Top Line: Blackhawks dodge disaster; Kings brace for Game 7; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• After starting the spring out of sync, it looks like Jonathan Toews' Game 5 goal finally has the Blackhawks all pulling in the same direction.
• Holy cow! The Hawks' playoff run is overshadowing the Chicago Cubs/Chicago White Sox crosstown series.
• Every young player goes through growing pains, but this player's struggles couldn't be coming at a worse time.
• The defending champs aren't quite ready to go quietly into that good night, according to Dustin Brown, but he knows that anything can happen in Game 7.
• So apparently face-offs, not home-ice advantage, are the key to winning Game 7 in L.A. At least, that's what the Sharks are hoping.
• Sounds like the prank-happy Sharks are coming into the contest loose and easy.
• Will Claude Julien split up Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg to try to slow down Pittsburgh's top two lines? That's one of several options he's weighing as he tries to figure out how to knock off the best team in the East.
• Maybe it was just the post-elimination blues talking, but hearing Henrik Lundqvist talk about his time in New York in the past tense doesn't make it sound like he's geared up to sign a contract extension this summer.
• Here's what Daniel Alfredsson had to say about his plans for next season.
• The NHL may have a deal in place to sell the Phoenix Coyotes, but until the ink is dry on an arena management contract that subsidizes the team, don't plan on buying 2013-14 tickets just yet.
• The Montreal Canadiens have hired Shane Churla as their chief amateur scout. Considering some of the sketchy picks his former employers, the Dallas Stars, made over the years, I'm guessing he threw in free fighting lessons to seal the deal.Nathan MacKinnon's dominating performance at the Memorial Cup