Top Line: Ilya Bryzgalov stumbles in AHL debut; Sabres look new; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The holes in Ilya Bryzgalov's game were humongous beeeg in his return to action with Oklahoma City last night. Looks like he needs to scrape a lot of rust off the hull before he's ready to be the savior in Edmonton.
• You know things aren't going well in Edmonton when the headline reads, "Oilers finally score a goal."
• Last week's stumbles aside, the San Jose Sharks are making believers out of long-time doubters like Mark Spector with their play this season.
• Eric Duhatschek sits down for a thorough, sometimes confrontational, interview with NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman. The two touch on fighting, naturally, along with player safety and the business of hockey, including the possibility of a second team in Toronto. This is both men at their best.
• Here's a look at the incident. Ryan's head is clearly the point of contact, but does he create the situation by bailing out at the last second? I'm guessing his actions will mitigate whatever penalty Dennis Seidenberg might face.
• Maybe the pre-fab storyline of top pick Nathan MacKinnon and second selection Aleksander Barkov meeting for the first time tonight with provide a little inspiration.
• George Malik writes that the fanbase is in revolt in Detroit after another blown lead and another home loss.
• You don't often hear a coach admit he made a mistake in benching a player, but that was Barry Trotz offering public words of regret for sitting Matt Hendricks against Pittsburgh. One more reason his players love him.
• Looks like any thoughts of trading Marian Gaborik will have to be tabled for a bit. The fading star will be on the shelf for up to six weeks after suffering a knee sprain against the Bruins on Thursday night. It was surprising to hear he was injured in overtime--he was so unnoticeable during regulation that I had to check the game sheet to see if he was in the lineup.
• Michael Arace says the Jackets don't know how to win even when goals are handed to them.
• And now, a reminder from Jordan Nolan that big hits are still allowed in hockey:
• Here's a must-read piece from Ken Dryden, inspired by the coincidental timing of the Hockey Hall of Fame induction and Remembrance Day last Monday.• Hockey Canada is meeting to study violence in youth hockey. Not in Canada? Still worth a read as this committee have a direct impact on hockey in the U.S. as well.