Top Line: Bryzgalov "doesn't care" if he's bought out, Kovalchuk back soon, more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Ilya Bryzgalov says he has no control over the future and isn't giving a lot of thought to remaining with the Flyers after this season. Note: this initially drew heavily on the Courier-Post headline, which suggested that Bryz "didn't care" about staying in Philly. Read the story and you'll see why that wasn't a fair characterization.
• Remember that pic of Rihanna rocking a Senators jersey like it was a Betsey Johnson mini? Yeah, apparently that's a thing now in Ottawa. It would be a lot less disturbing if it weren't leading to the revelation of so many pasty man-thighs.
• The Isles earned a gut-check win over the Flyers. This looks like a playoff team, doesn't it?
• They also announced plans for a preseason game in Brooklyn next fall against the Devils.
• Sergei Bobrovsky posted his fourth shutout in his last 15 starts and the Blue Jackets snapped a two-game skid with a 4-0 win over the Sharks that puts them right back into the Western Conference playoff picture.
• The Washington Capitals continued their late-season surge with a 3-2 win over the Habs. That's five straight for the Caps and nine in their last 11, but here's a reality check for the team's fans: this was the first regulation win for Washington against a team currently in a playoff position. Wow.
• Sometimes a coach just doesn't take a liking to a player. That seems to be the case in Toronto considering how Randy Carlyle is handling Jake Gardiner. The flashy defenseman might need to be freed from the organization this summer.
• The Wings are loading up Grand Rapids for a late-season evaluation of the organization's top hopefuls.
• The Stars moved to within two points of eighth-place Detroit with the win, but may have seen their playoff chances evaporate when goaltender Kari Lehtonen left midway through the first with a lower body injury.
• A 14-game stint on IR didn't dull Patrick Sharp's edge, but Ryan Suter almost did. The Chicago winger managed to avoid re-injuring his shoulder on a hard hit from Suter late in the 1-0 win over the Wild.
• But hey, maybe Stoner's recent run is actually quite "successful" in Minnesota terms. Yesterday the Wild announced that Dany Heatley would have shoulder surgery to speed up his return to the lineup. Well, he had the surgery. It was deemed successful. And Heatley will miss the rest of the season. Guess the Minnesota Vikings are pretty successful too, eh?
• Watch Joel Quenneville take a puck in the head and laugh it off.
• Claude Julien says the struggling Bruins are tired, and 29 other teams say, "Hi!"
• An expired arena lease could mean the end of the AHL's 19-year run in Houston. • Could the AHL be coming to oil-rich Fort McMuray, Alberta, in the near future?