Penguins - Blue Jackets
-"Not read too much. Not watch [TV]. And remind myself that I have won one more Stanley Cup than a lot of people." - Marc-Andre Fleury (right) on how he deals with criticism directed his way.
-The Penguins have a considerable advantage over the Blue Jackets in terms of postseason experience.
-Evgeni Malkin returned to practice.
-The Penguins assigned Simon Despres, Chuck Kobasew and Harry Zolnierczyk to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
-Have these Penguins underachieved?
-“Given the guys that I played with on the ’09 team, you’d think that they were going to be a perennial Cup candidate. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way." - Rob Scuderi on the Penguins failure to win a Stanley Cup title since 2009.
-“Just because you want to do it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen." - Sidney Crosby on winning the Stanley Cup.
-Dan Bylsma speaks:
-Sidney Crosby speaks:
-Could Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards have been the Penguins' head coach instead of Dan Bylsma?
-“We had good success against them, but it was hard. It’s going to be even harder now.” - Matt Niskanen on the Penguins going 5-0-0 against the Blue Jackets this season.
-“He’s as good a person as he is a hockey player, if you can believe that. But he knows as well as I do that I’m trying to win the Cup as much as he is. It’s well understood between the two of us that we’re going to go as hard as we can. It’s the Stanley Cup. We’ll be friends again afterward.” - Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on his relationship with Crosby.
-Blue Jackets forwards Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky are expected to see plenty of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin this series.
-Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (right) took the road less traveled to become an NHL star.
-The Blue Jackets recalled goaltender Jeremy Smith from Springfield of the AHL.
Rangers - Flyers
-The Flyers signed defenseman Andrew MacDonald to a six-year contract extension worth a total of $30 million. Currently in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $550,000, MacDonald's new deal will have a cap hit of $5 million. In 82 games this season, MacDonald, 27, had 28 points (four goals, 20 assists). He was acquired from the Islanders at the trade deadline.
-EN Says: MacDonald is just the player the Flyers need. Prior to his arrival, they had mobile defensemen who were old (Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit) or young defensemen who were immobile (Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn). MacDonald is something in between. He can skate, blocks shots and is fairly durable. A salary cap hit of $5 million might seem high for someone with limited offensive output, but in this market, that's fair value. That said, this drives up the price on someone like Matt Niskanen who is scheduled to become a free agent this upcoming offseason.
-The Flyers signed defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a third-round draft pick in 2012, to an entry-level contract.
-Rangers forward Derick Brassard left practice yesterday due to a suspected back ailment.
-The Rangers signed undrafted free agent defenseman Mat Bodie, formerly of Union College. Terms of the contract were not reported.
Bruins - Red Wings
-“Everybody wants to win. I want to win really badly. I know all the other guys, guys who’ve won before, it’s addicting, you want to win again, you want to be on top. That’s why we play." - Bruins forward and former Penguin Jarome Iginla (right).
-Several of the Bruins are dealing with an illness.
-Could Red Wings captain/forward Henrik Zetterberg return to the lineup during this series? He has been sidelined since the Olympics due to a back injury.
-The Smiths - Detroit's Brendan and Boston's Reilly - are brothers.
Canadiens - Lightning
-With 109 points in 108 career postseason games, Canadiens forward Daniel Briere is a proven playoff performer.
-Canadiens forward Brandon Prust ("upper-body"} is considered a game-time decision for tonight's Game 1.
-The Canadiens plan on having plenty of fans in Tampa.
-Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has taken a big step forward this season.
Avalanche - Wild
-Minnesota forward Mikael Granlund (right) is expected to return to the lineup for Thursday's Game 1. He has been sidelined since March 31 due to a head injury.
-Wild forward and former Penguins prospect Matt Moulson wants two things this summer: The Stanley Cup and his own bed.
Blues - Blackhawks
-“The cavalry is coming." - Blues forward and former Penguins forward Brenden Morrow on his team getting healthier.
Ducks - Stars
-“Think about it every single day of my life. When I’m by myself, when I take a walk … since I’ve been 10 years old. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s not a question of the will and the want not being there. It’s a question of, sometimes you’ve got the opportunity and you’ve got to make good on it.” - Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on the Stanley Cup.
-The Ducks assigned defenseman Mark Fistric to Norfolk of the AHL.
-The Stars signed forward Branden Troock, a fifth-round draft pic in 2012, to a thee-year entry-level contract.
Sharks - Kings
-The Kings recalled forward Linden Vey from Manchester of the AHL.
-Sharks forward Brent Burns was nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea, defenseman Clark Seymour and goaltender Matt Murray (right) to amateur tryout agreements. Seymour (fifth round) and Murray (third round) are each 2012 draft picks of the NHL Penguins.
-Happy 51st birthday to former Penguins forward Dean Defazio. A ninth-round pick of the club in 1981, Defazio appered in 22 games for the 1983-84 Penguins and recorded two assists. After spending the next two seasons with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Baltimore, Defazio was released.
-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Harry York. Acquired early in the 1998-99 season along with Alex Kovalev in a deal which sent Petr Nedved, Chris Tamer and Sean Pronger to the Rangers, York appeared in all of two games for the Penguins that season. before he was claimed off waivers by the Canucks in December.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division
-The Capitals assigned defenseman Tyson Strachan to Hershey of the AHL.
-"I don’t like losing. Some of the games … there were periods in games that were embarrassing, the way we played. We got outshot 20-2 in one period, I think it was. That’s not good for any team at any level, let alone the National Hockey League.” - Senators general manager Bryan Murray on his team missing the postseason.
-The Sabres assigned forwards Nicolas Deslauriers, defensemen Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen, Chad Ruhwedel, goaltenders Connor Knapp, Nathan Lieuwen and Andrei Makarov to Rochester of the AHL.
-The Predators assigned forward Calle Jarnkork to Milwaukee of the AHL.
-Nashville signed forward Felix Girard, a third-round pick in 2013, to a three-year entry-level contract.
-The Coyotes assigned defensemen Connor Murphy, Brandon Gormley, goaltender Mark Visentin (right) and forward Tyler Gaudet to Portland of the AHL.
-The NHL's draft lottery was held last night. Here is the order for the first 13 picks:
8. Maple Leafs
10. Ducks (from Senators)
-Note: The Devils did not make the playoffs but were not be eligible to win the lottery due to punishments relating to salary-cap circumvention. They will select 30th in the first round.
-Another lawsuit was filed by former players against the NHL in regards to concussion.
IIHF World Championship
-Panthers forward Vince Trocheck (right), a native of Upper St. Clair, was named to the United States' roster for next month's IIHF World Championship tournament. The roster thus far:
Forwards - Jimmy Hayes, Panthers; Kevin Hayes, Boston College; Peter Mueller, Kloten - (NLA - Switzerland); Brock Nelson, Islanders; Drew Shore, Panthers; Craig Smith, Predators; Tim Stapleton, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL); Vince Trocheck, Panthers.
Defensemen - Matt Donovan, Islanders; Jake Gardiner, Maple Leafs; Seth Jones, Predators; Jake McCabe, Sabres; Jeff Petry, Oilers; Jacob Trouba, Jets.
Goaltender - Connor Hellebuyck, Massachusetts-Lowell.
-Former Islanders/Hurricanes/Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was named the head coach of Team USA.
(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Paul Bereswill/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images, Jamie Sabau/Getty Images and Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)