By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Doing right by Toronto legend Dave Keon and the need to fine Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk top Steve Simmons’ Sunday column.
• So you’re saying this whole “Gentleman John” Tortorella thing is an act aimed at paving a path to the Team USA coaching job in Sochi? Our faith in the better nature of humanity is shaken!
• Is the absence of Jaromir Jagr the key to the struggles of Claude Giroux? The injury to Scott Hartnell, his other regular winger during his breakout season, sure isn’t helping.
• Did union role lead to blackballing of defenseman Chris Campoli?
• Fort Benning — yeah, that one in Georgia – has a hockey team. It’s a story of hockey taking root in an unexpected place.
• The road-weary Ducks played most of last night’s game against Nashville with one leg in the plane back home. But rookie goalie Viktor Fasth stood tall, stealing another one in the shootout to lead Anaheim to a franchise-record 5-1 trip. That was Fasth’s eighth-straight win to start his career, making him just the third goalie to go that deep without a loss. The other two? Bob Froese and Patrick Lalime.
• John Tavares stole the show with a hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Devils. The Isles are tough to watch most nights, but more often than not Johnny T is worth the price of admission.
• A win over Boston has the Sabres feeling good about their chances against the Penguins today.
• Jarmo Kekalainen will be allowed to bring in his own coach after the season, according to Mike Russo.
• To paraphrase the great Dante Hicks, Magnus Paajarvi and Nikolai Khabibulin weren’t even supposed to be there yesterday, but the Oilers couldn’t have pulled off a record-setting, come-from-behind win over the Avalanche without them.
• Ottawa’s Sergei Gonchar has family near where the Russian meteor struck.
• The Jets won’t have to face Milan Lucic today. The burly winger left the Bruins to attend to a personal matter.
• The Blackhawks are drawing on the bitter memory of last season’s nine-game losing streak to keep their record-setting hot start rolling.
• The Islanders are talking contract extension with captain Mark Streit. This is worth following. If talks don’t go well, Streit could be a highly coveted property at the trade deadline.
Here’s a walk-up from Washington’s POV ahead of tonight’s test against the New York Rangers.
• A Pittsburgh-area take on the compelling Chris Nilan documentary The Last Gladiators.