Top Line: Stunned reactions in Boston and Toronto to epic Game 7; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The Maple Leafs broke hearts and shattered dreams with the most unlikely defeat imaginable.
• The hard-working Leafs deserved better than this, writes Steve Simmons.
• As you might imagine, they're having trouble processing the loss in Toronto.
• We'll never know how many fans in Boston left the arena or turned off the TV early and missed a comeback for the ages, but I'm guessing there are tens of thousands who are kicking themselves this morning.
• The Rangers got an offensive boost from some unexpected sources.
• Game 7 vs. New York was another blown opportunity for a not-getting-any-younger core of players in Washington.
• Ottawa is relishing the role of underdog as it heads into the series opener with Pittsburgh.
• With five games under his belt, and a re-jigged protective mask, Sidney Crosby is ready to lead the Pens into the second round.
• The Penguins won't let the off-ice drama surrounding Matt Cooke and Erik Karlsson distract them from the task at hand with the Senators.
• The injury-riddled Kings lost their last playoff meeting with the Sharks two years ago. This time around, they have all the key pieces in place.
• If the moral argument doesn't bring about an end to fighting in the NHL, Gary Lawless writes that economic self-preservation might do the trick.
• This is tough for a Windsor guy to swallow, but full marks to the London Knights, who may have authored an even more dramatic finish than the Bruins as they captured the OHL championship and earned a trip back to the Memorial Cup. The Knights also learned this morning that they'll host the 2014 Memorial Cup. • Team Canada was lucky to escape their final round-robin game at the World Championships with an overtime win against lowly Slovenia.