Tuesday's notes: Canucks & Bruins approaching hockey's ultimate showdown

With last night's 3-1 win on home ice, the Boston Bruins have closed within one win of a return to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they last played in 1990. Over on the other side of the bracket, the Vancouver Canucks are also one victory away from their first Final since 1994. If that's indeed how it shakes out, it should present an entertaining matchup between two proud franchises that have been chasing this goal for a long, long time.

Follow after the jump for a look at both series, as well as the rest of your morning news & notes!

Hockey training programs for skaters and goalies | Hockey Gear HQ
I know I need to get my butt off the couch and get in shape this summer!

Nashville Predators News

Postseason Post-Mortem, Part Two — For the Nashville Predators, The Past is Past. The Future is now.
AJ closes the book on 2010-11, and looks ahead to the major questions facing this team.

Preds On The Glass: POTG Tuesday Headlines, News, and Morning Links
Buddy warns that we could be looking at one of the earlier ends to the season in recent years if the Cup Final goes quickly...

Central Division Shakedown - Predlines
Amanda shares a few brief notes from Chicago, Columbus, and Detroit.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Nashville must sign Shea Weber
Robby's not panicking...

Announcing the 2nd "Summer Sucks, Drop the Puck!" event… | Section 303
What are you doing on Friday???

UW Hockey News and Notes: Smith to return to Wisconsin - Bucky's 5th Quarter
SB Nation's University of Wisconsin blog breaks down the news that Preds prospect Craig Smith is going to return to college for another year, after a strong showing for Team USA at the World Championships.

Interview with Joel Ward - Bayshore Broadcasting
Joel Ward made a weekend trip to see the Memorial Cup in Missassauga, Ontario, to cheer on his old team, the Owen Sound Attack.

Former Nashville Predators fare well in playoffs - The Tennessean
Josh catches up with the times.

Around the NHL

Down Goes Brown: Take the Quz: Penalty or dive?
A handy guide for the zebras...

Bruins hang on to beat Lightning 3-1 - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Boston has a chance to close out this series in Game 6 at Tampa, after assuming a 3-2 lead last night.

Todd McLellan: "When Joe Thornton comes to tell you he’s playing, he’s playing" | Working the Corners
Despite taking a big hit late in Game 4, expect Joe Thornton in the lineup for San Jose.

2011 Stanley Cup playoffs: One win away from Cup finals berth, Vancouver Canucks try to stay focused - ESPN
Can Vancouver close out the Sharks tonight, and return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994?

Red Light District: Do the Wings now have flexibility?
Ryan examines Detroit's options now that Brian Rafalski is letting them off a $6 million hook. Kevin Bieksa, in particular, is an intriguing option for them as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Spector on NHL: Salo's ultimate sacrifice - sportsnet.ca
Among Sami Salo's long list of injuries, the time when he got Grebeshkoved at least led to a funny nickname.

The History of Professional Hockey in Winnipeg, Part II - Behind The Net
Gabe sees some similarities between the present situation and 1979, when the WHA's collapse ushered Winnipeg, Edmonton, Hartford and Quebec into the NHL.

Mike Richards speaks about his captaincy, media, more - Broad Street Hockey
Was there a more criticized captain in the league this year than Mike Richards?

The Dark Blue Jacket: Todd Richards - WHAT?
Could the former Milwaukee Admirals (and Minnesota Wild) head coach resurface as an assistant in Columbus?

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