A few raw video clips of the Detroit Red Wings morning skate, a shoot around with starting goaltender Jimmy Howard, and the post-practice media scrum with head coach Mike Babock is available on youtube here.
The lineup at the Sharks morning skate was status quo, with Torrey Mitchell joining Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton on the top line according to beat writer David Pollak. That could change prior to the 6PM drop of the puck, or during an in-game adjustment. Pollak also noted Todd McLellan’s wish to spread the offense around, and checking forward Dwight Helminen’s 3-year University of Michigan playing background.
On the Red Wings side, mLive.com’s Ansar Khan noted that defenseman Brian Rafalski was the only player who did not skate in the pregame practice. Lines for Detroit apparently will remain status quo according to Khan: Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom, Filppula-Zetterberg-Bertuzzi, Draper-Helm-Eaves and Miller-Abdelkader-Cleary.
The NHL’s national cable broadcast partner Versus will air the first two games of the series, game 1 Thursday at 6PM (PT), and game 2 Sunday at 5PM. HP Pavilion in San Jose is booked on Friday and Saturday for an Eagles concert. According to a press release, there will be a pre and post-game Hockey Central highlight show before and after each nationally broadcast game. Versus will be the exclusive home for the East and West Conference Finals, and games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Comcast SportsNet California announced today that exclusive coverage of games 3-7 can be found on their channel. Each game broadcast will also include a Sharks Pregame Live and Sharks Postgame Live half hour analysis and highlight show. A special edition of Chronicle Live will be aired tonight at 5PM with guests including President/CEO Greg Jamison, EVP/GM Doug Wilson, and former player Jeremy Roenick among others.
[Update] When stars shine, Red Wings are hard to beat – Detroit News.
[Update2] Former comrades Mike Babcock, Todd McLellan have mutual admiration – Detroit Free Press.
McLellan worked as an assistant for Babcock in Detroit in 2005-08, until he was hired by the Sharks to help exorcise their record of regular-season achievement followed by playoff failure. He had a rough opening year, with the Sharks getting upended by Anaheim in the first round last year, but there’s little question he’s a very talented coach.
“He’s smart,” Babcock said this morning at HP Pavilion. “He’s a good man, he’s a good family guy. I rode to the rink with him every year for three years. I coached against him in junior hockey. When I was going to hire him, I met with him early, it was during the lockout year — I think it was Cincinnati, could have been anywhere — and kind of put a bug in his ear and met with him a few times.
[Update3] Best of the West fill out its final four – Ross McKeon for Yahoo.com.
[Update4] Prepare for the ‘master versus apprentice’ storyline as Red Wings’ Babcock tangles with Sharks’ McLellan – George Malik for Snap Shots. Not even sure if Malik is aware the Skywalker Ranch is a short hop across the Bay from HP Pavilion. Darth Babcock?
[Update5] Red Wings could be fined for breaking San Jose curfew – Greg Wyshynski for Puck Daddy.