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Top Line: Sean Avery zings fatso Martin Brodeur; pug threatens Carlyle; more

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By Allan Muir

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

Martin Brodeur was unimpressed by Sean Avery's brief turn on Dancing With The Stars. Sean Avery was unimpressed by Brodeur's criticism. Just like old times.

• Coach Randy Carlyle might want to get his Maple Leafs straightened out in a hurry or he's going to get straightened out by a boxing legend.

Avalanche forward Matt Duchene on his buddy Ryan Kesler: "Last four years every time I skate behind the net after a whistle he comes and hits me. So I hit him back and he didn’t like it very much."

• There will be plenty of reasons cited if/when John Tortorella is fired by the Canucks, but this one from last night's loss to Colorado may top them all.

• The fact that the Canucks can talk about their prospects' potential without sounding completely delusional is a significant step for the organization.

• Dejan Kovacevic is unimpressed with a Penguins team that can only offer a flicker of physical presence.

Hockey's advanced statistical analysts tell us that accruing a lot of hits is bad. Until they tell us that it actually is good. Which is probably why many in the sport continue to regard the push for more number crunching with some skepticism.

• It was one of those nights for Canadiens blueliner P.K. Subban.

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• An unlikely veteran is guiding Teuvo Teravainen of the Blackhawks through his first few days in the NHL.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask earned his NHL-leading seventh shutout to lead Boston to a 3-0 win over Chicago in one of the best-played games of the season.

• After the game, the Bruins paid tribute to a pair of fallen firefighters in the most hockey way possible.

• The NHL is considering adding this at every arena in the wake of the Rich Peverley scare.

• It took the Sabres a little less than seven minutes to start circling the drain in perhaps their most dispiriting defeat in a lost season.

• At least Buffalo fans have this to look forward to:

• What did emergency back-up goaltender Ryan Vinz get out of his one-day contract with the Sabres? A jersey, a puck and the experience of a lifetime. This video might be the best four minutes you devote to hockey today.

• The Blue Jackets are learning that they must deal with more than just pressure in a playoff race with no margin for error.

• The debate over whether major junior or college hockey provides a better pathway to the NHL always picks up this time of year as the postseason begins for both. One NHL exec sums up the choice perfectly in this piece by Stephen Whyno.

• Meet Larry Zeidel, the real-life Dr. Hook.

Then don't watch this.