Canucks Practice

Poll: Who will win the Stanley Cup now?


We’re down to the conference finals now and with Boston taking on Tampa Bay and San Jose facing off with Vancouver we’ve got a healthy amount of intrigue to deal with.

In the Eastern Conference you’ve got a classic coaching matchup with Claude Julien’s Bruins and Guy Boucher’s Lightning facing off. On one side you’ve got Boston with its punishing defense and goaltending featuring Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas while the Lightning have the trio of Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier along with 41 year-old Dwayne Roloson in goal.

In the Western Conference there’s the top team in the NHL in Vancouver with Roberto Luongo in goal and surrounded by Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and playoff hero Ryan Kesler. San Jose storms in with oodles of talent of their own with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Dany Heatley and Antti Niemi in goal.

The matchups are great, the possibilities are many, but what we want to know from you is… Who is going to win the Stanley Cup now? Let us know in our poll who you’ve got raising Lord Stanley’s Cup in June.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.