Top Line: Fun with Flyers and Penguins; meet the Sabres' new coach; more links
By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• "A dozen preposterously fun things happened" on the way to Philly's thrilling 6-5 win over the Penguins last night. Please, hockey gods, let these two teams meet again in the playoffs!
• Get to know new Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston.
• Don't know the origin of this, but it's brilliant and a great sentiment. Stay classy, Buffalo!
• Great story by Dave Stubbs on the falling dominoes caused by a goalie recall.
• Tim Wharnsby's a fine writer, but I think he makes a lousy case against the introduction of a coach's challenge. I can't imagine any system being introduced that would allow games to get "bogged down." Check it out and see what you think.
• Statistics show Alex Ovechkin isn't the first superstar to see his goal scoring decline at age 27. True enough, but most of those other superstars found ways to compensate by rounding out their games. Still waiting on that from Ovi.
• The Blues/Avs game nearly coincided with the two-year anniversary of the deal that sent Erik Johnson to Colorado and Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart to St. Louis. How did that work out for everyone?
• What controversy? Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault has done a masterful job of platooning his two goalies.
• The Red Wings already have lost 100 man games to injury, but they finally caught a break. Jimmy Howard passed tests on Wednesday and is expected back in the lineup tonight as Detroit hosts the Blue Jackets.
• Darryl Sutter told the media in Calgary that his Kings weren't suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover and then had his boys prove it with an industrious win over the Flames.
• Another fascinating blog entry from minor league enforcer Bobby Robins. Today's topic: learning to fight and appreciating those who helped get him where he is today. • Finally, this treat from the NME: 16 early, and sometimes unrecognizable demos of tracks that grew up into something amazing, among them November Rain, Benny and the Jets, Under Pressure, Billie Jean and my favorite of the bunch, 10:15 Saturday Night.