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Top Line: Jagr makes history, Ducks dominate Hawks (again), more links

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Jaromir Jagr added to his illustrious legacy by notching his 1000th assist against the Wild on Friday. (Michael Prengler/Cal Sport Media)

By Allan Muir

A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• Jaromir Jagr became the 12th player in history to reach 1,000 assists as the Stars exacted revenge for Monday’s whipping at the hands of the Minnesota Wild.

• The Wild were pointing fingers at the officials after their seven-game winning streak came to an end in Dallas. They might want to check the replays and take a look at their defensive zone breakdowns instead. Veteran Brett Clark could make his debut tonight on the Minnesota blue line. Not sure that will help.

• Do the Ducks have the Blackhawks’ number? Chicago goalie Ray Emery suffered his first loss of any kind this season as Anaheim won on a late Sheldon Souray goal. Seven games between these two this spring is not too much to ask.

• The Ducks are keeping a close eye on the trade market. Could Derek Roy or Mike Ribeiro be the answer to their second-line needs? Not sure I like their chances to go deep with Peter Holland in the role.

• With Jarome Iginla’s work visa issues resolved, the Penguins can begin their inexorable march to Stanley Cup glory. He’ll suit up for the first time today to help the Pens try to extend their 14-game winning streak.

• They’ll take on the Islanders this afternoon, a team that features a former teammate who is looking forward to taking a pay cut next season.

• The post-Jarome Iginla era did not get off to a strong start in Calgary. Scouts from seven teams were in attendance so it could be the post-a lot of guys era soon.

• Coaches don’t usually refer to 5-4 games as “fun,” but hey, it was Jon Cooper’s debut behind the Lightning bench so any win had to feel pretty good.

• Helene St. James says the tight-checking Red Wings are on the right path heading into the season’s final 14 games.

• Here’s what Detroit had to say about landing coveted college free agent Dan/Danny DeKeyser. Unfortunately, it offers no insights from Dan/Danny/Daniel Cleary about organization issues with what to call players named Daniel.

• Are headshots taking a toll on the play of Henrik Lundqvist? The Rangers are keeping a close eye on him. If he misses any time, they’re finished.

• Marian Gaborik admitted he has to be better after a 12-minute on-ice discussion with coach John Tortorella at Friday’s practice. Look for a big effort from him tonight against the Habs.

• Montreal should get a big boost for the game from the return of ex-Ranger Brandon Prust.

• The Roberto Luongo to Toronto trade rumors just won’t die. Gotta have something to talk about in Hogtown other than Rob Ford.

• Ottawa blunt object Matt Kassian was acquired especially for nights like this. He makes his Battle of Ontario debut tonight. Expect him to quickly become acquainted with Toronto’s Colton Orr.

• The character and leadership of Zach Bogosian make him invaluable to the Winnipeg Jets. I’m with Gary Lawless–I think he gets the full eight years on his contract extension this summer.

• Holding onto the third seed in the East puts the Jets in a tough spot ahead of the deadline. They’re too thin to move pending UFAs like Ron Hainsey and Nik Antropov, so they face losing them for nothing this summer.

• The Los Angeles Kings got some good news yesterday: hard-rock defender Matt Greene is recovering nicely and could rejoin the team in time for the playoffs.

• The inconsistent play of Jeff Skinner couldn’t come at a worse time for the struggling Hurricanes. Of course, their top line hasn’t been great shakes of late, either.

• Phoenix winger Steve Sullivan admitted he had some doubts along the way to his 1,000th career NHL game last night.

• Here’s a nice feature on the second life of Maple Leaf Gardens from the IIHF site.

• Sean Monahan and Darnell Nurse lead this list of the Ontario Hockey League’s top draft-eligible players. Pretty strong list, although I like Ryan Hartman a little higher.

• With playoffs underway across the Canadian Hockey League, NHL Network Radio talked with GM Warren Rychel about Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Andrei Loktionov and the back-to-back Memorial Cup wins for the Windsor Spitfires. For my money, the best team in junior hockey history.

  • Published On Mar 30, 2013
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