Top Line: Lucic spear defended; race an issue in Kane criticism; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Jerard Fagerberg isn't just a beer-league goalie. He's also a moral gymnast, judging by his defense of Milan Lucic's cup-check on Danny DeKeyser. Strictly for Bruins fans or those who enjoy spikes in their blood pressure.
• It was one of those nights. Corey Perry gave Jamie Benn an equipment adjustment as well.
• No word on whether Lucic or Perry will face league discipline for jabbing another man's midsection, but we do know the NHL frowns on grabbing one's own junk.
• Adam Proteau says you're being naive if you don't think criticism hurled at Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and P.K. Subban is at least in part racially motivated. No one should be naive enough to assume it's not a factor for at least some people, but that doesn't mean it's the prevailing influence. Still, it is a take worth reading.
• Yeah, it was a nice goal and all, but for me the most breathtaking part of Pavel Datsyuk's game winner was his recovery of Johan Franzen's failed pass attempt. Maybe Mario Lemieux makes this play, but anyone else? I don't think so.
• Pending UFA Paul Stastny looks like a keeper for the Avs.
• The Boston Bruins are killing scalpers with their ticket prices. Not doing their fans any favors, either.
• Cripplingly insecure, arrogant and phony – there’s something to hate about all Sharks, Ducks and Kings fans.
• Bernie Miklasz marvels at the courage of Jonathan Toews and David Backes in his Take 5 column.
• Columbus' defense is working on fixing the little mistakes that cost them the series opener against the Pens.
• The Jackets could get two key forwards back in the lineup for Game 2.
• Great piece here from Bruce Arthur on the unexpected role models of Tampa's Victor Hedman.
• Are the Lightning facing a goalie controversy ahead of Game 3? Could be, although I'm not sure I'd blame last night's loss on Anders Lindback. As nice a job as his defense did cutting down on the shot quantity from Game 1, they still allowed too many high-quality chances. Tough to win games like that.
• This player was one step away from retiring and buying a Tim Hortons franchise before deciding to give hockey one more chance. The Habs are glad he did.• The great Pat Hickey offers his take on the players who should take home this year's NHL awards.