Top Line: Window closes on Canucks; Carey Price hurt; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• A win away from hoisting the Cup two years ago, the Canucks were the first team to be eliminated this season. As the blame is being doled out, be sure to include a healthy dose for GM Mike Gillis, who dithered instead of trading Roberto Luongo time and time again.
• It would be a tough sell to bring back coach Alain Vigneault after the failures of the past two seasons.
• There are 100 ways to analyze Vancouver's shocking first round ouster, but the simplest truth is that the team simply got too old to keep up in today's game.
• The Canucks showed they still have it in the overtime loss...just not enough of it.
• This was the first sweep in franchise history for the Sharks. Now it's time to rest up for what they hope will be a deep playoff run.
• The Pittsburgh Penguins finally iced their best possible lineup on Tuesday night against the Isles. It didn't help.
• Halfway through the first round, it's time to re-rank the playoff goalies. Honestly, I was kind of surprised by the Ottawa Sun's No. 1.
• The stunning series turnaround has made tonight's Game 5 a must-win for the St. Louis Blues.
• The Maple Leafs are trying to accentuate the positives ahead of tonight's crucial Game 4 meeting with the Bruins in Toronto.
• The Bruins decided to accept Jaromir Jagr the way he was before making the deal to acquire him from Dallas. Is everyone sure now that was a good idea?
• Detroit will be looking for energetic contributions from the third and fourth lines when the series resumes tonight in Anaheim.
• The Nashville Predators think there will be some free agent players out there who can help them next season. That presumes, of course, that Nashville has suddenly become a desirable location for free agents.
• Seth Jones, the prohibitive favorite to go first overall this June, is ready for his close-up. • Team Canada scored four goals while holding Norway to one shot in a lopsided first period on the way to a 7-1 victory at the World Hockey Championship. Sweden should pose a heftier threat on Thursday.