NHL Playoffs 2012: Top Storylines
5. Phoenix Coyotes Raffi Torres Suspended for 25 Games
Chicago Blackhawks Marian Hossa left Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on a stretcher, after a huge hit by Coyotes forward Raffi Torres.
“This is a violation of three NHL rules—inference, charging and illegal check to the head,” Brendan Shanahan, NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations, said.
After the suspension ruling, Torres issued a statement.
"My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian.”
The Coyotes eliminated the Blackhawks from the playoffs after winning Game Six, 4-0, on Monday, April 23.
4. Will Lidstrom Play Next Season?
Now that the Detroit Red Wings are out of the playoffs, the big question is will Nicklas Lidstrom, 41, play next season? Lidstrom told NHL.com he will take some time to think about whether or not he wants to sign another one-year contract.
The defenseman has been part of the Red Wings lineup since the 1991-92 season, and has played in 1,564 regular season games.
“I’m going to take a few weeks here,” Lidstrom said to NHL.com. “I’m sure [GM] Kenny [Holland] wants to sit down and go over things as well. I’ll see what he wants to do and what timetable he’ll give me to make a decision.”
The Detroit Red Wings are out of the playoff race, after losing Game Five 2-1 on Friday, April 21 to the Nashville Predators. The Predators dominated the series, 4-1.
3. Cory Schneider
Although the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in Round 1, Cory Schneider has made his mark. He played in Game 2 and the entire Game 3 of the conference quarterfinals against the Kings. The No. 1 goalie, Roberto Luongo, looked on as Schneider, who becomes a free agent this summer, played in Game 4 on April 19. The big question now is what will happen next season--will Schneider be the new number 1? Luongo just finished the second year of his 10-year $64 million contract.
2. Kings Ousted A President’s Trophy-Winning Team
The Kings came into the series as the underdogs, the No. 8 seed, up against the President’s Trophy-winning Canucks. Los Angeles dominated the third period of Game 5 on Sunday, and after an overtime goal from center Jarret Stoll, advanced to the next round and are set to play against the St. Louis Blues. The Canucks became the first President’s Trophy winners in more than seven decades to be eliminated in the first round.
1. Game Seven
The 2012 Playoffs have not disappointed. So far, two series will have to go to a Game 7: Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers, and Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins. All four teams have worked hard to take it to the next round, but only two will make it. Who do you think will win?
Wednesday April 25th Washington/Boston
Thursday April 26th Ottawa/NY