Top Line: Sharks in trouble, Bruins-Rangers worth the wait, more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• In San Jose, they're calling the Game 2 loss unnecessary, and possibly backbreaking. I'm not sure the Sharks have the stones to recover from this one, either.
• Raffi Torres' series-ending suspension wasn't about his hit on Jarret Stoll. It was all about his past catching up with him. Me, I'm still stunned that his hit drew a penalty, let alone a suspension. Maybe it's time to eliminate the Stanley Cup and hand everyone a participation ribbon, whaddya think? Here's Stu Hackel's take on the suspension's impact.
• Late-game heroics allowed the Kings to win on a night when they seemed bound to lose, writes Helene Elliott.
• All Brad Marchand had to do was beat his man to the back door. Just like that, he had his first goal of the playoffs, and the Bruins had Game 1 against the Rangers. Marchand was flying last night. If he's got his legs under him, Boston actually has a shot in this thing.
• With all the unlikely twists and pivotal moments, Game 1 was worth the 40-year wait.
• With the Rangers being outshot 16-5 in overtime it was only a matter of time before Bruins broke through. The Rangers might want to try spending a little more time in Boston's end in Game 2.
• Dan Bylsma reworked his lines in practice on Thursday, reuniting some old friends. Seriously, there must be times when he sits back and giggles as he's filling in his lineup sheet.
• Detroit's other issue? Getting outscored 15-5 in third periods throughout the playoffs. It's a little harder to practice that problem away.
• Mitch Albom has one solution: Try spending a little less time in their own end. I'm guessing that someone in heaven fed him that angle.
• The Blackhawks addressed all of coach Joel Quenneville's concerns during the regular season. Now they just have to stick to the script in the playoffs.
• You don't suppose Chicago Tribune writer Dan McNeil is just trolling Red Wings fans with this whole "the hammer has no rivalry with the nail" thing, do ya?
• There was a time when Patrick Kane's game with littered with lazy penalties. The changes he's made as he has matured were reflected in his recognition as a Lady Byng finalist. Only a matter of time before he's awarded "Cab Passenger of the Year."
• Adam Oates says he could beat up John Tortorella. Maybe he should talk to Kevin Lowe about borrowing a barn.
• Alex Ovechkin played yesterday's Russia-US contest at the World Championships -- and the last two games of the playoffs -- with a fractured foot. Say what you want about the guy's ability to deliver in big games, but you sure can't question his courage.
• The injury suffered by Eric Staal at the worlds on Thursday has Carolina fans looking to cast blame. Still no word yet on how seriously he was hurt after the knee-on-knee hit from Alex Edler, but it can't hurt as much as that shootout loss to the Swedes.
• The Colorado Avalanche aren't in any hurry to name a new head coach. Here's what that means. • No surprise that the Winnipeg Jets have some of the most expensive tickets in the NHL, but who knew they ranked this high when compared to all pro sports clubs?