Top Line: Avalanche snap Blackhawks' streak, more links
A notated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The Avalanche rode another amazing performance from Matt Duchene to end Chicago's record-smashing point streak at 24. Here's the view from Chicago. No calls yet for Joe Quenneville's job, but it's still early.
• Turns out talk of a Duchene/O'Reilly riff was a bunch of middle school hallway malarkey. Probably.
• Viktor Fasth stopped all 29 shots he faced as the Ducks did what they always do: beat Calgary. It marked the first time in franchise history the Ducks had recorded back-to-back shutouts while using two different goalies.
• Here's a smart take on Ryan Getzlaf's new deal. The best point: he needs to play as hard in the little games as in the big ones.
• It doesn't take a fancy statistical analysis of the Oilers to recognize this team is going nowhere fast. The time for a bold move is running out quickly on a team that's headed to the cellar after a listless loss in Nashville.
• Do the inconsistencies of the Winnipeg Jets suggest the players don't respect head coach Claude Noel? It's a fair question. I know the players, but I have no idea what the identity of this team is. A new voice behind the bench might be necessary to fix that. Seems like there's a pretty good one available now, too...
• Here's a look at who is overachieving, and underachieving for Noel.
• Alain Vigneault continues to believe in the goalless David Booth even if everyone else is running out of patience.
• What's behind Jeff Carter's offensive explosion? My first guess, the Shake Weight, was way off.
• Ready for a midseason review of the New York Islanders? I mean, I'm not, but you might be.
• How about a review of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the halfway point?
• Odds are fans will more likely see a bloody nose than a breakaway as hockey remains an intrinsic part of the game.
• Kings coach Darryl Sutter loved working with Miikka Kiprusoff when he was with Calgary because the goalie went quietly about his business. "Show up. Go hard. Go home" was Kipper's MO. The two renew acquaintances tonight in Los Angeles.
• Realignment rekindles the Detroit-Toronto rivalry and that's a good thing for the NHL.
• Would you buy hockey tickets from this man? This is a pretty funny bit. • The Sabres bought a significant parcel of land to build a new facility with an eye on attracting events like the World Junior Championships and NCAA Frozen Four. Never a bad idea for an NHL team to invest in local hockey infrastructure.