Top Line: Backups get mixed results; Crosby talks The Goal; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The theme of Thursday night's action? A trio of backup goalies were forced into action at the most critical point of the year (so far). The results varied.
• Aw shucks, Sidney Crosby said. My goal wasn't as good as the one that earned Mario Lemieux a statue. If you think about it, that's a pretty high standard against which to compare any goal. But geez, what a beauty!
• After a 4-0 shutout of the Isles, it looks like the Penguins are Tomas Vokoun's team now.
• The Isles say they missed defenseman Andrew MacDonald in last night's loss, which kind of surprises me since I thought he'd looked brutal earlier in the series.
• Coaches Paul MacLean and Michel Therrien offered grudging respect for one another after the game, and series, ended.
• So which team was the real Canadiens? The one that tore through the first 40 games or the one that stumbled into, and out of, the playoffs?
• A two-goal performance in Chicago's knock-out win against Minnesota suggests that Marian Hossa is back in top form.
• The Leafs gave up on Tuukka Rask, trading him to Boston one year after drafting him. They're kinda wishing they could get a do-over on that one right now.
• Vancouver GM Mike Gillis faced a phalanx of reporters and answered some hard questions about a disappointing end to the season.
• What did Gillis have to say about Alain Vigneault? Lots of nice things, actually...but that doesn't mean the coach will be returning next season.
• That was quick. With the interim tag removed from his job title, Ron Rolston started swinging the axe in Buffalo by sending a pair of long-time assistants to the unemployment line.Mike Smith host country Sweden 3-0 beaten by France