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Friday's notes: Stanley Cup Final reaches crunch time

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The Stanley Cup Finals resume tonight in Vancouver, where the Canucks hope that home ice can help reverse the tide which overwhelmed them in Boston, getting outscored 12-1 in two games. The puck drops around 7:00 p.m. Central (on NBC), so make sure to come back here later on for the Game Thread. Personally, I just want to see who Tim Thomas is going to go after next. Tonight's Game 5 is absolutely critical, however, as the winner will be in position to clinch the Cup in Game 6. Look for the intensity in this series to climb even higher...

After the jump this morning I've got an absolute truck load of hockey links for you. There's a personal observation of what Lane Lambert brought to the Milwaukee Admirals over the last several years, his first radio interview here in Nashville since taking the assistant coaching position, previews of tonight's game, a shoot-down of the Balsillie speculation which got rolling recently, and a whole lot more!

Father's Day Gift Idea #7: NHL Grilling & Barbecue Accessories | Hockey Gear HQ
Dad's summertime duty is to man an open grill, cooking up good stuff for friends & family. Help him do it in style with NHL-themed grilling accessories.

Nashville Predators News

Lane Lambert on Thom Abraham Show 20110609
The new guy makes his Nashville radio debut, chatting it up with Thom Abraham.

Lambert's Lasting Impact - Milwaukee Admirals
This is the must-read article on Lane Lambert. If he brings this kind of energy and personal approach to the Preds (and there's no reason to believe he won't), I think things will work out just fine.

US World Junior Camp Roster Released - Western College Hockey Blog
It looks like Austin Watson is the only Preds prospect tabbed for USA Hockey's summer camp, a preparatory step towards the World Junior Championship.

Preds On The Glass: Betting Lines Established for Green Men's Activities at Game Five in Vancouver
For the true gambling addict...

Paul McCann - Off Season Needs - Thoughts on Game Four - UPDATE
Paul puts on his GM's hat and looks at possible options to fill various needs.

Top 15 moments of the 2010-11 Preds season: #3 | Section 303
This was indeed a beauty...

Steve Sullivan: Canucks' defense falls apart - The Tennessean
Sully points out that the area which was supposed to be Vancouver's greatest strength (defense) has turned into a liability.

Around the NHL

Bruins At Canucks Game 5 Preview: Now You've Got The Fight Of Your Life! - Nucks Misconduct
Home sweet Home for the Canucks?

Cox: Loving these Canucks sure isn’t easy -
I think Cox will hit a vein with Preds fans here. - Fact of the Day
Momentum? Schmomentum.

Bill Simmons has been brought back into the NHL fold once again - Grantland
I just don't have the attention span anymore to make it all the way through, but some folks like Bill Simmons.

On Horton, Pacioretty and playing politics with brain injuries - Puck Daddy
What goes around, comes around, writes Greg Wyshynski.

2011 Stanley Cup finals: Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien making all right moves in finals - ESPN
Suddenly the Boston head coach looks like a Zen master.

Death to Percentages: Special Teams +/- - Pension Plan Puppets
On balance, the Preds turned out to barely keep their heads above water in special teams play. 

Bill Daly says Winnipeg's arena meets most league standards as is - The Globe and Mail
Some new camera positions, a bigger press box, and voila!

Kostitsyn Signs - Habs Eyes On The Prize
No... big brother signed with Montreal for one year, $3.25 million.

Building a Winner in Florida: Forwards - Litter Box Cats
Chris looks at how recent Cup champs made their move to the top, wondering if that might provide a blueprint for the Panthers.

This week in Alex Ovechkin’s off-season exploits: Beer and Hookah - Houses of the Hockey
Now THIS is a hockey training program I can get down with. And here are a few which you should get down with...

New York Rangers GM Glen Sather plans to buy out remainder of captain Chris Drury's contract: source - NY Daily News
Wow, a captain getting bought out of his contract? That's ugly.

Breaking: Calgary Flames Accidentally Re-Sign Brett Carson - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Boy, the local fans are really excited about this deal!

NHL: No talks with Balsillie about potential franchise -
Bill Daly shoots down the nonsense that got started by Forbes the other day.

A look at Todd Richards - The Cannon
Could the former Milwaukee Admirals head coach land in Columbus as an assistant?

Reimer signs multi-year deal with Leafs -
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is headed for free agency, but the Maple Leafs at least lock up the young guy.

More from Ray Bourque on Ten Years After the Avalanche’s last Cup -The Denver Post
10 years ago yesterday, Boston's 2nd-greatest defenseman ever lifted the Stanley Cup... for Colorado.

Poster Boys: An Examination of Who Should Be On the Cover of NHL 12 | The Hockey Writers
Could Shea Weber possibly receive the honor?

Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs win CHL title, then cease operations - Puck Daddy
Well, at least they went out on top.