The Rangers defeated the Penguins in game 7 tonight, coming back from a 3-1 series deficit. Their play changed completely in the last 3 games; the defense picked up and helped out Lundqvist, who kept up his strong play. He was spectacular in game 7, stopping 35 of 36 shots, the only goal coming from Jussi Jokinen (of course). The powerplay finally came through, going 3 for 11 in the last 3 games.
For Pittsburgh, this probably means the end of the Dan Bylsma era. Rumors of major changes coming are popping up. Darren Dreger even suggested that it may be time to move Evgeni Malkin. Okay, now stop right there. Major changes? Trading Malkin? That is rediculous. This team has been one of the top in the league since Crosby came in. I know the expectation is winning the Cup, as a Spurs fan, I understand that; the expectation every year in San Antonio is to win the NBA championship. Come on Pittsburgh, you don’t see the Spurs firing Popovich or trading Duncan because it’s been 7 years; why? Because they always have a chance. Bylsma is the winningest coach in Penguins history, if I’m correct, and has led them to a Stanley Cup championship, 2 Final appearances, and an Eastern Conference Finals appearance last year. Yeah, they got swept; it happens. I doubt they’d ever trade Malkin, but there is still the rumor of other major changes. All they need is improved defense and possibly goaltending. That is what will make them a Stanley Cup team again. I did say the inconsistency in that area would be their downfall.
Chicago defeated Minnesota in OT, moving on to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight year and third in the past 5 years. Patrick Kane came through again, and they will now face the winner of the Anaheim-LA series.