Top Line: Chicago's supporting cast a hit; old rivalry renewed; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• With the Wings and Hawks destined for different conferences in 2013-14, this series provides a fitting end to one of hockey's fiercest rivalries.
• This could be a very short series if Detroit can't come up with an answer for Chicago's forecheck. Heard a few wags predicting the Hawks in three after Game 1.
• Jimmy Howard was terrific, but the Red Wings failed to support him with any kind of counter to Chicago's aggressive attack. A little less standing around would go a long way in Game 2.
• Tuukka Rask isn't putting too much stock into the whole goalie matchup thing, but he knows he has to be better than the guy at the other end of the ice for the Bruins to have a chance in this series.
• Creating quality scoring chances off the rush will be critical if Boston hopes to undermine New York's shotblocking forwards. Also critical: actually finishing a few of those chances.
• While everyone else talks about Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers GM Glen Sather points to Rick Nash and New York's newly acquired depth as the potential difference-makers in this series. I'm with Slats. Watch Nash have a massive set against the B's.
• With Raffi Torres scheduled for a hearing today in New York, a likely suspension to San Jose's energetic forward could alter the fabric of the Kings-Sharks series.
• The Sharks aren't too happy with the potential for a suspension, but they knew that Torres was bringing his reputation with him when they picked him up at the trade deadline.
• It's not like the Sharks have never scored on Jonathan Quick. Doing the things that have made them successful in the past will be key to their success in Game 2 tonight.
• From trade throw-in to first liner, Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis has become one of the game's most dangerous scorers in key situations.
• Missed this one when it first was published, but it's still a good read on the struggles of hockey players to keep weight on during the playoffs.
• The NHL has made it official: We'll see outdoor hockey games at Yankee Stadium next winter.
• Brian Burke gives all the credit for Toronto's season to coach Randy Carlyle and explains what he was doing during the Maple Leafs' first-round series against the Bruins. Spoiler alert: he was giggling!
• Time for the Leafs line up for their final grades. Some of them will not be promoted.
• Bloodlines always play a role in how teams assess prospects in the draft, but some of this year's options make for particularly challenging choices.• This is a stunner: The U.S. routed the Alexander Ovechkin-enhanced Russians this morning at the World Hockey Championships to advance to the semifinals. Sergei Bobrovsky says hi.