Mid-day update: Tony Granato is out, again, as the coach in Colorado and they promoted assistant GM Greg Sherman to the GM position. Much more on this tomorrow... stay classy, Colorado.
Detroit's depth had really made a difference in the first two games of the finals but Max Talbot must have taken offense to that and decided that it was time for Pittsburgh's role players to be heard from... two goals last night for Max and he's 4+2=6 and a +6 in his last six games, so he's re-discovered some of that scoring touch he had in junior... it's a little easier to re-discover things when you're playing with Geno.
Talbot's linemate, Geno Malkin, wasn't all bad either, three assists last night and he's had a point in each game of the series so far. He also now leads Crosby in the playoff scoring race by four points.
The big swing in the Penguins fortunes last night was that Marc-Andre Fleury came up big as he faced 26 Detroit shots through the first two periods and stopped 27 of 29 overall.
Boston got a deal with David Krejci done yesterday that will keep the RFA around for three more years at $3.75 million per. Good deal for both the player and the team as Krejci showed he's got #1C potential and it leaves Boston will a little room to play with under the cap. Now, if they can strike a similar deal with Phil Kessel then they may be able to keep them both but another contract may need to be sacrificed.
There was also a rumour going around yesterday that the Wings were about to sign Marian Hossa to a long-term extension. That has been poo-pooed by some people as it wouldn't seem to make sense to be negotiating with a guy during the finals. In addition, we're skeptical that the Wings are going to be able to get a Hossa contract under the cap... if they do, then it will be official that Kenny Holland is a miracle-worker.
The Leafs signed three of their european draft picks to entry level deals yesterday... Juraj Mikus, Carl Gunnarsson and Mikhail Stefanovich. Stefanovich is the only one to keep an eye on here as the the kid from Belarus had first round talent last year before dropping to the 4th round and followed that up 60 goals in 73 games in the Q this year (regular season and playoffs combined). Apparently the KHL liked what they saw as he's fresh off being the #2 overall pick in their draft. He's got a lot more to prove before he gets a shot in the NHL but his progression so far is encouraging.
As part of the Olli Jokinen deal the Flames had the option to send Phoenix their 1st round pick in either 2009 or 2010. Well Darryl Sutter made the call the other day and their sending the Coyotes their 2010 1st rounder. Two reasons why we're not surprised... one, we're sure Darryl figures that this team will win the cup next year with him behind the bench so that 2010 pick will be a late one and two, and probably more likely, is that Phoenix franchise folds sometime in the next year and the pick will revert back to Calgary anyway.
We're as tired of these Pavel Datsyuk non-updates as you are... latest is that Dats skated yesterday and Coach Babs thinks that he's making a lot of progress, so he's back to being questionable for game #4.
What's distracting us today? Remember in Game 4 of the Washington - New York series when the always entertaining Sean Avery took two dumb penalties late in the game? With a 3-1 series lead Avery was scratched by the always entertaining John Tortorella for Game 5. The Capitals, of course, went on to win the next three games and the series.
Silently, we were kind of excited because we figured the collapse plus the scratching might cause a bit of bad blood to boil between Avery and the Torts. Much to our disappointment, it looks like Avery really has grown up. Check out this interview with Avery, where he actually says that Torts made the right move:
What?!?! How are we going to fill our Daily Distraction segment next season if Avery is going to be acting like this? Very disappointing.