Top Line: Best goaltending in history, top buyout candidates, more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner are on the verge of crafting the best season of goaltending in modern history.
• If you thought the trade deadline was a thrill-a-minute joyride, wait until we get to the first day of free agency. Dmitri Kvartalnov might still be available, but other than that...
• The QMI Agency's Sunday notes column touches on the likelihood of Sidney Crosby missing the rest of the regular season, problems in the Nashville room and Detroit's struggles.
• Larry Brooks described it as pulsating. I can't argue with that. After last night's 1-0 OT thriller, let's just say the Rangers-Islanders rivalry is back on... unless John Tortorella is around, of course.
• Damien Cox says Toronto's gritty and decisive win over the Canadiens proves they're the real deal. Not sure I trust the goaltending to go far, but this team looks like it'll be a handful for whoever gets stuck facing them in the first round.
• What will Marc Bergevin, hockey's latest management wunderkind, do next? Well, Tomas Kaberle will be bought out, Michael Ryder will leave as a free agent and Bergevin will have one significant hole to fill. This is good read from veteran scribe Pat Hickey.
• Hickey's Sunday column focuses on Subban's promising younger brothers.
• I'm willing to write off the Rapunzel reference as a sign of the delirium that comes from covering back-to-back games. Beyond that, my buddy Mike Heika asks the right question about the Dallas Stars after their fifth-straight win: Is it time to believe in this fairy-tale team?
• Woody Paige is the freaking worst, but I have to admit I like where he's going here with his ideas on two moves to turn around the Avalanche.
• The NHLPA is ready to file suit over Tennessee's "jock tax", which appears to be as cynical a piece of legislation as you'll find. Love how it exempts the NFL, while attacking hockey and basketball. What a joke.
• Marc Methot has played himself into the mix for Team Canada in Sochi. It's going to be tough to crack that line, but his steady, reliable play is the sort Canada used to rely on from guys like Normand Rochefort and Charlie Huddy.
• "Exceptional" defenseman Aaron Ekblad tops the charts as the most impressive 1996-born player in the OHL. Look for him to go top-three in next year's draft. • The Bulldogs were the underdogs, but that didn't stop Yale from claiming the first NCAA hockey title in school history. Just like the Los Angeles Kings last spring, the Bulldogs had to knock off the top three seeded teams in order to claim the crown.