Top Line: Pens look unstoppable; Toews, Kopitar must step up; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• After an atrocious first period, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally decided to unsheathe their claws. About time, too, according to Dejan Kovacevic.
• After watching everything fall apart so abruptly after a promising start, Eric Duhatschek wonders if the Senators have checked out of the series.
• The Senators now face the ultimate challenge. The view from Ottawa suggests they're not quite up to it.
• Darryl Sutter rearranged his lines at practice in an effort to jump-start the Kings' moribund offense. Kyle Clifford earned a promotion to the top line as part of the shakeup. Because, well, obviously, right?
• Every game has been huge for Detroit during the past few weeks, but Mitch Albom says this one is about standing up to the Hawks and holding the ground that the Red Wings have earned. So, you know, it's really huge.
• Jonathan Toews won't allow his eight-game playoff goal-scoring drought to have an impact on the rest of his game. He's avoided criticism so far because of all that he does, but if he puts up another donut and the Hawks go down 3-1, he might want to keep his head low.
• Chicago coach Joel Quenneville shuffled his power play to create more net-front traffic in Game 4.
• New York is likely to be without one key defenseman for Game 4, but another one might draw back in to replace him.
• You have to see what's left of the car after Philadelphia forward Jakob Voracek survived a terrifying crash. For the record, that's a Ferrari California Hardtop, valued at nearly $200,000. Ouch.
• A vicious head shot delivered by Montreal prospect Dalton Thrower marred the final round-robin game of the Memorial Cup. Seth Jones and Portland emerged with the win, earning the Winterhawks a slot in Thursday's semifinal.• It's New Music Thursday! Be the first on your block to check out the debut release from The Occults, a Brisbane-based act who might have listened to some Joy Division and Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry somewhere along the way.