Top Line: The Ovechkin of old, Hawks clinch a playoff spot, more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Here's more on that Dodger Stadium outdoor game I wrote about yesterday. The Kings are now talking openly about their desire for a game against the Ducks. They're looking at a Jan. 25, 2014 date for their chance to host outdoor hockey in Southern California. Hint to boss: If you need anyone to cover this one...
• The Ottawa Senators have dropped the first three stops of a seven-game road trip and Tim Wharnsby notes a common theme. He also touches on the revival of the Caps and Jaromir Jagr's hardcore practice habits.
• Sunday's win over the Predators earned the Blackhawks the first ticket to the 2013 Western Conference playoffs.
• Three straight losses dropped Minnesota perilously close to ninth spot in the West, making last night's 3-0 win over Columbus one of the season's biggest for the Wild.
• A shootout loss to the Ducks ended L.A.'s chances at the Pacific title, but the Kings were happy with a playoff-caliber performance.
• A pair of rookies made very different impressions on Mike Babcock this weekend. It didn't take Detroit's coach long to decide that 2010 first-rounder Riley Sheahan isn't ready to contribute just yet, but the coach liked what he saw from free agent signee Danny DeKeyser.
• I guess a headline like "Morrow's value to Pens should come in playoffs" is a nice way of saying the former Dallas Star hasn't done much since arriving in Pittsburgh, eh?
• Diving accusations in the wake of a Boston-Montreal game? C'est ne pas possible!
• Life without Patrice Bergeron is not going to be easy on Boston's goaltenders. The team has scored just twice since he was lost indefinitely to a "moderate" concussion.
• Another gruesome skate-cut injury last night, this time in the AHL, where Philadelphia farmhand Eric Wellwood fell awkwardly and was cut by his own blade. Scary stuff. Here's hoping for a quick recovery for the two-time Memorial Cup winner.this photo.