Beleaguered goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
had parting thoughts after a rough season. (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Ilya Bryzgalov shared some hot sports opinions with the local media on locker clean-out day in Philly. SPOILER ALERT: he's not a fan.
• “Peter Laviolette is the coach,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said yesterday. “I don’t know where all this crap came from.” Right, because the job security of the coach of a non-playoff team never comes into question, right Homer?
• Terry Frei says the firing of head coach Joe Sacco yesterday won't come close to answering all of Colorado's problems. Upper management needs to answer for its failings as well, says he and I.
• Adrian Dater explains his respect for the coaching position and suggests who might take over for Sacco behind the Avs' bench.
• "Don Cherry is not sexist" say a bunch of people who know which side of their bread is buttered.
• A woeful penalty kill could lead to another early playoff exit if the Penguins aren't careful.
• The underdog role suits the Islanders just fine heading into their series against the Pens.
• All the Isles need to do is look at the Los Angeles Kings, who have become the patron saints of playoff dreamers.
• The unwavering confidence of coach Adam Oates has the Capitals believing they can make some playoff noise.
• The even-keeled approach of Niklas Backstrom gives the Wild a chance to upset the Hawks in their first-round series.
• Chicago defender Nick Leddy is eager to face the team that gave up on him way too early.
• Helene Elliott says the shortened season was the root cause behind the reshuffled playoff deck.
• Need a couple of sleepers for your playoff pool? We've got you covered right here.
• Here's another one for free: Derek Stepan. Coach John Tortorella says Stepan is New York's "most important player" With 35 points in his final 30 games, his game is higher profile than his name.
• Here's why the Red Wings will miss former assistant GM Jim Nill. Good stuff, but I think Helene St. James kind of buries a key reason why Nill was so hesitant to leave Detroit during the last four years. It's in the final line of the piece.
• The Red Wings are counting on the reunited Eurotwins to guide them in their series versus the Ducks.
• TSN's Scott Cullen offers an interesting spin on the numbers as a way of previewing the eight first-round playoff series.
• Apparently, Claude Julien thinks a lack of focus is why is why the Boston Bruins can't score. I'd probably place that a ways behind a little net courage, but hey, focus harder on those 40-footers, boys!
• The spotlight is on Toronto goalie James Reimer ahead of their series with the Bruins. For the Leafs to win, he has to be their best player.
• Goaltending isn't the only concern for the Canucks heading into the postseason. Alex Burrows needs to stay within himself to ensure he stays on the ice and out of the box.
• A battered Vancouver lineup has the Sharks smelling blood in the water ahead of their series.
• With most of the country's top players tied up in the CHL playoffs, the B-team Canada sends over to the U-18 World Championships every year rarely ranks as a serious contender. This year's side had something different -- tournament MVP Connor McDavid, for one -- and it finally managed to break the American stranglehold on the event.
• Canada has named 22 players for its World Championship squad.
Still three players to go. Couple of surprises, but looks pretty much like I expected: stout up front, exploitable on the back end.