Did the best NY Rangers campaign in 9 seasons have to end so miserably? Or more to the point, did the season really come to a crashing halt right around the begining of March? Either way, the Devils and Rangers entered their first round series headed in opposite directions, and the former’s late-season turnaround would rank as a huge achievment, even if their cross-Hudson rivals weren’t so banged up.

Tonight’s night’s Game 5 between the Predators and Sharks won’t be blacked out in the Nashville area, but not for a lack of trying on the part of Predators management, writes the New York Post’s Larry Brooks.

Steve Violetta, Executive VP in charge of blackmail, announced during the week that the team was 2,600 seats short of a sellout, and if 1,600 of those tickets were not sold by Friday morning, the Predators would exercise their right to black out the game. Violetta declared the decision was supported by both the NHL and OLN.

Never mind that the Predators reversed the decision on Friday, even though they’d fallen short of the stated goal. Never mind that Violetta had originally said the threat – my word, not his – wasn’t aimed at the fan, but rather was intended to stir the business community into greater support of the franchise.

The fact is, this ownership – with support from the league – not only somehow ever believed selling 1,600 tickets took precedence over getting the game exposure in the 904,000 homes that comprise the 30th largest television market in the U.S., but publicly announced that Wirtzian philosophy.

Exposing the game? How about exposing ownership? How about exposing the league? I thought the cap was going to take care of all this.

With Edmonton taking a 3-2 series lead over Detroit, Covered In Oil, pays tribute to the goaltending of Dwayne Roloson :

Ah, but this is where Dwayne Roloson’s .935 SV% shimmers like sparkling wine. It’s not like Roloson is making supersick saves in a 1997 Curtis Joseph sense; but he’s definitely looking more calm and assertive than he ever has in his 20-25 games as an Oiler. His glove hand looked good, and if he popped out any rebounds Roli managed to keep them clear from the high slot. His little eyes-shut zen meditation thing between plays seems to work, and more importantly it’s miles away from the scared flailing that passed for goaltending early in the season.

Unsatisfied with citing mere hockey attributes, the Edmonton Sun’s Jeremey Loome goes a little further in dismissing the Motor City (“a cruddy, decaying mess”), citing segreation, a high crime rate and the number of bodies moved from inner city cemeteries to other towns (“how bad a place is your hometown when even the dead people are leaving?”). A fairly mean-spirited drubbing of Detroit, without once mentioning the Insane Clown Posse.

Mike Modano and the Stars have been eliminated by the Avalanche, and even worse, it’s already too hot to play golf in Dallas.  The Jose Theodore Revival of 2006 continued with a 50 save performance in today’s OT win ; somewhere on Earth there is a bookmaker who will accept a bet on Montreal providing Colorado with a playoff caliber goalie in the year 2016.