GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 15: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings falls to the ice after taking a slash to the back of the leg from goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the second period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 15, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. Brown received a 2-minute unsportsmanlike conduct - diving penalty and Smith received a 2-minute slashing penalty. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Kings took a big step towards returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993 last night, taking a 4-0 victory at Phoenix in a game which saw the Coyotes come unglued. The Western Conference Finals will now move to L.A. for Game 3 & 4, giving the Kings a chance to close things out quickly and see what happens in the East.
Our morning hockey notes start from there, and move on to cover the Nashville Predators' roster decisions this summer, a look at the NHL coaching market, and insight from hockey's keenest mind on where all this shot blocking is coming from...
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Nashville Predators News
Nashville Predators are close to contending again | The Tennessean
Josh Cooper takes a thorough look at the roster situation and forecasts what might happen this summer.
303 QUICK HIT: 84% of Preds roster has played in international competition | Section 303
An interesting tidbit here.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Phoenix Coyotes Lose Focus, Poise, Game 4-0 to LA Kings. - Five For Howling
What happened to that determined group which handled the Preds so easily?
Is Martin Hanzal’s shove from behind on Kings’ captain Brown worthy of suspension? | Puck Daddy
This reminds me a bit of Hossa-Hamhuis from the 2010 playoffs, so we'll have to see how it plays out.
Inside the Los Angeles Kings Twitter feed, social media sensation of NHL playoffs | Puck Daddy
This one here is the best in the biz.
John Tortorella Doesn't Know What You're Talking About - SBNation.com
Torts is a beauty, plain & simple.
10 Wild Stats Through the First Two Rounds - Arctic Ice Hockey
Some interesting observations...
Raffi Torres Suspension Appeal To Be Heard Thursday, According To Report - Five For Howling
Maybe they'll extend the ban to 50 games?
Until The Music Stops - The Spin
Calgary and Montreal can afford to take their coaching search slowly, as it's a buyer's market these days, writes Damian Cox.
Scotty Bowman traces current style of playoff hockey back to Roger Neilson - The Globe and Mail
The Grand Master of Hockey doesn't see a ready solution out there to the perceived increase in shot blocking.