Top Line: Penguins mock Jets' system; Panic in Vancouver; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Dig deep into this Dejan Kovacevic column (past the part where he says Team Canada would have to be "stupid and stubborn" not to take Chris Kunitz and James Neal) and you will find the real meat of that matter: an absolute rip job on the state of the Jets by members of the Penguins in the wake of their 6-5 victory over Winnipeg on Sunday. One Pittsburgh player said that the Jets have "no structure." Another said they had "no real plan for what they’re doing." Yet another called Winnipeg "really just a strange team." Do you think there's a Jets fan out there who would disagree with this assessment?
• Don't look for the Pens to bolster their roster with another Jarome Iginla-type rental player before this year's March 5 trade deadline. GM Ray Shero may have something else in mind.
• Rob Laurie almost made his NHL debut last night with the Canucks. That would have been pretty amazing, considering that when he woke up on Sunday morning he was just some guy who ran a website.
• No word yet on the state of Roberto Luongo, for whom Laurie filled in, but there is concern that Luongo's injury won't be day-to-day. He'll have an MRI on Monday.
• "I don't want to be on this team because Steve Yzerman is my boss," said one Team Canada hopeful.
• Eric Duhatschek tries to look into Yzerman's mind and come up with a Canadian roster ahead of tomorrow's announcement.
• The unbridled joy of victory can be expressed many ways. This is a new one.
• World Juniors coach Brent Sutter says Canada isn't getting the job done at the grassroots level, and that other countries are doing a better job developing skills in young players. OK, so Canada scored just two goals with medals on the line, but there's always some of this kind of talk any time the national team fails to medal at a big event.
• Adrian Dater takes a look at what went right, and wrong, during a surprising first half for the Avalanche.
• Adam Proteau sends a little love to one of the game's truly underappreciated stars.
• If you're wondering why nobody is touching No. 11 as he scores at the 2:35 mark of this video, it's because he has an international reputation as a tough guy. Yep, that's Vladimir Putin.