Top Line: Penguins housecleaning on way; Bruins fighting frustration; more
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Dejan Kovacevic expects the changes in Pittsburgh to be "seismic" in the wake of another playoff failure. Changes will come in the front office, behind the bench and on the ice, but they won't involve trading either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
• Josh Yohe says that Crosby's reputation as the world's greatest player can be questioned after his frustrating playoff performance. A title like that is always up for review, but I'm not sure this seven-game sample is large enough to wipe out what the Penguins' captain has proved in the last few years.
• Larry Brooks says that it is time for the Rangers to dream big after staging the greatest playoff comeback in franchise history.
• With his future uncertain in New York, Brad Richards authored his greatest moment as a Rangers player.
• The Bruins are fighting the frustration that comes from watching an overwhelming number of quality scoring chances fail to reach the back of the net. You get the feeling that if Boston can beat Carey Price early, Game 7 will be in the bag. But if the Bruins start off with a couple more blown opportunities, they may turn their sticks into sawdust.
• Matt Larkin looks at Boston's scoring drought coming into Game 7 and decides that the Bruins sure could use Tyler Seguin right about now. Hey, if this was Game 7 of the regular season, he might be right. The problem with this thinking is that Seguin hasn't yet figured out how to be a playoff scorer, as the Stars' forward proved with his six-game disappearing act in the first round.
• Dave Stubbs sets the stage for Game 7 in Boston.
• There have been years when the Canadiens and the Bruins met in the playoffs and neither team was all that good. Not this time. This is a heavyweight battle between two powerful, talented, well-coached teams, and the result is the kind of hockey that Jack Todd says could bring a tear to the eye of the most jaded sportswriter.
• Nothing will silence Corey Crawford's detractors, but there should be a lot fewer of them after almost single-handedly got the Blackhawks past the Wild in Game 6.
• Chicago's roster is loaded with experienced players who know what it takes to shine in the postseason. On Tuesday night it was Patrick Kane's turn to deliver the heroics ... again.
• The playoff run meant as much to Minnesota's slumbering fan base as it did to the Wild organization.
• Marian Gaborik isn't the sprinter he used to be, but he's still dangerous enough to be the NHL's leading playoff goal scorer. If the Kings are going to get back into this series, you have to think he'll be in the middle of it.
• Multiple sources have confirmed that Gary Bettman made a trip to Seattle last week and met with the city's mayor. That doesn't mean expansion is coming any time soon, but the back burner might be a little warmer than the league has previously hinted.
• Ben Kuzma has his eyes on a rival scout as the best choice to become the next general manager of the Canucks.
• Dion Phaneuf has heard all the trade rumors, but he's not packing his bags just yet. • A young U.S. team is drawing on the experience of its oldest player as it steams toward the medal round at the World Championship.