Publish date:

Top Line: Sharks, Avs win showdowns; Kaleta suspension review; more links


By Allan Muir

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

• It was a different kind of win for the high-flying Sharks, but by beating Detroit 1-0 in a hard-fought contest, they may have learned more about themselves than in their previous seven victories.

• Was this the best shootout save of the year? Yeah, probably.

Logan Couture is in tough to emerge from a crowded group of young forwards and earn a spot on Team Canada, but he helped his cause with a solid two-way effort against the Wings last night with much of the team management watching.

• Chris Johnston says the Avalanche were lucky to escape Consol Energy Center with two points last night, but they played as though they expected to knock off the Penguins. The new look, and new attitude, of this team has been the season's best story.

•'s Brian Cazeneuve had five takeaways from the game.

• After hearing his appeal on Monday, will Gary Bettman reduce the 10-game suspension handed to Patrick Kaleta for his cheap shot on Jack Johnson? If he does, he'll be sending a terrible message.

• How's this for drastic? Winnipeg coach Claude Noel held a series of one-on-one meetings with several of his players in the wake of Sunday's no-show effort against the Predators. If he's looking for more accountability in that room, well, good luck.

SI Recommends

No news is bad news when it comes to concussions, so the cone of silence that surrounds Rick Nash and his situation has to be a growing concern for fans of the Rangers.

• The Blackhawks have some added incentive to take four points out of this week's trip to Florida.

• Ahead of tonight's match against his first NHL team, Roberto Luongo talks about his shocking trade from the Islanders and his current relationship with former GM Mike Milbury. Spoiler alert: the two men aren't close.

• Despite a solid 6-3 mark, the Maple Leafs have lost their way of late, especially in the defensive zone. They'd like to get back on track tonight by helping coach Randy Carlyle beat his former team, the Anaheim Ducks.

• Getting goalless Chris Stewart engaged has been one of the focal points for the Blues' coaching staff during their week-long mini-camp in South Carolina. That's meant a lot of line juggling heading into their return to action on Friday.

• Bill Hoppe says a new mental approach has Ryan Miller playing playing some of the best hockey of his life. Since Al Rollins (1954 Hart Trophy), a goalie on a last-place team isn't exactly a good bet to be named the league's MVP, but honestly, can you name three players who have played at a higher level in the early going?

• After recording just three shots in his first seven games, Marcus Johansson had four in an assertive performance against the Blue Jackets on Saturday. He's always been a pass-first player, but Caps coach Adam Oates is looking for more aggressive efforts like this in the future.

Claude Giroux says "the Flyers will make the playoffs." Of course, he didn't specify which year.

• Matt Read leads the Flyers in shots on net, but is still waiting for his first point of the season. His big, new contract might be weighing on him as much as the pressure to help Philly climb out of a deep early season hole.

Allan Stanley