Top Line: Vets step up for Blackhawks; B's look to close out Pens; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• With seemingly thousands of Chicago fans in attendance, the Hawks took away the one advantage that Los Angeles had in Game 4: home ice.
• Two third-period shots in a must-win game? An effort like that suggests the Kings are ready to be finished off.
• Not scoring is bad enough. Not committing to defense? That's lethal to the Kings.
• It's never smart to count out the champs until they're officially eliminated, but the Kings looked like a team that had run out of gas on Thursday night. Is it me, or is this kind of the theme here?
• Maybe I'm just overly superstitious, but is it really a good idea for Boston fans to be talking openly about 2011 right now?
• Nothing wrong with pandering to your audience, but this might be a bit of a stretch, no?
• Will Dan Bylsma pay the price if the Penguins lose this series? Well, someone's going to take the blame, and it won't be Ray Shero.
• No worries, though, because Bylsma says the Penguins "are going to win." I love a good sports promise!
• "The new CBA is here! The new CBA is here! This is the sort of thing that makes people!"
• It appears that a revamped pension plan was one of the keys to finally getting a deal done.
• The new CBA says the two sides "will study the issue of HGH testing." That foot-dragging means an NHL drug scandal is certainly coming, writes Steve Buffery.
• The Flyers are in talks to host an outdoor game at Penn State's Beaver Stadium. The opposition? The Pittsburgh Penguins. Hey, I'm all in favor of more al fresco hockey, but let's let a few more teams get their first shot before we send these two outside with their toques and mittens again.
• Free agent defender Sergei Gonchar is playing the "I'm going home to Russia" card. It's known that he'd prefer to stay in North America, but there doesn't appear to be many options for the 39-year-old.Dwayne Roloson