Coyotes moving to Winnipeg? Not so fast.

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Yesterday it was brought to my attention that there was a ‘report’
published that stated emphatically that the Phoenix Coyotes would be
returning to Winnipeg. Even though we here at Pro Hockey Talk are
technically not averse to posting rumors from around the league, I was
hesitant on this one.

This is fairly big story if true, and I wanted to wait until there
were some other, more trustworthy sources out there that either
completely debunked this report or actually gave it credence. My
hesitation was the result of a number of factors: I have no idea how
trustworthy this blogger is (who covers the Vancouver Canucks), he
starts of saying it’s a done deal then says in the story there’s still
some details to be work out, and this comes from a website that is known
for for a making a living on unsubstantiated rumors. First, here’s
an excerpt from the original story:

Well here it is: the scoop. The one that matters and the one you
heard first. The Coyotes are coming not the Thrashers and yes, Mr.
David Thomson is involved. The team will be moving to Winnipeg for
next season and the thank god. At least this team has a fighting
chance versus the previous rumoured option of Atlanta.

What he’s talking about is a slew of rumors from earlier in the
season that the Thrashers would be moving to Winnipeg. I don’t know how
grounded those rumors were in reality, but I’ve heard nothing about it
since. Now, it seems everyone (well, at least this guy is) is convinced
it’s the Coyotes that are moving. Well, not so fast there, killer.

According
to Jim Gintinio’s Ice Chips blog on AZCentral.com
, he doesn’t
believe the team is moving and approaches the report with a bit of
humor.

Wonder if he was talking to the same driver
who trucked Robert Irsay and the Colts out of Baltimore.

I do
not believe the Coyotes are going anywhere – except to the playoffs in
about a month.

If this ends up being true, then
I’ll apologize to the original author. But the article is so filled with
hearsay, generalities and then mixed with emphatic declarations it’s
tough to take it seriously.

(H/T to Kukla’s)

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

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The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

***

Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

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With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.