Puck Headlines: Can this man be trusted with a playoff rally?

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.

• Your Vezina final three: Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins, Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild. Commence Roberto Luongo loyalists tearing down the Wild's system. Our reaction is upcoming. [NHL]

• How good was Joe Thornton in the San Jose Sharks' Game 5 victory? Jeremy Roenick believes if he plays like that, "we won't lose," adding: "He can't pick his spots. For him to be known as one of the greatest players in the world from now on, he's got to bring that ... He makes a lot of money to bring that intensity. You can't rely on just his eyes and his know-how all the time." Raise your hand if you think Thornton 'brings it' tonight in Anaheim for Game 6? Anyone? Bueller? [Contra Costa Times, via West Coast Bias]

• Meanwhile, the Sharks are the walking wounded right now. Sprained knees heal, chick's dig upper body injuries ... but glory is forever. At least until they blow it in Game 7. [Mercury News]

• With one assist in five games, donde esta Teemu Selanne? [LA Times]

UPDATE: From Steve Lepore comes NHL weekend ratings on NBC. Pens/Flyers even with last year's Caps/Flyers; Caps/Rangers down big from Red Wings/Preds. Lepore: "Clearly the NHL’s all-East, all-the time strategy backfired on them this week." [Puck the Media]

• Very interesting sports business news: The Florida Panthers are in talks to "merge the team, its arena management company and rights to the real estate surrounding BankAtlantic Center" with Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., a publically traded company. Which is only a good thing if it means stockholders could force Jacques Martin to make a Bouwmeester-like trade at a future deadline. [SBJ]

• For all of those who think the Detroit Red Wings are a soft team: Ken Hitchcock disagrees. [Snapshots]

• Just when you thought ESPN couldn't screw up its reporting on Washington Capitals suspensions any more, we have a retraction of a retraction. [Capitals Outsider]

• The Max Talbot/"fights don't really turn around games" debate continues for some odd reason. From the Toronto Star, with regard to a fight Adam Pardy of Calgary had against Ben Eager: "Though there's no doubt the Penguins players believed Talbot's move inspired their comeback, the possibility certainly exists that his was as meaningless a move as Pardy's." How? Crosby after Game 6: "Anytime a guy puts himself on the line like that, you want to follow that up." Doesn't that sort of eliminate any "possibility"? [Toronto Star]

• Travis from Broad Street Hockey also remains skeptical of the Talbot effect. [Broad Street Hockey]

• Can the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin duo be stopped when both are playing at their best? Probably not, if your name is Mike Richards. [NHL.com]

• The decisions the Philadelphia Flyers need to make in the offseason. Like, for example, deciding on a goalie. [Philly.com]

• Note: This is the New York Rangers bandwagon well before Game 6 was played. [Dmitry]

• DC Sports Chick takes down NBC and Stan Fischler in an amusing bit of snark. [On Frozen Blog]

Tom Poti doesn't look like this. [NHL, via Puck Buddy Brian K.]

• A contrarian view on the John Tortorella suspension, which calls our analysis "lame" and then argues that the NHL is fixing the series to increase television ratings. Written from the co-pilot's seat of a black helicopter hovering over Area 51. [Mr. Smith's Neighborhood]

• Will the Chicago Blackhawks' inexperience prevent them from closing out the series? Better question: Is this really what the Calgary media is hanging its hat on for the Flames' hopes in Game 6? [Sun Media]

• Paul Maurice went from over-coaching the Carolina Hurricanes to making perhaps the most important move of the series: Putting Ray Whitney, Eric Staal and Chad LaRose on the same line. [Canes Country]

• The New Jersey Devils should be nice and rested after taking Game 6 off. [Fire& Ice]

• With his benching in the minors, has the Justin Pogge Era for the Toronto Maple Leafs ended before it starts? [Sports and the City]

Scottie Upshall suspended at worlds. [CBC Sports]

• Finally, we predicted last night on Twitter that Deadspin was going have a field day when it found this awkward clip from Versus of a Hurricanes puckhead getting a young fan to bang his head during a break in the action of Game 6. And they did. Your heart goes out to the guy, who no doubt is experiencing the many joys of instant YouTube celebrity as we speak. [Puck Central]

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