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.