Coach Mike Babcock (center) worked a miracle while leading his Red Wings
to the playoffs yet again. (Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Like the Red Wings' season was ever in doubt ...
• Does Detroit's Mike Babcock deserve to be named Coach of the Year for what he's done with an injury-ravaged lineup? Or is Patrick Roy the better choice for the Adams Award?
• Pavel Datsyuk blowing up Sidney Crosby? That just happened.
• Datsyuk's play since returning from a lengthy stint on the IR signals trouble ahead for either the Bruins or the Penguins.
• Randy Miller wonders if the new owners in New Jersey will ask Lou Lamoriello to step down after another failed season for the Devils. That would be a bold move, but it would send a message to the team's dwindling faithful that a new path to success must be charted.
• Changes are afoot in Toronto. James Mirtle offers his take on who is, and who isn't, expendable as the Maple Leafs look to start over after a disappointing season.
• Randy Carlyle has a chance to do the right thing in Toronto's last two games.
• Rumors are swirling that Brendan Shanahan is being pursued by the Maple Leafs for a senior management role. But is he the right guy for the job?
• Damien Cox says that the Canucks' decision to hire inexperienced Trevor Linden as their front-office leader isn't so shocking when you consider how hard it is for previous winners to replicate their success elsewhere.
• Hiring Linden as Vancouver's new president was a risky move that was sparked by dismal season ticket renewals, says Gary Mason.
• David Ebner offers up a five-step plan for returning the Canucks to glory. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to consider No. 3.
• Are the Bruins on the verge of making a surprise addition before the playoffs?
• Another exceptional effort from Ducks rookie goalie John Gibson led Anaheim to a Pacific Division-clinching win over the Sharks. Gutsy move by Bruce Boudreau to start the kid in such a critical contest, but it paid off.
• It may have a hole in it, but don't ever question the size or the strength of Kris Letang's heart.
• The Blue Jackets rode a magnificent performance by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to the second postseason berth in franchise history.
• Mike Heika called it one of the more interesting games ever played in Dallas. Coach Lindy Ruff said he broke a personal record. But in the end, it was just another hard loss for the Stars.
• Jaroslav Halak's agent is livid that Capitals coach Adam Oates divulged the contents of a private conversation. Oh, and the agent also claims that Halak didn't say what Oates said he did, either.
• The Lightning have to finish out the regular season without starting goalie Ben Bishop? No big deal. The question now is, will he be ready for the start of the playoffs?
• Erik Karlsson explains here why he sometimes has to say no to autograph and photo requests.
• The Senators' top line of Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Ales Hemsky has been clicking lately, but Ken Warren says one, two or all three of them could be dealt before the start of next season.
• How serious is Paul Maurice about laying a foundation for the future in Winnipeg? Serious enough to do this at the team's final practice of the year. Don't think I've ever heard of that happening before.
• Finishing off a weird year in Buffalo, the Sabres are handing the reigns to an unlikely new starting goalie.
• Let's close out with this special moment featuring Marley Sommer, the son of Worcester Sharks coach Roy Sommer, singing the national anthem last night. Marley, who has Down's Syndrome and is autistic, was supposed to sing from the bench with dad's help. He had a different idea as to how he wanted to handle things:
Well done, Marley.