By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• It’s swell that Alexander Ovechkin is having fun with his critics now that he’s finally producing, but he wouldn’t have been on the receiving end of all that grief if he’d performed like this the past two seasons. Let’s hope he keeps it up. The NHL is a better league when he plays like he cares.
• Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter plans to bend Barack Obama’s ear about the Keystone XL pipeline when the Kings meet the President today at the White House. Hey, why waste a chance to talk to the guy, right?
• Injured Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson updated the media on his condition last night. Unfortunately, the prognosis isn’t good, buddy.
• Damien Cox says a Jarome Iginla trade won’t be a home run for the Flames, but they might acquire some useful parts if they can find a willing partner. For the time being, Calgary management is staying quiet about any possible deal.
• The Oilers could get a boost down the home stretch if they’re able to win the Danny DeKeyser sweepstakes.
• Minnesota’s 7-4 win over Dallas kept one streak going and ended another. It marked the sixth-straight win for the Wild — a first in franchise history — and ended a 10-year losing streak in Texas.
• Milan Lucic scored for the first time in 15 games as he and the Bruins pulled out of a mini-slump.
• The Maple Leafs still haven’t won in a shootout this season, but they have to be thrilled pulling three points out of a two-game set with Boston.
• A tough three-games-in-four-nights roadie produced six points and a bit of breathing room for the Red Wings.
• Losing teammate Douglas Murray was tough, but the Sharks persevered to produce a 5-3 win over the Ducks in what may have been their strongest effort since the season’s opening weeks. A wake-up call for the rest of the boys? Maybe…
• The Ducks have now lost three straight for the first time this season. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle a little adversity.
• Nashville’s Sergei Kostitsyn buried the memories of his last game against Edmonton with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over the Oilers.
• The Rangers are hoping for bigger things from 5′-7″ Mats Zuccarello during his second tour with the club. New York re-signed the winger yesterday after his KHL season ended. New York hopes he can kickstart its limp offense.
• They still have the NHL’s worst power play, but after scoring with the extra man in four straight games, the Sabres are moving in the right direction.
• Alexei Yashin is returning to North America…as head coach of Russia’s team for the Women’s World Championships.
• The Minnesota Gophers women put together a 41-0 season on the way to their second-straight national title.
• Come on…there has to be video of this amazing puck drop fail somewhere! Help me out, people.