coach Adam Oates says rookies have it better now than he did as a first-year player. (Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The practice of hazing rookies in the NHL has become much more civilized in recent years. Washington coach Adam Oates and star forward Alex Ovechkin swap stories about their introduction to the fraternity here.
• Chuck Gormley explains why Washington's lethal power play and penalty kill are the league's best.
• Semyon Varlamov's first game back in Denver since last week's criminal proceedings did not go particularly well.
• Varlamov tells a Russian journalist that "many people understand" his situation in this exclusive interview.
• Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin is one of Varlamov's supporters . . . but he changed his mind about doing it in public.
• Ryan O'Reilly introduced his Colorado teammates to yoga on Monday. The practice is gaining favor as a training approach to improve both the physical and mental readiness of athletes across a variety of pursuits.
• Martin Brodeur clarified his controversial recent comments, saying he has no intention of asking the New Jersey Devils for a trade. And with that, all is right with the world.
• You can never see enough of hits like this:
• As if that hit wasn't bad enough, here's what happened to Adam Pardy afterwards.
• How about this puck patience from Patrick Kane?:
• The Canadiens took their dads along on their recent road trip, and the old guys were only too happy to share some great stories about their famous kids.
• If the Habs are looking for something that's both exotic and homey for their next road trip, they might want to give this place a shot.
• "I don't know if I'd say we're best buddies," said James Reimer of his relationship with goaltending partner Jonathan Bernier, "but we're having fun stopping pucks."
• Darren Pang knows who he'd start in goal for Canada in Sochi.
• Two-time 50-goal man Dany Heatley has been demoted to the fourth line in Minnesota. How's that working out?
• John Tortorella has assigned the Sedins more defensive zone starts and time on the penalty kill in an effort to get them more involved in the game. So, naturally, they've gone off on a scoring spree.
• The Hurricanes had high hopes for first rounder Elias Lindholm coming into this season. Clearly, they were too high.
• Sidney Crosby reached out to Rick Nash to discuss the Blueshirt winger's lingering concussion issues or, as the Rangers continue to call it, his "head injury."
• Claude Giroux hasn't scored yet this season and the stress is beginning to show on Philly's captain.
• Well, here's a piece of unfortunate news. The way homecomings have been going in Boston, this guy probably would have posted a shutout and his first career hat trick against his former team.
• Jordan Eberle talks about getting traded for Steven Stamkos . . . in a commercial.
• The best rookie no one is talking about had another big game last night for the league-leading Ducks.
• Ever since a frustrated Erik Karlsson told the press "I'm not an [effing] god," that's exactly how he's played. Just for the record then, I'm not an [effing] Pulitzer winner.
• The Red Wings
have finally addressed their logjam of forwards by placing a veteran on waivers.
They're also taking a hard look at a lingering problem
that's plagued their blueline corps.