Top Line: Stanley Cup Final Game Day; Saddledome flood update; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Corey Crawford says the talk about the vulnerability of his glove hand is exaggerated. Game 5 should be interesting tonight. The Bruins feel like he's weak there. Crawford knows that's where they'll be shooting. You don't suppose he'll look like Brooks Robinson tonight, do you?
• Chris Gasper quotes John Donne in the lede to his column on the expected bounceback effort from Tuukka Rask. Pretty sure this earns you a college credit in 16th century English poetry if you read it.
• The coaches' proactive approaches have been some of the most fascinating aspects of the series, says a guy who knows something about coaching.
• Chicago's special teams are evolving as the Final progresses...and that could be bad news for the Bruins.
• He doesn't wear a letter, but this Blackhawk has been the team's true leader during the Final.
• Could there be a Yeti sighting Saturday? Swedish rookie Carl Soderberg skated on the fourth line in place of Kaspers "Offside" Daugavins on Friday. Don't expect a miracle in what will likely be very limited minutes, but he has far superior hands to any other option the Bruins have, so this is worth watching.
• This Blackhawk could have been a Yankee.
• Now that we're down to a best of three, it's finally okay to start having a serious conversation about Conn Smythe candidates.
• The flooding in Calgary has caused "shocking, unbelievable damage to the Saddledome. It's going to take some time to fully assess the extent, so it's too early to speculate on what it means to the team and where they might have to start next season.
• Every coaching change promises a new beginning, but wait until you see what Alain Vigneault has in mind for the New York Rangers.
• The hiring of Vigneault means a change in style as much as substance, says Larry Brooks.
• Quality of players, rather than the guy behind the bench is what changes the direction of a franchise, writes Damien Cox.
• The Wings could use a pair of compliance buyouts to get their roster in order...but there might be a hitch.
• Lindy Ruff wasn't the first choice of the Dallas Stars, but that doesn't mean he won't be the right one.• I fully expected the Stars to have Griffins coach Jeff Blashill among their coaching targets. They didn't even call him before hiring Ruff.