Jaromir Jagr

Round 2 Starts Tonight

The NHL Conference Semifinals get under way tonight, but the Rangers and Penguins will have to wait until tomorrow before they play. Even so, there’s still plenty of stories in the papers today.

This will mark the first occasion that Marc Staal will face his younger brother Jordan in the playoffs. Jordan Staal is in his second pro season, but Marc holds the head to head edge with a 5-3 advantage this season with the Rangers.

Jaromir Jagr is reportedly not looking forward to returning to Pittsburgh, but it’s a very different team from the one he played with in the 90s. No doubt he’ll hear a few boos from the Pittsburgh crowd.

As we look at the .matchups, both teams have their strengths and weaknesses, but one strength they do share is depth at center, and despite what you might hear, the Penguins have plenty of their own playoff and cup experience on the team.

The Penguins of course are well known for their youthful leaders, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Whitney among them, but the Ranger have some youth of their own.

As you can imagine, there’s plenty of talk about Sean Avery in the papers, including these articles: Associated PressPost-Gazette and Tribune-Review.

While we’re on the media’s favorite topic these playoffs, the league has reportedly put the kibosh on plans to release an Avery Rule No. 16 T-Shirt. The new directive comes straight from the commissioner’s office.

Not sure who came up with this title, but it looks like the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is attempting to manufacture some intensity for the series.

If anything, most Rangers fans are more worried about Sidney Crosby’s reputation for diving and the willingness for the refs to call as much.

Speaking of Crosby, Jagr says he’s not in the same league as Mario Lemieux when it comes to pure ability, though one might argue he sure complains like Lemieux did late in his career.

The return of Ryan Hillier to the Mooseheads line-up didn’t help matters, as Halifax feel into an 0-3 hole in their playoff series with the Gatineau Olympiques. The series could be decided as soon as Friday, and would mean the Rangers will have no prospects playing beyond April 26th.

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