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Top Line: Penguins coach Bylsma, five Maple Leafs on hot seat; more links

Coach Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins If things don't start looking up for the Penguins, coach Dan Bylsma may be a goner. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

By Allan Muir

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

• Rob Rossi explains what's behind the Penguins' lackluster 6-6-2 record since the Olympic break. Rossi's reasons all seem like valid explanations, but they're not quieting rumors that Pittsburgh may consider a coaching change before the playoffs.

Dion Phaneuf and Randy Carlyle top the list of five Maple Leafs on the hot seat as the team fumbles away its playoff chances.

• Steve Simmons asks scouts to explain the lost season of Toronto's David Clarkson, but even they can't quite figure it out. This looks more and more like a buyout situation this summer, doesn't it?

Don Cherry teed off on the Maple Leafs after they signed college free agent Eric Knodel yesterday. Toronto's management usually deserves the scorn thrown its way, but I think Grapes missed the mark on this one.

• There's a theory out there that suggests Canadian fans have some emotional stake in a team from Canada winning the Stanley Cup. I don't buy it, but on the off-chance that you do, Cam Cole suggests you might not want to get your hopes up. Again.

Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers has ramped up his game since returning from Sochi, but is he really Norris Trophy material? David Satriano makes the case.

Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos wants to remind everyone that he's pretty good at hockey.

• "Oh my god ... I just got traded for Jarome Iginla!"

• Have you ever ripped on an NHL referee? Think you could do better? Adam Proteau says now's your chance to show everyone just how easy it is to properly officiate a game.

Thomas Greiss wanted the opportunity to play more before agreeing to sign a new deal with the Coyotes. He'll get his chance now with starter Mike Smith on the sidelines and a playoff berth at stake.

Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly plays the game as hard as anyone, which makes his pursuit of a uniquely perfect season so unlikely.

Teemu Selanne wasn't looking for a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-style retirement tour, but he appreciates the reception he's been getting from fans as he makes his final stops in buildings around the league.

• I liked the idea on Wednesday when John Davidson was named chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame's selection committee. I like it even better on Thursday. Progressive thinking like this can only make for a more legitimate enshrinement process, and that's something everyone can get behind.

Rob Blake has been named GM of Team Canada for this spring's World Hockey Championship. It's an interesting choice. As assistant general manager of the Kings, Blake may have a conflict with his NHL duties if L.A. goes deep into the playoffs. At the same time, this could be a springboard to another job a couple of years down the road in South Korea ... so how could he say no?

• The Sharks offered up some fresh Sam Tageson video. Me, I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching what they did for this kid. Awesome.

• The Bruins welcomed their own Make-A-Wish kid to practice yesterday. Her experience might have been a little more painful than Sam's.

Anthony Stolarz ended up with something more than a two-minute minor for his slash to the head of Josh Ho-Sang. Nice to see a disciplinary committee that knows how to adequately address this kind of head foul, isn't it?

Roy Sommer set an AHL record on Wednesday night, but the real success story in Worcester, Mass., is Sommer's son, Mo.

• I think we can safely assume that Joe here is not what you'd call a "sports fan."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK8Qjo7HCIk

• The champion of this year's Iditarod couldn't have done it without some help from the ECHL.

• CBC's The National offered up a fascinating look at how hockey provided an outlet for First Nations children assigned to the old residential school system.

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