at it, who wins a throw down out in the natural world between a Penguin and a bug-eyed walrus? Then there's the Matt Cooke-Erik Karlsson angle …
3. Did you hear the one about the octopus and the duck set to meet for a winner-take-all showdown between the Orange Freeway and the Santa Ana River? Yep, Game 7 (Sunday night 10 p.m. ET) between the Detroit Red Wings and the host Anaheim Anatidae will decide who moves on in the Western Conference playoffs. The Wings will not abdelkade their reign as one of the league’s most successful playoff franchises easily. And this time they’d like to hang on to a lead if they can get one, unlike Game 6 when Detroit almost blew it.
4. This Sunday on Law and Order (4:30 p.m. ET, check your local listings), the gang will come out of retirement to search for Brad Richards and Rick Nash of the New York Rangers. Richards was last seen, according to witness Jay Greenberg, at the beginning of the regular season; Nash at the beginning of their series with the Washington Capitals, one that moves to Game 6 at the same time as this fictional program. Seriously, after the Caps pulled the overtime win over the Rangers to go up 3-2, many observers are giving this one to the team in red. But with Henrik Lundqvist in goal for NYNY, you can never take anything for granted, Lenny.
5. They were packing up the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday, after a bright regular season turned into a depressing playoff. Focus on the future falls on Brendan Gallagher, who is a Calder Trophy nominee for top rookie, and P.K. Subban, up for best defenceman. Course, both of those awards are voted on based on the regular season, not the post-season. Just nagging. First order of business will be getting players healthy. Ryan White has to get over a punctured lung. Brandon Prust has a cracked rib. Goalie Carey Price sprained an MCL in his knee. Some of the fans have broken ankles from falling off the bandwagon.