Blackhawks advance to the Stanley Cup Final, plus updates on the Lightning, Predators and more.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/LOS ANGELES TIMES: For the third time since 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks are heading to the Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Toews scored twice and Patrick Kane collected three assists to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game Seven of the 2015 Western Conference Final. The loss was especially painful for the Ducks, who lost their third consecutive Game Seven.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are a young team who should continue to improve, but they were schooled by a veteran Blackhawks club on how to clinch a series, as the latter rallied back from a 3-2 series deficit with two straight victories. The Blackhawks depth in experience and leadership (personified by Toews, Kane and Duncan Keith) made the difference, as did their resilience in withstanding the physical pounding they received from the Ducks throughout this series.
While this loss is disheartening for the Ducks, they’ve made steady improvement over each of the past four seasons, going from being a non-playoff club in 2011-12 to reaching the Western Conference Final this season. Should they continue their development, a Cup championship should be within reach as early as next season.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Hundreds of Lightning fans turned out at the Tampa airport early Saturday to welcome their club back from New York following their Eastern Conference Series-clinching victory over the Rangers on Friday. The Lightning will face the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, which begins on June 3.
NHL.COM: The full schedule for the Stanley Cup Final has been updated and released.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators have revealed the logo for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
ESPN.COM: The secret life and death of hockey analytics pioneer Tore Purdy.