Top Line: Hawks avoid epic failure; Jagr vs. Iginla showdown set; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The Blackhawks quieted talk of what an epic failure their season was on the verge of becoming...but only until Game 6.
• Chicago's first power-play goal in 13 tries turned Game 5 in their favor. Now it might do the same for the series.
• Detroit's veterans are stressing that staying loosed but composed will be the key to winning Game 6.
• After scoring his first goal of the postseason, a confident Jonathan Toews is ready to lead the confident Blackhawks into Game 6.
• It's not often that Irving Berlin gets namechecked in the lede to a hockey story these days, so you might want to click over to see what the legendary composer has to do with the Boston Bruins.
• This series proved the Rangers organization took a significant step back this season. And now they face the possibility of losing Henrik Lundqvist in a year's time. Without him, they're basically the Florida Panthers North, right?
• You don't suppose this Jarome Iginla vs. Jaromir Jagr storyline is going to gain any traction, do you?
• San Jose's top forwards know that they have to be better tonight if they want to push this series to Game 7.
• It might help if they stopped treating L.A.'s defensemen like the velvet rope at some trendy nightclub. Time to crash the party or go home.
• The Sharks could get a key forward back in the lineup for tonight's must-win game.
• Heading into the Ottawa series, the conventional wisdom held that Marc-Andre Fleury would get a shot to earn his place between the pipes. But after a strong performance in the five-game series against the Senators, Tomas Vokoun is now Pittsburgh's No. 1 goalie.
• Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero assesses the state of his team heading into their meeting with the Bruins.
• Here's a great read on Dan Bylsma and the grief he's had to internalize during the playoffs.
• He knew he had all summer to heal, so this player pushed himself to return to the lineup hoping to help his team, even though he was nowhere near physically ready.
• Don Cherry says Hockey Canada is taking the road paved with good intentions by making the call to remove hitting from peewee hockey yesterday. Can't say I agree with him on this one.
• Not to take anything away from the Sharks/Kings matchup, but Halifax vs. Portland for the Memorial Cup is the must-watch game of the day. The final showdown between Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin will be shown live on the NHL Network in the U.S. at 8 p.m.• Damien Cox points out that Portland's success is proof that cheaters sometimes prosper.