Top Line: Best goaltending in history, top buyout candidates, more links

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Craig Anderson, along with backup Robin Lehner, is putting together a spectacular season in Ottawa. (Jay Kopinski/Icon SMI)


ByAllan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner are on the verge of crafting the best season of goaltending in modern history.

Roberto Luongo and Ilya Bryzgalov top the list of likely compliance buyout candidates this summer.

• They talked Olympics, Carl Soderberg, Filip Forsberg and the NHL setting up shop in Las Vegas on The Hot Stove.

• If you thought the trade deadline was a thrill-a-minute joyride, wait until we get to the first day of free agency. Dmitri Kvartalnov might still be available, but other than that...

• The QMI Agency's Sunday notes column touches on the likelihood of Sidney Crosby missing the rest of the regular season, problems in the Nashville room and Detroit's struggles.

• Larry Brooks described it as pulsating. I can't argue with that. After last night's 1-0 OT thriller, let's just say the Rangers-Islanders rivalry is back on... unless John Tortorella is around, of course.

• Beating the struggling Predators today will allow the Red Wingsto control their playoff fate.

• Don Cherry knocked the Oilers for being too soft. Mike Keenan called them a team without personality. Looks like they're both right. What a dog effort that was in Edmonton last night.

• Damien Cox says Toronto's gritty and decisive win over the Canadiensproves they're the real deal. Not sure I trust the goaltending to go far, but this team looks like it'll be a handful for whoever gets stuck facing them in the first round.

• Montreal star Carey Price and P.K.Subban were knocked down a peg in the loss according to the great Rosie DiManno.

• What will Marc Bergevin, hockey's latest management wunderkind, do next? Well, Tomas Kaberle will be bought out, Michael Ryder will leave as a free agent and Bergevin will have one significant hole to fill. This is good read from veteran scribe Pat Hickey.

• Hickey's Sunday column focuses on Subban's promising younger brothers.

• No one's saying they can't turn it around in time, but right now the Boston Bruinslook nothing like a dangerous playoff team. That was a soft  performance against a bad Carolina team last night.

• I'm willing to write off the Rapunzel reference as a sign of the delirium that comes from covering back-to-back games. Beyond that, my buddy Mike Heika asks the right question about the Dallas Stars after their fifth-straight win: Is it time to believe in this fairy-tale team?

• Hmmm…a course in Vancouver offered Anton Volchenkovfree golf for a year after his highly illegal hit on Brad Marchand. Who could have seen that coming?

• Woody Paige is the freaking worst, but I have to admit I like where he's going here with his ideas on two moves to turn around the Avalanche.

• The Canucks are going hard after free-agent center Antoine Laganiere.

• The NHLPA is ready to file suit over Tennessee's "jock tax", which appears to be as cynical a piece of legislation as you'll find. Love how it exempts the NFL, while attacking hockey and basketball. What a joke.

• Here's what the Penguinshave to worry about heading into the playoffs.

• Not among those concerns: sunburn. Although apparently it should be, if Evgeni Malkin's absence from last night's game is something the team should worry about. Sunburn? What is this, baseball?

• The season-ending injury to Tyler Myersopened the door to sign free agent defender Chad Ruhwedel. He made a solid impression in his NHL debut last night.

• Seems like each passing day provides another example that, despite having all the money in the world, Sabres owner Terry Pegula can't buy a clue.

• The Blue Jackets began their season-defining six-game road trip knowing they could afford one loss. Maybe two. After last night, the odds of making that happen look a little better.

• Marc Methot has played himself into the mix for Team Canada in Sochi. It's going to be tough to crack that line, but his steady, reliable play is the sort Canada used to rely on from guys like Normand Rochefort and Charlie Huddy.

• "Exceptional" defenseman Aaron Ekblad tops the charts as the most impressive 1996-born player in the OHL. Look for him to go top-three in next year's draft.

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