Top Line: Mike Gillis firing fallout; Alex Ovechkin breaks a puck; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• There's no joy to be had when someone loses their job, but as Eric Duhatschek points out, Canucks GM Mike Gillis had it coming in Vancouver.
• Who'll take Gillis's spot in the big chair? Trevor Linden, who will have a meddlesome owner to handle.
• Whatever you do, don't dare suggest that the decision to hire coach John Tortorella was made by anyone other than Gillis. Because apparently rich people have lawyers.
• Adam Proteau says the fatal flaw for Gillis in Vancouver was that he loved his players too much. If that seems like an odd criticism, compare his performance to that of Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, the man whose team knocked off the Canucks for the Stanley Cup in 2011. Chiarelli didn't just build a winner, he had the courage to do what was necessary to maintain it, including trading away No. 2 pick Tyler Seguin. Gillis never could have done something like that.
• Alex Ovechkin didn't just score his 50th goal of the season last night. He broke the dang puck.
• Looks like Ovi found himself the perfect girlfriend. She thinks it's all about scoring goals, too.
• The points are swell and all, but two-way play has been the key to Nathan MacKinnon's quick success in Colorado. It's no coincidence that this link comes after a couple about Ovechkin ... or that the Avalanche are going to the playoffs and Washington likely isn't.
• We all laughed at him, but in the end it turned out that Claude Giroux could see the future. Quick ... someone ask him for the winning MegaMillions numbers ...
• The Lightning didn't offer an update on the condition of injured goalie Ben Bishop after Tuesday night's win over the Maple Leafs, but there is real concern that an apparent wrist injury could prevent him from playing during the postseason. That would be a devastating blow to the Bolts' chances against the Canadiens.
• David Shoalts find parallels between Toronto and the Kings a year before they won the Cup. This is not a parody piece.
• Steve Simmons doesn't need advanced stats to tell him why the Maple Leafs failed to miss the playoffs. Instead, he uses an old-fashioned one regarding Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk that does the trick.
• The man who offered the NHL $5.2 billion for its broadcast rights in Canada says that the economic model for broadcasting sports on conventional TV is no longer sustainable.
• If nothing else, Buffalo has learned that it has a player -- not a great prospect, but an honest-to-goodness player -- in Zemgus Girgensons.
• This guy has turned into a real beauty for the Red Wings. Love that 10-of-10 night on the draw.
• Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau is widely regarded as college hockey's best player, its most creative player and its most intriguing player. He's also 5-foot-8 and 159 pounds. So it's fair to ask if the Hobey Baker Award favorite can translate his college success to the NHL.
• This is how a fighter makes an impression in his first NHL game:
• This is what it's come to: Curtains in Sunrise. Not a great sign for next season, is it?Jets this season have skated in even one single playoff game. Think maybe that's part of the problem in Winnipeg?