Top Line: Questions loom for Canadiens; Sidney Crosby ripped; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The shell-shocked Canadiens are looking for answers after that Game 1 debacle. Even if you saw the game, Cathal Kelly's piece is worth reading for the first five grafs alone.
• Somewhere in New York is an editor who should be very happy with him/herself.
• The support for Martin St. Louis in Montreal is unconditional, writes Jack Todd. So how do you go from that to wanting to kick his butt?
• Montreal GM offered a vote of confidence for coach Michel Therrien in the wake of the Game 1 blowout loss. Man, that's a tough town.
• How easy did the Habs make it for the Rangers? Even Rick Nash scored, fer cryin' out loud!
• Mark Lazerus offers up five X-factors that could tilt a Western Conference Final that looks too close to call.
• Yes, they float during the regular season, and at times during the playoffs, but Tony Gallagher says the Blackhawks can find the switch when it matters most.
• Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi set a goal for the Kings back in 2009. He's on the verge of achieving it.
• Rob Tychkowski lists five things to watch for in the Western Conference Final.
• Fluto Shinzawa breaks down the tweaks needed to return Boston to Stanley Cup contention next season.
• Ron Hextall doesn't expect to make major changes in his first summer as the GM in Philadelphia, but he has identified one area that could use an upgrade.
• General managers will tell you they've never seen as much off-ice desperation as they have in this craziest of NHL seasons.
• R.J. Umberger reportedly wants out of Columbus and it sounds like the Blue Jackets are willing to accommodate him. That $4.6 million cap hit might make it tough though to move a player who would slot in as a depth forward on most clubs.
• The perception of the Dallas Stars has changed both locally and nationally, but is that enough to satisfy team owner Tom Gagliardi?
• Mike Keenan talks about the KHL’s standard of play, Russia’s crazy drivers, karaoke and the possibility of an NHL return in this wide-ranging interview with Matt Larkin.
• Let's close it up with a video from the IIHF in which former NHL official Dan Marouelli and retired tough guy Shane Hnidy talk about the place of fighting in the NHL: