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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Monday, 05.09.2011 / 10:55 PM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

VAN-NSH Game 6: 16:29 of second period

Video review of Nashville's David Legwand's goal at 16:29 of the second period upheld  Steve Kozari's call on the ice -- good goal.

POSTED ON Monday, 05.09.2011 / 3:09 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: Vancouver-Nashville Live Blog

Edler coping with rough moments

Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler had the look of a downtrodden man on Monday after his team's morning skate. While Edler is minus-2 overall in the playoffs, he is even in the five games in this series with Nashville but has had some rough moments.

During the Canucks' morning skate on Monday, he had a new defense partner -- the defensively sound veteran Sami Salo. Edler had a turnover in Game 5 that led to one of the goals by the Preds' Joel Ward and also, bizarrely, batted a puck into his own net after Nashville's David Legwand, who was behind the goal, flipped it over the net in Edler's direction.

Also, in Game 3, Legwand stripped Edler of the puck behind the net and then Legwand scored a shorthanded goal. After that game, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said it was an "easy call" to remove Edler from the power play and put Mikael Samuelsson back out there because Edler allowed himself to be stripped of the puck.

Samuelsson is injured and did not travel to Nashville for Game 6 so it will be interesting to see how much power play time, if any at all, Edler gets. Vancouver has allowed two shorthanded goals in this series.

Faced with the change, Edler said the right things but being taken off a pair with his usual partner Christian Ehrhoff, who is tied for the lead in scoring among all NHL defensemen in the playoffs with nine points, he acted more as if he were being punishment.

"Well, he's been out a lot this year, but I played with him a lot last year and I think we played very good last year, so it's nothing really new," Edler said of Salo. "We've been playing on the same team for a long time, so…"

Edler was asked how good Nashville has been on the forecheck.

"They're coming hard, but, I mean," he sighed audibly, "they're coming hard one, two, three guys, so it's so important that we go back hard and a lot of communication."

Then he was asked whether he is comfortable moving the puck against such pressure.

"Yeah, I mean, it's not easy every time but sometimes you got to eat it," he said. "Sometimes when you feel like you move it, you got to move it."

Vigneault did not confirm that the pairing would be changed, saying not to put too much in what reporters saw on the ice. However, Edler did say, "yeah, it looks like it, play with Sami."
POSTED ON Monday, 05.09.2011 / 2:30 PM

By John Manasso -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: Vancouver-Nashville Live Blog

Ice conditions could play a role in Game 6

After defeating Anaheim in six games in the first round, the Predators organization took steps to prepare for the possibility that the local weather might turn hot for the Western Conference Semifinals.

It happened. By 1 p.m. Central time on Monday, the temperature had reached 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Some local forecasts have the temperature getting as high 90.

As recently as last week in Nashville for Games 3 and 4, the overnight lows dipped into the 30s.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz was hopeful that dehumidifiers that the organization installed on top of Bridgestone Arena would help the conditions, but he wasn't 100 percent sure.

"This morning, good," Trotz said of the ice conditions after his team's morning skate, "because it's still not 89, which it's going to get up to today, and you don't have 17,000 people coming into the building and heating it up, so right now the ice conditions are good. I think it was a much needed move by the organization that we have the dehumidifiers on top of the building. We probably didn't need it the first couple of games, but it's been traditionally cold here in Nashville so far through the playoffs but today's it's a regular Nashville day -- actually, a little hotter -- usually it's about 75 or 76 this time of year and it's going to be 89, so I think we're going to do everything possible to keep the ice as good as we can.

"But 17,000 people and 89 or 90 degrees outside, that's going to be hard to keep it perfect."
POSTED ON Monday, 05.09.2011 / 12:05 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: Vancouver-Nashville Live Blog

Predators know they can win

NASHVILLE -- The Predators belief system is stronger than ever. They know they're up against it again Monday night, down 3-2 in the series and facing elimination for the second time, but they also know for sure now that they can beat the Canucks, that Game 2 wasn't a fluke.

