Top Line: Milan Lucic handshake threat; Habs the team you love to hate; more
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Milan Lucic apparently threatened a couple of Habs in the post-game handshake line. In other news, emotions run high after a seven-game playoff loss.
• Nick Cotsonika argues that the Habs' quest for respect took a wrong turn in the aftermath of Game 7. He's absolutely right when he says the standard should be higher for this team.
• Sean Gordon says the wealth, history and healthy self regard of the Montreal Canadiens makes them the team that hockey fans love to hate.
• Speed and grit powered the Canadiens to victory in what will be remembered as an epic NHL playoff series.
• Chad Finn says there's no shame in losing to a better team...but did it have to be the freakin' Canadiens?
• If David Krejci is hurt, it's one thing. If not, what a pathetic postseason it was for Boston's leading scorer.
• Brad Marchand says a lack of focus contributed to his poor playoff performance. Which is understandable, what with the polar ice caps melting and the whole Solange-Jay Z thing. We're all a bit distracted these days, Marshy.
• Who knew that P.K. stood for Pierre Kisser?:
• Ryan Getzlaf would like to forget about Game 6 as soon as possible.
• The Kings, like a slasher-film villain, are never easy to put down.
• The ownership of the Penguins met in the aftermath of Game 7 and decided that Dan Bylsma is done behind Pittsburgh's bench, according to Rob Rossi. He also reports that while the fate of GM Ray Shero is not sealed, the team's owners are not happy with his drafting, his spending, and his inability to protect Sidney Crosby. Keep an eye on Rossi's work over the next few days. Sounds like he might have some interesting news coming up.
• Are the Penguins too old? Eight of the 20 who dressed for Pittsburgh's Game 7 loss to New York are 30 or older, suggesting the team needs an infusion of young legs to compete.
• Mark Spector says there's a case to be made that Jonathan Toews is now the best player in the world. Not much Sidney Crosby's supporters can say about that after these playoffs.
• How tough is Charlie Coyle? The Minnesota Wild forward finished off the series against the Blackhawks with two separated shoulders. Not sure how you get dressed under those conditions, let alone skate in a playoff hockey game.
• Advancing to the Eastern Conference Final cost the New York Rangers a first-round pick. Go any further and it might cost them a whole lot more.
• The hit might be a little less painful if Ryan Callahan re-signs with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
• Changes may be coming to the San Jose Sharks after another playoff disappointment, but the jobs of GM Doug Wilson and coach Todd McLellan appear to be safe. The team's reclusive owner took the rare step of issuing a public letter of support yesterday, but in doing so all but said that next season will be their last chance to turn the team into a true contender.
• Brendan Shanahan toured the Toronto media yesterday. Cathal Kelly says there's a perfectly good reason why he didn't tell them much of anything about his plans for the Maple Leafs.
• Kevin Bieksa's buddies had a long, strange trip to Minsk to watch him compete for Canada at the World Championship. • Guess which sport, among all at the NCAA level, graduates the greatest percentage of its athletes?