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Top Line: Taylor Hall breaks Gretzky record; dirtiest hit ever; more links

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• The Edmonton Oilers dropped their fourth consecutive decision last night, but not before Taylor Hall smashed one of Wayne Gretzky's most amazing records.

• Another night, another dangerous hit from behind. Niklas Kronwall of the Red Wings required a stretcher after being cheap shotted by Colorado's Cody McLeod. Have a look at target="_blank">the video of the incident

• Despite losing Kronwall in the opening minutes, the Wings managed to take down the Avs, 4-2, handing them their first defeat of the season . . . in front of the largest crowd in franchise history, no less.

• Not that the loss was their fault. Blame it on the DaterJinx.

• Before the game, Colorado coach Patrick Roy sat down with a familiar face to discuss their fractious past: Detroit broadcaster Chris Osgood.

• Here's a quick reminder of why that might have been target="_blank">a little tense.

• When the official KHL video feed labels something as target="_blank">the dirtiest hit ever, you might expect something pretty bad. And this is brutal. Also brutal: the utter lack of response from Matt Murley's Zagreb teammates.

• The Dallas Stars didn't need a bigger boat to blow the San Jose Sharks out of the water last night. They just needed their own intrepid trio of squalus hunters, led by Cody Eakin. It was the second game in a row that the Stars had outplayed an undefeated team. This time, they got the result they deserved.

• Is there, like, some kind of secret contest for goalies going on to see who allows the most brutal goal of the season? We're less than three weeks in and we have another spectacular entry, this time courtesy of target="_blank">stunning misplay by Jonathan Bernier. It was ugly, but hardly the Leafs' only blunder as they blew a 2-0 third period lead to the Hurricanes.

Tim Thomas nearly wrote a perfect story of redemption against his old team on Thursday night . . and then he allowed a softie with less than a minute remaining that allowed the Bruins to sneak out of Sunrise with a 3-2 win.

• After the game, Thomas finally spoke to the Boston media about his decision to leave the team, skip their White House visit, and his year away from hockey. Not surprisingly, it got a bit emotional.

• This being the Rangers, it seems fitting that their best game of the season couldn't be fully enjoyed because of an injury to a key player. Captain Ryan Callahan is out of the lineup and his stay on IR won't be short.

• Chris Stevenson says P.K. Subban is playing at a level that can't be ignored by Team Canada.

• After one night of fun, it was back to suffering for the Sabres. Buffalo was outclassed by a wide margin in a loss to the Canucks.

• Bucky Gleason senses that a deal is coming for the struggling Sabres. Have to think he's right, but not sure I see how Edmonton fits as a trade partner. The Oilers obviously have problems, and assets, of their own, but I can't see how acquiring a player like Thomas Vanek makes sense for a non-playoff team since he'd be nothing more than a rental for them.

• Speaking of Edmonton and trades, here's TSN's Darren Dreger basically saying that Nail Yakupov has no value on the market right now. Wow.

• So much for Matt Cooke's Lady Byng aspirations.

• Last night's (no-)contest between the Flyers and Penguins keenly illustrated the diverging career paths of Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby.

• The Flyers have yet to plant a hint that they can be a good team, setting up a very interesting week ahead for GM Paul Holmgren.

• The Habs will be without top scorer Max Pacioretty for three weeks. Bad news, but it could have been worse.

• Bobby Orr thinks that kids should play sports other than hockey. He's right, of course.
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