games are like coins spinning wildly, unpredictably on edge. (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
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!
• The Rangers aren't talking, but all signs point to a concussion as the ailment that's sidelining star forward Rick Nash.
• 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.
• Apparently, there are seven levels of dirty plays in hockey. This thing cries out for a visual aid, much like the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.
• 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 Avalanche made their own luck in Wednesday's OT win over the Blues. Our own Adrian Dater called this Mark Olver/Vladimir Tarasenko collision a clean hit. How did you see it?
• Gabriel Landeskog skated in practice, a huge step in his battle to recover from the concussion he suffered when hit by Brad Stuart of the Sharks on January 28.
• 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.
• Just ahead of tonight's date with the Lightning, the Bruins appear to have shaken the flu bug that sidelined seven players earlier this week.
• 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.
• Coyotes' broadcaster Matt McConnell offers his thoughts on the season so far in Phoenix. Not surprisingly, he digs what he's seen.
• 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 Jet
s, Under Pressure
, Billie Jean
and my favorite of the bunch, 10:15 Saturday Nigh