"Absolutely, we truly believe that we can beat these guys," goalie Pekka Rinne said. "We've shown that we can beat these guys. We can do it."

They did it in Game 5 by a 4-3 margin, but the Canucks helped them by committing three agregious turnovers that led to goals and punching another one into the net for an own-goal.

Mike Fisher says he doesn't believe the Canucks will make the same, or as many, mistakes in Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena tonight, but that doesn't mean the Predators belief system is cracked.

"We know we can beat them if we do the right things and play our game," Fisher said. "That being said, they are going to come out strong tonight. We expect a hungry, desperate team and they don't want to go to a Game 7. That has to bring the best out of us. It's going to be a lot harder than Game 5, that's for sure. We have to grind it out here at home."

Fisher was also asked if he believes critics are surprised the Predators are still in this series?

"Maybe some people, but we're obviously not," he said. "We're in this series, but we're against the wall tonight and we'll see how we respond.

"It just comes down to work, and we have to outwork them tonight."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

POSTED ON Saturday, 05.07.2011 / 3:52 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Setoguchi discusses deleting his Twitter account

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- @seto1661 is no more.

Devin Setoguchi, the 24-year-old right wing of the San Jose Sharks, decided to delete his Twitter account following Friday night's loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It was heartbreaking news for many, as Setoguchi had nearly 30,000 followers.

Setoguchi discussed his decision to delete the account following Sharks practice Saturday.

"It's just that time of year. You need to focus," Setoguchi said. "You don't need to read other stuff or promote anything. I just decided to go off."

Setoguchi was asked if close friend Logan Couture, who is @LoganCouture on Twitter and has nearly 33,000 followers, can handle the social media tool by himself.

"Yeah, I'm sure he can," Setoguchi said with a laugh.

Setoguchi used his fame and the power of the Internet to help out a worthy cause. Once he reached 15,000 followers, he donated $5,000 to a cancer charity.

But those days are over. All he's concerned with is Sunday night's Game 5 against the Red Wings.

"It's great because I had like 30,000 people who got to live life or understand what I was doing," Setoguchi said. "That's the part that's the bad thing. I like to interact with fans, but it's that time of year. I'd rather just focus on what I need to do and not worry or read anything like that. It's just a personal thing. No one said anything that made me change my mind. I just decided it was over."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

POSTED ON Saturday, 05.07.2011 / 3:51 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Babcock says things may get 'tighter and tighter'

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- "One game at a time" is a cliche that's so cliche that it's cliche to point out how cliche it is.

But when it comes to overcoming a 3-0 series deficit in the NHL, the only way it can happen is if the team doesn't start looking at the big picture.

The Red Wings took the first step toward erasing the 3-0 hole by winning 4-3 Friday against the Sharks in Game 4. Coach Mike Babcock knows there's still a long way to go, but as was evidenced in the Blackhawks' comeback against the Vancouver Canucks that reached an overtime in Game 7, the pressure will slowly start building for San Jose.

"They want to win a game and we want to win a game," Babcock said Saturday at Sharks Ice in San Jose. "Obviously they’re up 3-1. They’re in a different situation than our situation. But the reality is, as you know, as these things go on and a team can crawl back into it, things get tighter and tighter. That’s just the facts.’’

Game 5 will be played Sunday at 5 p.m. local time (8 ET) at HP Pavilion. Kris Draper believes this game will go a long way in deciding who will win the series.

"This is the big one. I think Game 5 is huge here," Draper said. "We’re coming into their building and they obviously want to end the series. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to force Game 6. We’re going to lay it all on the line.’’

Sharks coach Todd McLellan called Saturday an "easy day" and said he didn't have to explain what went wrong in Game 4, he showed them during a video session.

“We weren’t close enough. We weren’t good enough to win that game (Friday) and we probably weren’t good enough in Game 3 (Wednesday) as well,” McLellan said. “I thought the gap got a little wider in Game 4 and we have to close it.

“(The Wings) intensity level went up and we didn’t meet. They did a lot of good things in our zone, throwing pucks at the net and getting second opportunities. Those are things we were doing well in Game 1 and Game 2 and we’ve got to get back to do some of that ourselves.”

