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Top Line: Sharks reach new depths; cold comfort for Avs; more links

The San Jose Sharks react after blowing a 3-0 playoff series lead to the Los Angeles Kings. That sunken feeling: the Sharks are headed for uncharted water after their epic playoff series loss. (AP)

By Allan Muir

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

The San Jose Sharks lived down to their reputation, crafting the worst debacle in franchise history last night.

• When they had every reason to give up, the Los Angeles Kings continued to fight. That refusal to go quietly led to one of the greatest comebacks in hockey history.

• That win by Los Angeles sets up the first ever I-5 series between the Ducks and Kings. This should be fun.

I think I'm guilty of underrating Kings fans. This is after Round 1.

• The NHL's parity is the reason why a 3-0 lead ain't what it used to be.

• San Jose GM Doug Wilson might want to study the Boston Bruins before he invites coach Todd McLellan into his office.

• Almost predictably, it was the castoffs who secured the Game 7 victory for the Minnesota Wild.

• There was a statewide celebration in Minnesota after El Nino clinched the series in OT.

• It's nice to think that better days lie ahead for the Colorado Avalanche, but that's cold comfort for them after they dropped Game 7 to the Wild.

• Mark Kiszla tells us who is wearing the goat horns in Denver after that shocking OT loss.

• No doubt New York Rangers fans are feeling good after their team eliminated the Flyers in Game 7, but talk about a Stanley Cup run? Might want to tap the brakes there.

• Exhaustion and frustration took their toll as the Flyers were sent packing by New York.

• The borderline spectacular play of Steve Mason in this series knocks goaltending off the list of concerns in Philadelphia

• A report suggests the Vancouver Canucks will fire coach John Tortorella today. Think Trevor Linden is hoping McLellan becomes available?

• Montreal radio host Ted Bird's heart says "Canadiens", but his head says "Bruins".

The Sochi Olympics proved that Patrice Bergeron is elite. As did, oh, the last five years or so of his play in the NHL.

• Tim Leiweke says no one on the Maple Leafs is untradeable. That's probably more a reflection of Toronto's willingness to move anyone more than it is a statement that everyone on the roster is actually of interest to other teams.

• Are you a results-oriented leader who is highly connected in the hockey world? If so, this job posting might interest you.

• New York. Magnitogorsk. Mike Keenan proves it's fun to win a championship no matter where you are.

• Meet Sammy Taft, the man who invented the hat trick. This is awesome.

• Could the United States Congress take a lesson from the NHL?

• You know hockey is important to Canadians. You won't believe how important it is to Canada's economy.

• Heartbreaking story from Daniel Nugent-Bowman about Rick Williams, a former junior player whose slow death by dementia reminds us that hockey's head trauma issues extend far past the NHL. Nugent-Bowman follows up with this story on lessons to be learned from Williams' case.

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