By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
Carey Price saved the life of RDS analyst Marc Denis with quick leather (above).
• It's nice to say that Alex Ovechkin needs to step up and answer his critics, but I'm not sure he cares enough to bother.
• The Blackhawks only need a single point tonight against Vancouver to earn a spot in the NHL record book. GM Stan Bowman has taken his shots in Chicago, but he deserves a pat on the back for the team's fine start.
• Focusing on the defensive side of things helped Steven Stamkos work through a six-game scoring slump.
• Claude Giroux played the fiery leader card after Saturday's loss to Montreal. The Flyers responded on Monday afternoon with "a flawless...60-minute game" against the Islanders...which was nice but, again, it was the Islanders. Let's see Philly show up with that kind of focus against the Penguins tomorrow night.
• Peter Budaj earned his second consecutive win in relief as Montreal beat the Canes, 3-0. In both starts, the Habs limited their opponent to fewer than 20 shots. Teams always talk about stepping it up to protect the backup goalies. Montreal is actually doing it.
• It'll be an emotional night for Detroit's Jordin Tootoo, who plays tonight for the first time against his former team, the Nashville Predators. Meanwhile, the Wings are turning to pint-sized Tomas Tatar to provide net presence for the team's pop-gun power play.
• Sources say that Devin Setoguchi will be fined rather than suspended for this high stick to the face of Kyle Quincey. I don't know...intentional crosscheck to the chops? Seems to be worth about a game in the stands to me.
• No secret why Tyler Seguin hasn't been scoring this season: he's relying on skill over will. He finally reversed that against the Jets. The B's are hoping that effort wasn't a one-off. Maybe they should show him some video of the Blackhawks.
• Jonas Hiller proved he isn't quite ready to settle in as a backup to Viktor Fasth with a sharp performance against Columbus. In the other room, the Blue Jackets are focusing on correcting the little mistakes that always come back to haunt them.
• The KHL playoffs get underway tomorrow, causing Russian fans to ask, "Who will be the next Anisin?" North American fans wonder, "Did I miss something? Who was the last Anisin?"
• Linda Staal talks about raising four hockey-playing sons.makes me feel bad inside