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’
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.”
“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.”