Top Line: Stanley Cup Final game day; NHL Seattle rumors; more links

Monday June 17th, 2013

The Stanley Cup Final shifts to Boston for Game 3 The Stanley Cup Final is shaping up as a battle of Chicago's speed and Boston's muscle. (Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• With the Cup final headed to a critical Game 3 tonight, the series is coming down to which side plays to its strengths and for how long; a test of resolve, writes Allan Maki.

• Intangibles are great and all, but if they're going to win this series, the Hawks need more than leadership from Jonathan Toews.

• The beauty of the series to this point has been its unpredictability, writes the great Roy MacGregor.

• Stepping up to seamlessly replace a legend, Tuukka Rask has emerged as the breakthrough star of the playoffs.

• In Boston, they're painting Jaromir Jagr's "wake me up when its crunch time" playing style as an example of a veteran knowing how to conserve energy. Sort of like how Man of Steel was an exercise in how to conserve entertainment value.

• Games 1 and 2 have taught us that resiliency is an important quality in sports, and that both the Bruins and Blackhawks are blessed with heaping helpings of the stuff.

• Brought in to replace the struggling Viktor Stalberg in Game 1, Brandon Bollig may be headed back to the press box after a costly giveaway in Game 2.

• You don't suppose they'll play overtime again in Game 3, do you?

• The success of Michal Frolik and Marcus Kruger on Chicago's smothering penalty kill helps distract attention from the team's momentum-crushing power play.

• The cumulative effect of their physical play allows the Bruins to cash in their checks late in games, and, maybe the series.

• The Blackhawks have lost Game 3 in each of their three previous series. The Bruins have won all three Game 3s. A result predetermined by history, or two streaks waiting to be broken?

• Here's a list of every synonym used by Doc Emrick in place of passed the puck. My favorite, "waffleboarded it," somehow escaped the attention of the author.

• Just in case we go deep again, here are the 25 stages of overtime hockey. I've always believed that knowing is half the battle.

• Here's Jack Todd with a look at the price of playoff success and the lunacy of one of the award choices.

• NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly played down a meeting between Gary Bettman and Seattle mayor Mike McGinn, by saying the discussion was "like any number of conversations the commissioner has all the time with a variety of people." You don't suppose he's being somewhat disingenuous, do you?

• Forget the scheduling excuses. The NHL embarrassed itself and its best players with the handling of the 2013 awards.

• This year's award winners may have gotten the short shrift, but it was better than the old days.

• Here's a shocker: the Flyers misjudged the development of a goaltender...again.Alex Ovechkin's Hart win highlights not his personal success but the higher goals of the Capitals organization.

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