can only look back and wonder what might have been had their GM been more astute. (Getty Images)
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.
• In the wake of their Game 4 loss to the Sharks, the Canucks grasped that the window has closed for this group of players.
• 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.
• Carey Price was hurt, but it's the Habs who are hurting after an OT loss pushed Montreal to the brink of elimination.
• The Canadiens feel the officiating cost them Game 4. For once, a team that says this might actually have an argument.
• The Senators woke up just in time to salvage Game 4 and turn the series clearly in their favor.
• Cory Conacher was just trying to throw the puck on the net when he scored the tying goal in the thrilling final minute for Ottawa.
• After losing Game 4 and goalie Josh Harding, it looks as though the Wild's season won't last much longer than Vancouver's.
• Tuesday was a day that Chicago's Duncan Keith will always remember. And only partly because of what happened in a hockey game.
• When Patrick Sharp is scoring in bunches, it usually means good things for the Blackhawks' offense.
• The Pittsburgh Penguins finally iced their best possible lineup on Tuesday night against the Isles. It didn't help.
• John Tavares is making believers out of those who doubted the Islanders have what it takes to tackle the mighty Pens.
• Dan Bylsma wasn't saying who will start in net for Pittsburgh in Game 5, but after that performance from Marc-Andre Fleury, we all know the answer, right Dan? Right, Dan?
• 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 deadline deal with the Blue Jackets fueled the Rangers' late-season resurgence.
• The stunning series turnaround has made tonight's Game 5 a must-win for the St. Louis Blues.
• The mission is simple for the Capitals ahead of Game 4 with the Rangers: stay out of the penalty box.
• A year after a Chris Neil head shot left him concussed, New York's Brian Boyle has rediscovered his playoff mojo when the Rangers need him the most.
• There's a battle being waged between the Bruins and Maple Leafs over positioning in the face-off circles.
• 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?
• With just one assist through four games, Anaheim sniper Corey Perry knows he has to be better for the Ducks to gain an edge in their series against the Red Wings.
• 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.