By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The Stanley Cup dream final? How does Boston vs. Chicago sound?
• The Blackhawks could be without top-six forward Patrick Sharp for three weeks after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Avs on Wednesday night.
• It appears the majority of Canadians now support a ban on fighting in the NHL. Why does my phone never ring for these surveys?
• The NHL wants visors to be mandatory. The NHLPA does not. Seriously. Chris Pronger said yesterday that he supported mandatory visors, but wouldn’t agree to it because if you let the NHL make rules unilaterally, you don’t know what they’ll do next. Yep, nothing worse than having someone looking out for your health and safety.
• Pronger spoke yesterday at a press conference in Philly where he didn’t announce his retirement but enumerated all the reasons he’ll never play hockey again.
• Ryan Getzlaf is a different person from the one who loafed his way through much of last season. Here’s what’s behind his amazing comeback.
• Is Niklas Kronwall the leading candidate for the Norris Trophy? Really?
• Things were ugly early for the Penguins, but a between-periods speech from Tomas Vokoun sparked a Pittsburgh comeback in another thrilling battle with the Flyers.
• The Canadiens got their own Come-to-Jesus call from coach Michel Therrien after getting blitzed for 21 shots in the second period of their game against the Canes. The dress down sparked a third-period comeback in a 4-2 win.
• Stop me if you’ve heard this one before (and if you’re a Bruins fan, you almost certainly have): Carl Soderberg is considering coming to the NHL when the Swedish playoffs are over. Soderberg led the SEL with 31 goals this season, but he’s talked about coming over every year since being acquired from the Blues in 2007.
• The Kings had allowed just two third period goals over their last nine home games before giving up three in the third to Dallas last night. Guess how that went for the champs?
• The Stars could get Ray Whitney back in the lineup for next Tuesday’s game against Nashville. Huge, Jerry. Huge.
• Here’s a midseason report card on the Maple Leafs. Looks like the first one in years they won’t have to hide from their parents.
• Montreal goaltender Dustin Tokarski’s new mask is specTICular. That’s some high-octane punnery right there.
• The teammates of paralyzed Swiss player Ronny Keller have decided to finish out their playoff series against Langenthal.
• Congrats to Anaheim play-by-play man Steve Carroll for calling his 1,000th NHL game.
• The tributes to the late Stompin’ Tom Connors continue to pour in.
• Craziest stat of the new season: