Top Line: Capitals melt down; the sad decline of Dany Heatley; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• No Capitals were hurt last night, which might have been the only bright spot in Washington's non-compete loss to the archrival Penguins. A bag skate might do them some good after being outshot 40-18.
• Meet Stephane Waite, the man charged with bringing out the best in Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. This is a great look at the tactics of a goalie coach and the impact he can have on the success of an NHL team.
• The NHL is looking into using new technology to ensure that it gets controversial goal calls correct.
• The Sabres tried to dodge the rules of the CBA by assigning center Mikhail Grigorenko to the AHL on a conditioning assignment. The NHL quickly nixed that plan. Now the team has to make a tough decision that could have a serious impact on the development of the 2012 first rounder.
• The strong play of Buffalo defenseman Christian Erhoff is a reminder that a first-year flop doesn't necessarily mean that a big free-agent signing won't eventually pay off.
• Eric Duhatschek looks at the twists and turns of the season's first quarter, including surprise league leaders, trades gone wrong and the problems with migration.
• The Hurricanes' offense has been missing its swizzle stick for nearly a month. He could be back in the lineup tonight. For a team that's struggled mightily to put the puck in the net, this could be bigger than the return of No. 1 goalie Cam Ward earlier this week.
• New York isn't actively shopping Michael Del Zotto, but if someone calls the Rangers are not exactly hanging up, either. Even now that he's back in the lineup, it seems like a matter of time before he's dealt. Wonder if tonight's opponent would be interested?
• Goalie Roberto Luongo is playing some of the best hockey of his career. So why can't the Canucks give him some run support? • By building a personal relationship with youngsters Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, Stars coach Lindy Ruff has helped to focus their play, transforming them from frustrating underachievers into top-10 scorers.