Puck Headlines: Canes fans claim conspiracy; calling out goats

Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

• In the span of one game, the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins series has become the most hate-filled and contentious series in the playoffs right now. You had the Scott Walker sucker-punch that broke Aaron Ward's face. But you also had the slash by Jussi Jokinen(notes) that chopped down Zdeno Chara(notes), sending the Bruins captain out of the game for a spell. Coach Claude Julien called it a "cheap shot"; Canes Country downplayed it, writing that "Jokinen was not even looking at Chara during the play and it does not look like a hard hit, but some Boston fans seem outraged about it." You can watch it here for yourself and judge its severity. [YouTube]

• Cycle Like the Sedins believes Jokinen had a Harry and Lloyd moment. [CLtS]

Aaron Ward(notes), by the way, is still being tested to see if he has a broken orbital bone thanks to Scott Walker(notes). [Bruins Blog]

• Meanwhile, now that Boston has new life and the series is down to a 3-2 Hurricanes' lead, Caniac Nation is now convinced that the NHL and its officious minions are conspiring against Carolina in this series out of fear they'll advance again. Mr. Fox Mulder, please pick up the white courtesy phone ... [Carolina on Ice]

• Now that these series are tightening up and nearing their end, the pressure is mounting on some playoff goats in the semifinals. Like Alex Burrows(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks, who Nucks Misconduct writes "should be taking the brunt of the heat" for the team's struggles after playing himself off the top line. [Nucks Misconduct]

• Also on goat watch: Alexander Semin(notes) and Mike Green(notes) of the Washington Capitals, called out in the Globe & Mail for underwhelming performances against the Pittsburgh Penguins. On Green: "[He] may have played himself off the Canadian Olympic team with his performance in this series." That's a bit much. [Globe & Mail]

• We love lamp. Especially Los Angeles Kings hockey stick lamp. [eBay]

• Was Denver Post hockey writer Adrian Dater censored for comments about the awfulness of the NBA and female play-by-play announcers, or did he self-censor after publication? Either way, it's another instant classic like his ESPN rant. And he's completely right about female play-by-play announcers. [Jerseys and Hockey Love]

• The second "town meeting" between Tampa Bay Lightning brass and their remaining fans should be interesting. And not just because of the free food and $1 beers. [Bolts Report]

• Dr. EJ Hradek of ESPN General Hospital witnessed Sergei Gonchar(notes) walking around the Verizon Center and doesn't buy reports that he'll miss "several weeks" with an injury. [ESPN]

• Washington Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau on getting up for Game 6: "You recreate [the energy] by knowing that by 10 o'clock if we don't succeed, we're on vacation. Nobody wants to go on vacation. That's the desperation of a club that's on the brink." [Capitals Insider]

• The Chicago Blackhawks will welcome their one millionth fan this season before tonight's Game 6 in Chicago. It's estimated that at least 200,000 of those fans were aware the team existed in 2008. [Hawks]

• You know those Photoshop memes that take an individual image and then place that image in different goofy situations and locations? Yeah, we'd be honored if someone did that with this gloating Boston Bruins fan; because we're in awe and a little scared, you know? (Perhaps placing him at different events in Boston sports history?) You can download a larger image here. E-mail us with any images; we'll publish them in a future headlines post.

• We'll have much more on the Phoenix Coyotes/NHL/Jim Balsillie mess later today, but a couple of articles worth your time. First, from Sports Business Journal (reg. may be required at some point), an in-depth look at the various implications for the NHL should the Chapter 11 filing be held up. [SBJ]

• Coyotes blog Five For Howling explains why no one should root for this relocation to go through. In their opinion, mind you.  [FFH]

• Craig Custance shoots down any notion of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Hamilton. Something about leases and iron-clad agreements. In other words, nothing Jerry Moyes can't get around. [Sporting News]

Ottawa Senators defenseman Brendan Bell(notes), an RFA, is being headhunted by the KHL. No, not in the Chris Simon(notes) way. [Sun Media]

• Meanwhile, the KHL vows to start drafting 17-year-old Russian players in an attempt to keep them from leaving for the NHL. Pierre LeBrun writes: "The end game for the KHL is clear: get individual sums of money from NHL teams to get these players out of their KHL contracts. The current collective-bargaining agreement in the NHL does not allow for that." So the entire League is just one big shakedown attempt. Nice. [ESPN]

• Is Craig Conroy(notes) of the Calgary Flames on his way to becoming an NHL star analyst? [Sun Media]

• Finally, this is a pretty awesome video of some guy's bubble hockey artistry in creating Mario-era Penguins and Buffalo Sabres players. Seriously, one of the best things we've seen recently.

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