Top Line: Kings and Hawks are mirror images; Don Cherry stuns Habs fans
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• For all of the contrasts in style between Los Angeles and Chicago, Robert Tychkowski says the Western Conference final remains a war of wills between rivals that might as well be playing against mirrors.
• Darryl Sutter is a man of few words, but the success of his Los Angeles Kings speaks loudly for him.
• The score card now reads one victim apiece in the Montreal-New York series. Sounds like the Rangers are circling the wagons around its doctors with the story that Derek Stepan was X-rayed and cleared before he was allowed to return to action in Game 3, but maybe that's just me...
• Terry Koshan takes issue with the disparities between the Brandon Prust and Daniel Carcillo suspensions. I'm sure he's not wrong, but is it really that controversial? As I wrote yesterday, one was the result of a hockey play gone bad while the other was about reinforcing the safety of officials. Not so confusing to these eyes.
• Sean Avery had some thoughts on Daniel Carcillo's 10-game suspension for making contact with a linesman. And they're pretty much exactly what you'd expect to hear from the legendary clown.
• Jack Todd offers us some backstory on Montreal's latest playoff hero, Dustin "Tic" Tokarski, a kid who could always be persuaded to clean his room.
• There's no easier way to get Montreal fans wound up than to mention Don Cherry, so they must have been astonished to hear some complimentary words about their team on Coach's Corner the other night. Come on, guys — so he hates the Canadiens. Is it really that big of a deal?
• Will Jarome Iginla be back in Boston next season? Will Peter Chiarelli trade one of his young blueliners? Joe Haggerty ponders these and other possibilities in his five predictions for the 2014-15 Bruins.
• Sam Carchidi suggests the Flyers make a significant trade as part of their efforts to improve before next season.
• David Staples takes issue with a column written by Ed Willes that labeled Edmonton's Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as chronic losers for their decision to bail on Team Canada at the Worlds. The real issue here isn't the adjective Willes chose as much as it is the refusal of these young stars to represent their country at a time when both they, and the program, would benefit greatly from their involvement.
• There's not much sizzle to new Vancouver GM Jim Benning, but this team needs a builder more than a salesman at this point.
• Ed Tait considers the current and future states of the Winnipeg Jets by comparing the club to the four remaining Cup contenders. You can imagine how well this will turn out.the longest game in Memorial Cup history Friday night with a berth in Sunday's final on the line. It was a doozy.