Top Line: L.A. Kings living dangerously; fiasco in Pittsburgh; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• It's nice that they're resilient and all that, but the Los Angeles Kings are playing with fire if they continue falling behind early in games.
• When coach Alain Vigneault was ripping some of his Rangers for not bringing their A game to the series opener, he wasn't talking about Ryan McDonagh. The rock of New York's defense is getting better as the playoffs go on.
• Defenseman Dan Girardi has the mental toughness to recover from his Game 1 overtime blunder, but will it define his legacy with the Rangers?
• Marian Gaborik is tired of watching his buddies Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara bringing the Stanley Cup home to Trencin, Slovakia. He wants to host the party this summer.
• Mike Keenan guided the 1994 Rangers to the Stanley Cup. Offering some advice to this year's squad, Keenan says fear of failure has to be driven from their minds if they want to win Game 2 on Saturday.
• Dejan Kovacevic writes that three weeks into the process, the search for a new GM for the Penguins has turned into a full-blown fiasco. And he joins a loud chorus that's wondering how Pierre McGuire has insinuated himself into the conversation.
• Tony Gallagher calls the World Cup of Hockey a "half-baked idea" and says international hockey is on the wane. Love me some Tony, but he's way off base here. Fans, and players, still care about best-on-best events.
• Brian Burke says there's only one NHL building worse than Calgary's Saddledome, and he wants something better for his Flames than a state-of-the-art 1988 barn. Sounds like a little jealousy about what's going on down the road in Edmonton, eh?
• Nick Kypreos says that, outside of four players, everyone on the Maple Leafs can be had via trade. Should be an interesting summer in Toronto.
• A fitness expert says the furor of Sam Bennett's failure to complete a single pull-up at the Scouting Combine is something that should have hockey people salivating, not ridiculing the kid. Great piece, with an interesting call-back to a younger version of NBA star Kevin Durant. (Stick tap to John Riddle)
• Daniel Lipson tries to make the case that plus-minus is the worst stat in hockey. Some very compelling math work here...but to the chagrin of stat nerds everywhere, it's not going away any time soon.
• The great Pat Foley is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
• The Coyotes held a town hall-style meeting for about 250 fans yesterday to discuss the team's future. I think Phoenix might be the only team that holds a forum like this. Good on 'em.
• The Minnesota Wild added to their stable of young forwards by signing the Finnish League's top scorer to a one-year deal. • And finally, take a moment to read this piece, or something like it, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.