Underperforming Thomas Vanek
(20) must step up to save the Canadiens
' season. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Peggy Curran captures the exhausting agony of being a Canadiens fan at this time of year.
• Dave Stubbs says that the Habs aren't on life support just yet, but it will be time to wheel in the respirators if they can't pull off a win on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
• One way or another, both Dustin Tokarski and Thomas Vanek will play key roles as Montreal looks to halt the Rangers' momentum in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
• New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist bounces effortlessly between different worlds, but at all times he keeps his focus on one thing: the Stanley Cup finals.
• These Rangers have come from out of nowhere to capture the hearts of a city that loves winners like no other.
• It was poise, not a lucky bounce, that powered the Kings to a stunning comeback win over the Blackhawks last night. But the bounce certainly didn't hurt.
• You can forgive the Sharks and the Ducks for saying, "See? We told you so!" after L.A. roared back to beat Chicago in Game 2.
• Drew Doughty regrouped after a moment of visible frustration to help key the Kings' turnaround.
• It's not that the Blackhawks were flat on Wednesday night so much as they were flattened. Rick Morrissey says that Chicago knows how to bounce back from a bad loss, but this one is going to leave a mark.
• The Blackhawks had four chances on the power play to bury L.A. in the first period of Game 2 and couldn't get it done. And that was only one of the ways in which they choked, according to Steve Rosenbloom.
• I'm still trying to figure out how this didn't wind up in the net behind Jonathan Quick:
• What's missing from the NHL playoffs? More awards, of course. Jason Kay suggests three new IIHF-inspired honors that make so much sense they just might work.
• New Canucks GM Jim Benning has a lengthy to-do list already. Ed Willes lays out Benning's priorities as he embarks on his new gig. Interestingly, the Bruins are freeing him up to start immediately, meaning they are giving up his expertise ahead of the draft. That's a great courtesy on the part of Boston -- maybe the B's aren't so bad after all, eh Vancouver?
• Tony Gallagher just hopes that Benning doesn't try to morph the Canucks into the Bruins West.
• Should Benning go for broke and deal the Sedins this summer? Adam Proteau says that it's time to press the reset button in Vancouver. However, Rory Boylen argues, U ummm, no.
• Former referee Paul Stewart lists goaltender interference as one of three NHL rules that need to be re-written.
• Stars general manager Jim Nill says that there could be a lot of moves at this year's NHL Draft. Wonder if he can pick up a reliable shutdown defenseman for Dallas ...
• Ready to kill some time and aggravate the guy in the cube next to you? Check out this Doc Emrick soundboard that captures (almost) every description he uses for moving the puck. I would have found a place for "waffleboarded it," but maybe I'm just too inclusive.
• That not enough of a timekill for you? Then try this: every goal Teemu Selanne scored in the final 10 years of his career:
• Cool stuff like this goes on all the time, but we rarely get the chance to hear about it. So let's take this chance to give a big thumbs up to Warrior for helping spread the love of the great game.
• Apparently there is such thing as the Sports League of the Year award because the NHL won it on Wednesday. And that wasn't the only honor bestowed upon the league.
• Belarus meets Sweden today at the World Championship, 12 years after staging one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history. Take a look at the gamer written that day by the great Michael Farber, and then say a prayer for poor, poor Tommy Salo.
• After letting James Reimer and Ben Scrivens split time during the preliminaries, Team Canada coach Dave Tippett has named his starting goalie for the medal round.
• There's failure... and then there's epic, London Knights-style failure