Patrice Bergeron is clutch. There is nothing else that can be said about it. The man who came through to push the Bruins to a dramatic win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime of game 7 just gave a repeat performance against the much more dangerous Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the score tied at one goal apiece at the end of regulation time, and a scoreless 20 minute overtime period after that, Jaromir Jagr's strong play along the boards (plus a little old-timey clutch and grab hooking) dispossessed Evgeni Malkin, and sent the Bruins going back the other way. Two passes later and Jagr has the best view in the house for Patrice Bergeron's game winner, in front of an absolutely electric Massachusetts crowd.
There is still work to do, and as Tomas Vokoun showed the world during his stellar game 3 performance, the high-flying Penguins can still shut things down on occasion. Game four is up in the air at this point, but the pressure has now shifted to the Penguins star-studded offense to take care of business in front of Vokoun. [NHL]
Duncan Keith will miss game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, for his face-slash of Jeff Carter in game 3. Keith obviously did not intend to whack him where he did, and was even apologetic on his way to the penalty box... but the rules state that you have to be in control of your stick at all times. Keith intentionally swung his stick at an opponent, and that stick hit him in the face. At that point, intent doesn't matter. [TSN]
Don Cherry thinks Jeff Carter had it coming to him, however... and it's hard to disagree too much, regardless of the source. As bad as what Keith did was, Jeff Carter brought it upon himself with his own slashes on Keith's ungloved hand. Love it or hate it, that's how hockey works, even if it gets you suspended. [CBC]
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill has finally put some kind of tangible time-table on the hiring of the new Stars bench boss. While nothing is set in stone, obviously, Mike Heika at the Dallas Morning News reports that Nill would ideally have his coach in place before the NHL Entry Draft, which takes place on June 30th. [DMN]
TSN is doing their yearly round-up of team needs, that they call their off-season game plans. Yesterday, they covered the Dallas Stars. [TSN]
Mandatory face-shields for all NHL players is a very popular decision right now, but Pittsburgh's NHLPA representative, Craig Adams, isn't on board. He's a firm believer that a player should have the right to choose how much face protection they want to wear, and that he is in no place to force his views on anyone else. [TribLive]
It's so en vogue to trash Sidney Crosby for whining that even JetBlue pilots are getting in on the act. On a recent flight from Pittsburgh to Boston, filled with various hockey media, the pilot asked over the intercom if the crying baby in the back of the plane was actually Sidney Crosby. I love it. [CBS]
Today's video is a complete and total representation of why hockey is the best sport around. Boston's Gregory Campbell drops down to block a shot on the penalty kill, and it obviously hits him where there is inadequate protection. Rather than roll around, play dead, run away, or hobble off to the side, the man channels his inner Darryl Sydor, picks himself up, and continues to kill the penalty on one leg. Hockey.