At least there won't be any more unexpected injuries.
That's probably the best news Dallas Stars fans can take out of Thursday's quarterfinal matches at the IIHF World Championships. That's because all three teams featuring Stars players - Canada, Sweden and the United States - went down in one-goal losses and are headed home.
Jamie Benn and the Canadiens were first to fall in a 3-2 loss to Slovakia, which will play Russia in the semifinals. Then the Americans suffered a heartbreaking last-second loss to Finland, falling 3-2 after leading the game 2-1 on a Bobby Ryan goal.
Finally, the co-host Swedish team was upset by the Czech Republic, which also scored in the final minute to knock out Tre Kronor and Loui Eriksson.
Eriksson had the best individual tournament of and Stars players, among the tournament leaders in points with five goals and eight assists. Benn was held scoreless Thursday and finishes with three goals and two assists while Alex Goligoski had a goal and four assists from the back end. Richard Bachman, who was also eliminated on Thursday, played one game and won in overtime.
- Yay, actual details about Lehtonen's injury from a collision with the above-mentioned Bobby Ryan. It was an injury to the meniscus in his right knee that would have cost him two weeks in the regular season. [DallasNews.com]
- I'm not always a fan of Mac Engel's hockey columns, but I thought he did a nice job with this piece about the hiring of Bob Gainey. His point, and it's a good one, is that while the Stars can set themselves up for success in the front office, the real key will be acquiring more talented players to fix the problems on the ice. It's obvious but something that can easily be overlooked with all the front-office goings on they've done this summer. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- NHL Capageddon alert. The NHL has officially told the NHLPA it wants to renegotiate the CBA. If neither side made this move, then the CBA would have automatically renewed for another year. [USA Today]
- With the playoffs still going on, there hasn't been a whole lot of public posturing about what each side is looking for in the negotiations. But there are a few tidbits from the PA's side.[Montreal Gazette]
- Here was Mike Heika's (paywalled) take on Bob Gainey's introductory news conference. [DallasNews.com]
- And here's how Mark Stepneski saw it. [ESPN Dallas]
- The Los Angeles Kings might be rolling through the Western Conference Finals, but Stars coach Glen Gulutzan doesn't have them as his pick to win it all. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- Dave Tippett does come off a little sour grapes here after his Phoenix Coyotes dropped their third consecutive game to the Kings, but he also has a point - embellishing (as opposed to outright diving) has become a huge problem in the game, and there's very little the refs can do about it in real-time. [Puck Daddy]
- In better news for the Yotes, Greg Jamison is apparently going to sign the preliminary sales documents on Friday. [Phoenix Business Journal]
- From things that look like they might have been saved to something (rightfully) being put out of its misery, Tom Renney will not be back as coach of the Edmonton Oilers. [CBC.ca]
- Hal Gill + Twitter + sense of humor = awesome. [@skillsy75]
- If you missed Travis Zajac and his misadventure with the penalty box door from the New Jersey Devils win over the New York Rangers, you really out to check this out. And even if you've already seen it, it's funny enough to relive. [Backhand Shelf]
- The funniest part about this commercial for Norelco razors to me is that Mike Modano couldn't grow a playoff beard to save his life. Even when he reached the perma-scruff stage in the mid-2000s, it still never filled in during runs like the one in 2008. Now if this was Sergei Zubov or Bill Guerin, then the beards shown would only take like... one week.