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Reading List: Bolts, Bruins battle for berth in Final

Friday, 05.27.2011 / 9:23 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Finals

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Reading List: Bolts, Bruins battle for berth in Final
Will the Bruins make the most of their Game 7 opportunity? Which team has the advantage going into the final game of the Eastern Conference Finals? Read all about that and more today on NHL.com
We now know when the Stanley Cup Final will be played. What we still don't know is who we'll be watching.

The Vancouver Canucks know they'll be hosting Game 1 Wednesday. Like the rest of us, they'll be watching Friday to see whether their opponent will be the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Boston Bruins. The teams get together at TD Garden (link to preview) (8 p.m. ET; Versus, CBC, RDS) for the first Game 7 in the conference finals in five years. The prize: a chance to play the Canucks for the biggest prize in hockey.

While you get ready for what should be one of the most exciting nights of the season, here's your daily NHL.com Reading List, a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:

Bruins tout Game 7 as an opportunity
The Boston Bruins are coming home for a game they said two days earlier they'd rather not have to play. But if you're going to play a Game 7, you might as well look at the positives -- and Shawn P. Roarke reports that the Bruins are doing just that, touting Game 7 as an opportunity to get to their first Stanley Cup Final in 21 years.

St. Louis and Purcell show draft status doesn't matter
If undrafted players had patron saints, two of them might be Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell. Neither member of the Tampa Bay Lightning was drafted -- but St. Louis has been one of the NHL's best players for nearly a decade and Purcell is having a breakout playoff season. Corey Masisak looks at two examples of how talented players can slide under the radar.

Who's got the edge?
So who has the advantage going into Game 7? Shawn P. Roarke and Corey Masisak take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Lightning and Bruins entering Game 7.

An unpredictable series
About the only thing that's been predictable in the Eastern Conference Finals has been its unpredictability. Emily Kaplan takes a look at the ups and downs of a series that neither the Tampa Bay Lightning nor the Boston Bruins have been able to take control of.

Bieksa: From OT hero to moving man
Kevin Bieksa's overtime series-winner in Game 5 made him a hero in Vancouver. But it has also turned him into a moving man -- with the Vancouver Canucks having a few days off before hosting the start of the Stanley Cup Final, Dhiren Mahiban reports that Bieksa has spent his time hauling boxes rather than shutting down opposing scorers.

Sharks pick up the pieces and look ahead
The San Jose Sharks spent Thursday packing to go home for the summer, rather than preparing to host the Canucks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Eric Gilmore was among the media members who chatted with the disappointed Sharks -- many of whom are headed for offseason surgery to fix injuries they battled during the playoffs.

Doug Weight calls it a career
USA Hockey's "Greatest Generation" lost another member Thursday when Doug Weight announced his retirement after 19 NHL seasons -- the last three with the New York Islanders, with whom he'll remain as an assistant coach and adviser to GM Garth Snow. Brian Compton looks at Weight's career and his generation's passing the baton to a new generation of U.S. players.
Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp