By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• In Philly, they’re calling it a huge bolt of energy. But did Zac Rinaldo go too far in his fight with Tampa Bay’s B.J. Crombeen? Looks like it to me.
• The Washington Capitals gave away Nicklas Backstrom garden gnomes to fans and two points to the visiting Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The Caps now “boast” a league-worst 2-7-1 mark after their 3-2 loss. There already are calls for Adam Oates’ job, but I have to believe that GM George McPhee makes a personnel move before canning the rookie coach.
• Maybe the Leafs should barnstorm the rest of the season because they’re historically (and hysterically) bad at home.
• I mean, yeah, it has the makings of an epic steal, but was the Phil Kessel trade really the best in Boston sports history?
• SI.com’s own Adrian Dater has the latest on the Ryan O’Reilly contract talks.
• David Clarkson scored twice in a 3-1 win over the Rangers, giving him seven on the season. Maybe that 30-goal campaign wasn’t a fluke after all.
• Jarome Iginla finally scored his first goal of the season, but the Flames had to finish their 4-1 win over Detroit without goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who left the game with a lower body injury. The Flames are the only team without a third-string netminder in the AHL, meaning they’ll have to quickly sign, or trade for, someone if Kipper is going to miss any time.
• Iggy’s breakthrough aside, these are tough times to be a captain.
• Three years ago, Tyler Myers was the game’s most promising blueliner while Erik Karlsson struggled to find his game in the AHL. Things have changed for the defenders who were taken three slots apart at the 2008 draft.
• Anaheim first-rounder Hampus Lindholm is traveling with the team and awaits clearance after a pair of concussions. The slick defender could make his NHL debut soon.
• I missed this when it was posted back in July, but Justin Bourne’s thoughts on what it takes to be a good fit in the room is still a great read.