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Top Line: Sidney Crosby dazzles; Lousy Leafs appeal to Shanahan; more links

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins The runaway scoring champ, Sidney Crosby will likely add another Hart Trophy to his collection. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

By Allan Muir

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

• Dejan Kovacevic reminds us to take a moment to appreciate just how amazing Sidney Crosby has been this season. Even his detractors have to tip their caps after this one.

• The hiring of Brendan Shanahan is the first of many changes coming for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

• Eric Duhatschek explains why taking over the hapless Leafs would appeal to Shanahan.

• The misguided optimism -- or perhaps it's sports naivete -- of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is being called out in Washington. It's forced him to take a couple bites of crow and promise a thorough review of all team operations. Yeah, we'll see about that. From this vantage point, Leonsis has made the fatal error of falling in love with players who don't deserve it.

• So, what exactly did Colorado accomplish with its win over the Vancouver Canucks last night? They're guaranteed to finish ahead of Chicago in the Central, goalie Semyon Varlamov set a franchise record with his 41st win of the season, and they tied the franchise mark with their 52nd win. And now they have a chance to actually go from worst to first with a win in their finale. Not bad.

• Nothing like making a good impression on the new boss, eh Vancouver?

• Is it time to start worrying about the St. Louis Blues? Yes. Yes it is.

• Everyone outside of St. Louis had to be happy for Minnesota Wild goalie John Curry on Thursday night.

• The Teuvo Teravainen experiment in Chicago is over ... for now.

• Larry Brooks says the New York Rangers won't be able to protect Ryan McDonagh when the playoffs start next week. Coming off a shoulder injury, he'll be a marked man every time he steps on the ice.

• If an armful of hardware means anything, the future of the Detroit Red Wings looks bright.

• Detroit's short-term future might be a little more bleak than was expected.

• Sad to hear that Captain Canada is hanging 'em up, but at least Ryan Smyth is going out on his own terms.

• It's not a good sign when the only times your postseason chances look brighter are on the nights your team isn't playing.

• The turnaround of the Philadelphia Flyers has to rank as one of the most surprising stories of the season. So, what exactly caused it?

• This might be the most clutch goal of the year. Read all about it here.

• The victory spawned a mini-riot in Philadelphia.

• The San Jose Sharks will get a key player back in the lineup in time for the playoffs.

• It took baseball's Boston Red Sox the better part of a century to break The Curse of the Bambino. That's not a good sign for Ottawa Senators fans living under this.

• The New Jersey Devils ranked as the worst NHL shootout team of all time even before this happened.

• With the wolves circling, Jaromir Jagr channeled his inner Liam Neeson and stepped up to defend both Lou Lamoriello and Pete DeBoer.

• If the last month means anything, the Calgary Flames can remove the help wanted sign that was hanging in front of their net.

• You'll have to wait for the slow-motion replay to appreciate just how amazing this goal by Lokomotiv's Geoff Platt really is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=L79IIXDKnAI&app=desktop

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