The hero of the Canucks' first-round defeat of L.A. was defenseman Alexander Edler(below), who showed a more physical side to his play. Edler, 24, led Vancouver in ice time (24:50 per game), more than two minutes above his regular-season average.... A lineup change by coach Jacques Martin helped the Canadiens push the heavily favored Capitals to a sixth game. In a do-or-die Game 5, Martin put winger Travis Moen on a line with center Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. The trio's ability to cycle the puck in the 2--1 win kept the Caps stuck on defense.... For the Sharks to win a Cup, center Joe Thornton must improve on his three first-round assists. Second-line center Joe Pavelski stepped up, scoring five goals in San Jose's six-game victory over Colorado.
ROBERT BECK (EDLER)