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 Bruins won the battle but may have lost the war of attrition. They're down three defensemen heading into their second-round series against the Rangers.
• With Henrik Lundqvist notching his second consecutive shutout, the Rangers morphed into Team Unflappable and smoked the Caps to win Game 7.
• 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.
• Another big moment, another ineffective performance from Alex Ovechkin. Will he ever be able to lead this team anywhere in the playoffs?
• Ottawa is relishing the role of underdog as it heads into the series opener with Pittsburgh.
• Jason Spezza practiced with the Senators on Sunday, but stayed behind to skate with the Black Aces when Ottawa left for Pittsburgh. He hasn't been ruled out for Game 2.
• 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.
• It's never the San Jose Sharks' year...until it is.
• A healthy, hard-working Antti Niemi could be the difference in the series with the Kings.
• 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.
• In what's becoming an annual ritual, Teemu Selanne will take his time before deciding if he wants to play against next season.
• 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.