Top Line: Finally, playoffs in Toronto, Ovechkin first to 30 goals, more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Toronto's gutty 4-1 win over the Sens pushed them into the postseason where they'll finally have the chance to create some new playoff memories.
• The great Rosie DiManno looks back at the nine-year gestation period for Toronto's playoff berth.
• Things are so bad in Montreal that they're Photoshopping Carey Price beachball pics in the Gazette.
• Bucky Gleason succinctly lays out why the Buffalo Sabres have become a laughingstock and takes a look at the changes in Edmonton, the problems facing additional outdoor games and Jim Rutherford's job security in his Sunday column.
• Beating Boston clinched first spot in the East for the Pens, giving coach Dan Bylsma some options as the team heads into the season's final week. Still no word on whether he'll be able to ease Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or James Neal into action before the playoffs.
• Here's a great piece from Dejan Kovacevic on the personal sacrifices being made by Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow as they reach for the Cup.
• The Canucks clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 shootout win over the Red Wings, buth they still have much to worry about as they head into the postseason. Getting outshot 34-14 after another soft performance from the forwards is probably going to raise a few questions...
• The Wings were the better team on the night, but an inability to finish meant leaving a critical point on the table as they struggle to make the playoffs. When Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg go this cold, you have to wonder if they have to scoring to seal the deal.
• Gary Lawless says the drama in Winnipeg was as thick as wet cement in the season's most entertaining game at MTS Centre.
• Conspiracy theorists in Winnipeg are having a field day with Evander Kane's absence during the pre-game skate.
• Adrian Dater scattershoots about the future in Colorado and says he thinks they'll try to trade up in the draft if they somehow fall out of the top three.
• Fluto Shinazawa's Sunday notes column touches on Boston's surprising organizational depth in net Craig MacTavish's challenge in Edmonton, and the coming changes in Colorado.
• Bruce Garrioch's Sunday column looks at the coming changes in Philadelphia coaching issues in St. Louis and the possibility of front office changes in Florida, Buffalo and Phoenix.
• The Sun Sports team reveals how it is voting for the season's annual awards. I only have a beef with one of the picks.
• St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock plans to shake up his roster ahead of today's game with Colorado. Tis is a good time for the team to take a long look at Dmitrij Jaskin to see if the junior sniper could help in the playoffs.
• Dallas color man Darryl Reaugh predicts a Winter Classic in Texas within three years.• What did John Spano think about the documentary that chronicled his failed scam to purchase the Islanders? Well, he probably won't be holding a private screening for family and friends--assuming he has those--any time soon.