If you're the kind of fan who loves Game 7s, Wednesday was like Christmas Eve -- the day before the big day. Detroit and San Jose spent Wednesday traveling and preparing for their Game 7 showdown in the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday at the Shark Tank (9 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).
The Wings will be trying to make history by becoming just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. The winner gets a trip to Vancouver for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.
In the East, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning have a couple more days off before they begin the conference finals Saturday night.
Here's your daily NHL.com Reading List for a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Who will be the hero?
Both the Red Wings and the Sharks are loaded with big-name talent -- after all, you don't become an elite team without elite players. But in big games, it's often a more unheralded player who comes through with the big play. Dave Lozo looks at six candidates for the role of unlikely hero.
Thornton: Sharks are confident
Don't try to tell San Jose captain Joe Thornton that his team is in trouble after losing Games 4, 5 and 6 to the Red Wings. As Eric Gilmore reports from San Jose, Thornton says the Sharks have plenty of confidence going into Game 7.
Wings don't change focus
They may have overcome a 3-0 series deficit to force Game 7, but the Detroit Red Wings aren't taking anything for granted -- even though they have a lot more experience in deciding games. Brian Hedger looks at the Wings' edge in that department.
Malhotra still making an impact
The Vancouver Canucks miss injured center Manny Malhotra on the ice -- he was among the NHL's best faceoff men and penalty-killers before being hit in the eye by a puck in March, ending his season. But as Dhiren Mahiban reports from Vancouver, Malhotra still is contributing to the Canucks -- just in a different way.
Door is open for Seguin
The injury to Boston's Patrice Bergeron is an opportunity for rookie Tyler Seguin to show what he can do after a productive rookie season, but one that's seen the second pick of the 2010 Entry Draft spend the postseason in the press box. David Kalan writes about Seguin's excitement at getting an opportunity to show what he can do.
Yzerman making all the right moves
Steve Yzerman didn't make many missteps as a player -- he's a three-time Cup winner and a Hall of Famer. As Adam Kimelman writes, he hasn't made many in his rookie season as a GM either -- he's led the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first year as an NHL general manager.
New arena for Islanders?
The New York Islanders have been trying for years to find a way to get a replacement for the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Brian Compton reports that they may finally achieve that goal -- if local voters approve the funding for a new building in a referendum this summer.