Top Line: Rangers lose another star; Penguins bound for doom; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The Rangers beat the Canucks 3-1 in coach Alain Vigneault's return to Vancouver, but the big story was the clean -- but very heavy -- hit that injured New York's Ryan McDonagh. The question now: How serious is the damage? The hit by Alex Burrows doesn't look worthy of a suspension to me. What do you think?
• The Blueshirts can ill afford another injury, considering how the last one is still affecting them.
• If the Canucks fire coach John Tortorella, they will have to swallow $8 million after this season. That probably sounds like a bargain to most Vancouver fans.
• After watching some of the worst hockey he's ever seen, Gene Collier is starting to worry about the playoff disaster looming in the Penguins' future.
• At least there was one bright spot for Pittsburgh fans in that game.
• You say you want one good reason for firing Capitals coach Adam Oates? How about 20?
• Let's make it 21 reasons why Adam Oates should be fired
• David Clarkson scored a goal and the Maple Leafs won a game? I multi-sourced this one. It's not a prank.
• First, the Devils did something they haven't done all season. Then they did something they've done all too often.
• It's not a matter of if Montreal defenseman Douglas Murray will be suspended for this hit, but for how long.
• Former NHL referee Paul Stewart explains how he drew the line when making penalty calls, takes a shot at the culture of entitlement and slaps down advanced statistics in this week's column.
• Ilya Kovalchuk was the bait in hockey's best April Fool's prank.
• Evander Kane of the Jets might be available as part of a significant shake-up in Winnipeg after yet another playoff DNQ.
• Will someone please be Mark Stone's friend? Please?
• This "Voice of Russia" piece on Valeri Nichushkin is worth reading just for how completely insane it is. Yes, Nichushkin has struggled. No, he's not going anywhere.
• The return to health of this player has keyed the Wild's playoff push.
• The Western Hockey League needs to do right by Tim Bozon. That means dollars, not words.• His own promising career cut short by injury, Pat Peake is now engaged in leading the best midget-minor team in the country. You might recognize a few of the names on this roster.