Interestingly enough, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said sort of the same thing Friday, that his team needed to be better in Game 5 after squandering a three-goal lead in Game 4.

And of course, the only game that matters is Sunday's. After all, if a team is to come back from down 3-0 in a series, well...

"We knew what we had to do last night. We had to win," Lidstrom said. "It's going to be the same approach tomorrow night. We just have to come out and play solid and win another game. We can't worry about anything else but the game tomorrow."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

POSTED ON Saturday, 05.07.2011 / 2:26 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: Vancouver-Nashville Live Blog

Hodgson learning despite limited time

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Rookie Cody Hodgson has played in six of Vancouver's 11 playoff games and only twice reached double digits in minutes. He's played the last two games against Nashville, but totaled just 11 minutes and 12 seconds of ice time.

Still, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said he appreciates the way Hodgson is handling his limited role and believes he's shown some good signs of being a useful player now, not just in the future.

"Cody is coming along," Vigneault said. "This is a big stage and he's getting an opportunity to play a couple of minutes here and there, but he's shown that he's a smart player. He understands the game at both ends of the rink and I think he's only going to get better."

Vigneault hesitated when he was asked if he thinks Hodgson will be better off as a result of the minimal role he has with the Canucks now.

"I think there are some benefits to playing in the American League, playing big minutes in those pressure situations, just as I think there are benefits to being here and getting used to the surroundings, getting used to the attention," Vigneault said. "I can see benefits on both sides really."

So why is he here instead of with the Manitoba Moose, who are still playing in the Calder Cup Playoffs?

Well, out of necessity, really.

"We needed him," Vigneault said. "When Manny (Malhotra) went down (with a season-ending eye injury) and the end of the season occurred, we thought (Hodgson) could be one of the 12 forwards we could use. That's it."

He has an assist and is a minus-3, but the Canucks are at least getting some use out of him.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

POSTED ON Friday, 05.06.2011 / 1:00 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Red Wings paying high price for high-sticking calls

Detroit has been called for five high-sticking infractions in the first three games and the Sharks have scored power-play goals on two of them. The Sharks also won Game 1 in overtime on Benn Ferriero's goal just 20 seconds after Justin Abdelkader got out of the penalty box for a high-sticking double minor.

A high-sticking minor called on Darren Helm in Game 3 led to the first goal of the game, a power-play goal by Devin Setoguchi.

"We've just got to keep our sticks down," said Henrik Zetterberg, who was called for a high stick in Game 2. "Soon as it's up there, you have a chance to (get penalized) for four minutes or two. It can happen very easily if you have the sticks up high."
POSTED ON Friday, 05.06.2011 / 12:58 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Red Wings curious about faceoff do's and don'ts

There have been a number of players kicked out of the faceoff circle before draws in this series and the Red Wings have taken notice -- especially when it comes to their own players getting the boot.

It especially was noticeable in Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena, when the Sharks won 53 percent of the faceoffs taken.

"It is tough for both teams to know what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong," Henrik Zetterberg said. "One time you get kicked out and next time you're not getting kicked out. It's a fine line there, but we've just got to adjust."

Kris Draper said the best way to deal with the issue is to make sure, if possible, there is more than one center on as many forward lines as possible.

"A lot of guys have been tossed out, probably the most I've seen in a while, in Game 3," Draper said. "It puts an onus on the importance of faceoffs. Both teams want to start with the puck, especially on the (penalty kill). Collectively, as a group, we have to be better."

POSTED ON Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 4:30 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Detroit gaining confidence against Niemi

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi again made some big saves in key situations to keep the Red Wings at bay and give San Jose more time to find a way to win Game 3 in overtime.

Still, it wasn't his sharpest game of the series -- Niemi gave up three goals on 41 shots and allowed more rebounds than he'd given up in the first two games.

"We got to him a little bit (in Game 3) by shooting the puck a little bit more and having guys in front of the net and being there for those second chances," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "That's something we have to build on."
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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery