Top Line: Can Bruins stop P.K. Subban?; Wild's big dogs asleep; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The Boston Bruins have identified the number one problem with their slumping penalty kill: P.K. Subban. Now they just have to figure out what to do about him before he turns the series in Montreal's favor.
• If the Bruins are trying to play mind games with Canadiens goalie Carey Price, they probably shouldn't bother.
• The relentless din of Montreal's Bell Centre crowd might intimidate some teams, but not the Bruins.
• After absorbing some valuable lessons from last spring's loss to the Ottawa Senators, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien is taking a different approach to this series with the Bruins.
• Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford has been his own harshest critic at times, but he's thriving under the weight of increased expectations.
• The Wild have been tied with the Hawks in the third period of both games this series, but ended up losing both by three goals. Can they mine some Xcel energy at home to give them the late boost they need to win Game 3?
• Minnesota's big dogs haven't shown much bite in this series. Getting them to sink their teeth into tonight's Game 3 is one of five keys to turning around this series before it's too late.
• Alain Vigneault took a swipe at the NHL's "stupid schedule" after his Rangers dropped a 2-0 decision last night. Larry Brooks says the tired excuse is beneath him. And honestly, this one is on Madison Square Garden's management, not the league.
• Sidney Crosby's slump-busting shot wasn't cheap, but Dejan Kovacevic says Marc Staal's stick work certainly was. Still, Kovacevic will be surprised if the Rangers defender gets a suspension for twice applying the lumber to Crosby's head.
• Mark Whicker thinks Jonathan Quick has gotten into the Ducks' heads after he shut them down with another dominant performance in Game 2.
• The deeper the Kings advance in the playoffs, the more interest other teams will have in hiring assistant coach John Stevens. His preoccupation with the playoffs might be one reason several teams have drawn out their search for a new bench boss.
• Something has to change in San Jose after that first-round debacle. Would Doug Wilson consider trading 41-goal man Joe Pavelski to shake up the mix? There's something to be said for selling high.
• Here's a #fancystats look at how coaches went about shutting down opposing stars during the first round of the playoffs.
• David Shoalts is hearing rumors that this gold medal-winning coach will take over for Kirk Muller in Carolina.
• Is there an EA Sports cover curse in hockey? Here's a look at how each of the past 10 featured athletes have fared with their photo graced the popular video game's cover.
• The Nashville Predators are nearly a month into their search for a new coach. Are they getting any closer to making a hire? • Here's your morning's must-read piece. Bill Speros explains the Finnish custom of the Baby Box and how expectations have changed regarding an athlete's obligations at the time of his child's birth.