By amuir29
April 20, 2014

By Allan Muir

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

• The St. Louis Blues got payback the smart way after a vicious cheap shot by Brent Seabrook left captain David Backes crumpled in the corner in the dying minutes of Game 2. Just a brain-dead play by the veteran defender ... and not a real good look on Jonathan Toews, either. I expect a little more from him than to be seen chirping the obviously dazed Backes.

• Honestly, we can't be surprised at this point to hear that Seabrook will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety, meaning his suspension won't top five games. If a hit as dangerous, as injurious and as blatantly offensive to common sense as that doesn't merit a more serious response, it's time to dismantle the department and start from scratch.

• They're even questioning the dirty, stupid play of the Blackhawks in Chicago after this one. What does that tell you?

• It's not often I get to link to the great Michael Enright in this column, but his essay on the complicity of the NHL in the build-up of hockey violence fits nicely today.

Nathan MacKinnon's nickname is silly, but not as silly as he's making the Wild look in his NHL playoff debut. Gotta hand it to this kid. The bigger the game, the better he plays.

• It's not just that the Wild lost again last night that has the team's fans concerned. It's that the goalie carousel has to start again after Ilya Bryzgalov allowed two goals on three second-period shots.

• Grapes buried the lede in yesterday's edition of Coach's Corner:

• Sam Carchidi says the Flyers are playing like a tired team. And if they don't snap out of it soon, they'll have several months to catch up on their rest.

• The Blue Jackets earned the first playoff win in franchise history by imposing their will on a Stanley Cup contender.

• Joe Starkey points the fingers in the right direction after Pittsburgh choked away Game 2. Another astoundingly bad coaching decision by Dan Bylsma and some careless play by Sidney Crosby caught up to a team that acted like they were owed a win after a solid first 20 minutes.

• Kevin Dupont says the Boston Bruins weren't quite themselves in that Game 1 loss and explains how they can retake control of their series with Detroit this afternoon.

• Friday’s 1-0 victory was hardly a declaration of superiority, but Helene St. James says it was a demonstration that the Wings can hold their own against the top team in hockey. The trick now is to ramp up their game to meet a heavy challenge from the wounded bears.

• Anaheim's defenders have an unfair advantage over the rest of the league.

• The Canadiens are in the driver's seat heading into tonight's Game 3 in Montreal, but there is a glimmer of hope for the Lightning.

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