Top Line: Malkin makes a difference; Bruins, Leafs both face demons; more
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Chris Kunitz is involved in a tug-of-war between Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Poor guy. Kate Upton is calling him at all hours too, probably.
• After a series in which they won over fans with the promise of youth, the Islanders matter again in New York.
• Scott Cullen looks at some of the numbers that defined the Pens/Isles series.
• If the Bruins are to avoid a seventh game against the Leafs on Monday, it would help if Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand bothered to show up for Game 6 on Sunday night. Lots of chances, zero finishes for the two speedsters so far in the series.
• Game 6 is set for Toronto's Air Canada Centre, but home hasn't exactly been sweet for the Maple Leafs. It hasn't been that great for the Bruins in this series, either. The last four games have been won by the road team.
• Damien Cox writes that both the Bruins and Leafs have demons to face in Game 6.
• The Caps are looking for a fast start to give them the edge they need in Game 6.
• Detroit's keys to victory for the contest? They begin, and end, with goaltender Jimmy Howard.
• How he plays tonight could go a long way in determining Valtteri Filppula's fate in Detroit. I say if the Wings lose, he'll have played his last game with the organization.
• Lisa Dillman describes the nervous excitement of a Game 7 as being like "Christmas morning wrapped up with a trip to the dentist." A lede that good demands you read the rest of the story, doesn't it?
• Could Darren Pastor be the white knight Coyotes fans have been praying for? After reportedly putting in a bid for the team Friday, we could know soon.
• The St. Louis Blues have a crowd in the net. A heated argument between Ken Hitchcock and Jaroslav Halak before Game 4 of their series against the Kings may have just solved that problem.
• World Championship rosters are being buttressed by players from teams already eliminated in the playoffs. Here's a look at some of the latest arrivals in Helsinki and in Stockholm, where Canada is set to face off against the Czechs. • Here's what it's like playing in Canada's smallest, toughest league at the Millhaven super-max prison. Think I'd be looking for a nice, quiet chess club to join.