Top Line: Chicago marches into Cup Final; new coach for Oilers; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Patrick Kane put on a one-man show as the Blackhawks dispatched the defending champs in a Game 5 double-OT thriller.
• Here's an out-of-town take on Kane's breakthrough performance. Synopsis: it played well there, too.
• Chicago found a way to win, but the absence of a killer instinct after the first six minutes was troubling.
• And here's another take on overcoming missed opportunities on the way to victory.
• After watching that thriller, Rick Morrissey fears for Chicago's mental health, marriages, pets and livers as the city readies for the tension of a Stanley Cup Final.
• A Chicago-Boston final offers up a clash of styles. Can the high-flying 'Hawks solve Boston's hard-checking forwards and neutral-zone clogging defense?
• Here's the sort of high-quality piece you expect from Lisa Dillman on the finale of the Kings' season. While you're enjoying it, please take a moment to appreciate the equally high-quality headline from some nameless, but equally talented editor.
• If nothing else, David Wharton writes, Anze Kopitar went out fighting. Give some credit to Dwight King, who played alongside him for the first time. The bottom-six winger created a lot of space for Kopitar with his speed and physical play.
• The 'Hawks got off to a great start in Game 5, but it's the finish that Chicago fans will never forget.
• When you see Jaromir Jagr backchecking, you know everyone has bought into Boston's team-first approach.
• The Pens should expect a bill in the mail any day now for the coaching clinic that Claude Julien put on for them.
• I may be in the minority outside of Boston, but I think Jack Edwards is one of the best PXP men in the business. There are other unapologetic homers out there, but none with his gift for language and penchant for over-the-top superlatives. This is absolutely amazing.
• Former Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. knew he "would have been killed" if he'd traded Justin Pogge to the Bruins after he'd won gold for Canada at the World Juniors. So he did thisinstead. Steve Simmons looks back on a franchise-altering deal as part of a top-notch and nearly all-inclusive Sunday column.
• Credit to Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish for his fascinating honesty in explaining why he cashiered coach Ralph Krueger unexpectedly on Saturday. Clearly the one-and-done Krueger got a raw deal, but as MacT explained, this wasn't about being fair to him. It was about doing what was right for the organization. He promised bold moves when he was hired. Let's see how this plays out.
• Although Eakins appears to be a lock, the Oilers could have their hearts set on another high-end candidate.
• Eakins got a call-back in Vancouver, but the Canucks were really waiting for last night's result to open the door to the man they really want. Considering the options on the market, this is an intriguing choice...and a reminder that there are second acts in life.
• If you missed the coaching scoops revealed by the panel on HNIC's Hot Stove Tonight, Kukla's Korner has your video right here.
• Bruce Garrioch offers up his take on the coming changes in Pittsburgh, including the possible sacrifice of a top-six winger to the salary cap gods.
• Once the sting of betting on the wrong horse wears off, Jarome Iginla will have to deal with another painful truth: he's in for a significant pay cut if he wants to take another shot at chasing the Cup next season.
• It's kind of a grim anniversary in Montreal. Maybe Youppi can do something wacky to cheer 'em all up.
• Canada is ready to name a coaching staff for the Sochi Olympics. Can't argue with the apparent selections, which include one new face. • Canada's national team is looking at another Crosby as a possible savior down the road.