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"I think I'm going to be able to sleep - with some pills," Chicago Blackhawks' goaltender Antti Niemi, on making his first NHL playoff start lastfri night against fellow Finn Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators.



"There's one thing a goalie has to do and that's prove yourself to your team. The fans and the media can talk about a goalie and where he is in his process, but until he proves it to his own teammates, that's when he's a legitimate player," Phoenix Coyotes' coach Dave Tippett, suggesting that the way Detroit's Jimmy Howard played in the second half of the season, he accomplished that goal.



"I'm not interested in a five-year rebuild. You say Pittsburgh? Well, Pittsburgh picked a ball out of a drum to get Sidney Crosby. Don't tell me there's skill there. They won a goddamn lottery," Toronto Maple Leafs' general manager Brian Burke (who was runner-up in that same draft lottery, plucking Bobby Ryan with the second pick for the Anaheim Ducks) doesn't subscribe to the virtues of a scorched-earth rebuilding program.

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