Top Line: Key Sochi Olympics meeting, record-setting Bruins, more links
By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The NHL, IIHF and IOC meet Thursday and Friday (Feb. 14-15) in New York to look for a way to secure the league's involvement in the Sochi Olympic Games. Reviving the dormant World Cup is also on the schedule for discussion.
• Highlights from the final day of the Olympic qualifying tournament that sent Slovenia and Austria to Sochi 2014.
• The (virtually) unbeatable Blackhawks finished their six-game road trip with a 4-0-2 mark after blanking the Predators 4-0 in Nashville. Corey Crawford, who I doubted early on, continued to prove me wrong by posting his first shutout since April, 2011.
• Okay, I get it: it is never, ever a good idea to write off the New Jersey Devils. After a home-and-home sweep of the Penguins, Pete DeBoer's club looks ready and able to defend that Eastern Conference title.
• Everything is coming together exactly as Brian Burke planned in Toronto.
• The problems in Colorado go deeper than injuries and missing players. Slow starts and a lack of offense from the back end perpetuate a cycle of losing that could keep the Avs out of the playoffs for a fifth time in seven seasons.
• The Ducks invested one year and a million bucks on a 30-year-old Swedish goalie. So far, Viktor Fasth has returned a 5-0 record, a 1.72 GAA and a .932 save percentage. Looks like they're getting their money's worth.
• The Oilers wasted a great goaltending performance from Nikolai Khabibulin in Detroit on Saturday. No such mistake Sunday, when a brilliant 39-save effort from Devan Dubnyk helped Edmonton end its five-game losing streak.
• Free-agent forward Jay Pandolfo is traveling with the Boston Bruins, but the 38-year-old has yet to sign with the team. He might be a useful depth player later in the season. Meanwhile, the B's are looking at April 26th as a makeup date for the game that was postponed on Saturday with the Lightning.Canucks super skills competition. We now know that Cory Schneider should be the go-to guy over Roberto Luongo...in a fastest-shot challenge.