An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Are the Russians planning on icing a superline in Sochi? Evgeni Malkin believes his long-time national team running buddy Nikolai Kulemin will be replaced by Alex Ovechkin, and that the Great 8 will be playing left wing on the unit. Scary … or a disaster waiting to happen?
• You gotta love how Kyle Okposo dealt with his Team USA snub. He handled the media's questions with class, then went out and scored the game winner against the Blackhawks in OT. You have to think that if the Americans lose a forward to injury between now and Sochi, it'll come down to Okposo or Chicago's Brandon Saad to fill the open spot.
• These are Ryan Miller's numbers for December while playing for the worst team in hockey: 5-2-1 with a 1.82 GAA and a .949 save percentage. How is there any debate over the starting job for Team USA in Sochi?
• Maybe the American talent pool isn't quite as deep as we thought.
• You say you don't like P.K. Subban as a member of Team Canada? Well, if you'd watched him tear apart the Stars' defense in a mesmerizing one-goal, three-assist performance on Thursday night, you'd pay for his plane fare to Sochi. He made a couple of nice defensive plays, too, including a show of strength against possible Team Russia forward Val Nichushkin. Just a terrific performance. Check out this goal:
And how about this assist?
• Mike Zeisberger explores five things we know about Toronto in the wake of the Leafs' big Winter Classic win.
• Nice to hear that Homeland Security was hard at work in the days leading up the the Winter Classic, keeping us all safe from … counterfeit merchandise?
• There's no way to keep 20 guys happy when you're in charge of the dressing room music. Personally though, I always found that cranking up the Ramones and then breaking the volume knob off came pretty close.
• A pair of Red Wings legends highlighted the six-member Class of 2014 for the IIHF Hall of Fame.
• TSN analyst Jeff O'Neil took his shot at Winnipeg the other night, saying players didn't want to stay there. Now, Winnipeg fires back. • Ilya Bryzgalov is struggling to keep his emotions in check in Edmonton. Geez, who saw that coming?