By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The manhunt for the surviving Boston Marathon bomber has shut down Boston forcing the Penguins to remain in their hotel rooms. No news yet on how this might impact tonight’s scheduled game.
• John Tavares officially threw his hat into the Hart Trophy ring with an MVP-caliber performance against the Maple Leafs om Thursday night. With his Isles on a 10-1-2 tear, it’s impossible now to ignore JT as a legitimate candidate.
• Charles Wang favors moving the Islanders to Brooklyn a year early, but he promised that the team would remain part of the Long Island community after the move.
• Damien Cox says the Maple Leafs had a bad week as they attempted to secure a playoff spot, but the efforts of their opposition may have had more to do with that than Toronto’s own failings.
• Chris Johnston disagrees, suggesting the Leafs might be the author of their own problems.
• The timing on this story could not be any better. Teemu Selanne will restore your faith in humanity. Seriously, this gave me chills.
• Ottawa put and end to Washington’s eight-game winning streak, but the real concern in the capital is the health of Nicklas Backstrom. He’ll be evaluated today after taking a Mike Green slap shot on the arm.
• Miikka Kiprusoff is nearing the end of the road, but he’s still providing inspiration to Calgary’s young players.
• The Wild pulled Niklas Backstrom and benched Ryan Suter just to get them out of the way of a relentless San Jose assault. The Sharks were good in the 6-1 win, but the Wild need to look hard in the mirror. You know you’re not competing hard enough when you don’t earn a single power play.
• No one’s getting their playoff hopes up in Dallas, but after watching the kids tear up Vancouver’s D for four third-period goals, there’s plenty of excitement about next year.
• No surprise that the blueline is being pilloried in the Vancouver media after that effort. Hey, remember when Cam Barker went third overall behind Ovechkin and Malkin?
• The Blues have rediscovered their inner cave man, which is discouraging news for any team that might match up against them in the postseason.
• Fans are climbing off the ledges in Montreal — for now — after the Canadiens regained their footing with a 3-2 win in Tampa. Um, not to spoil the party, but…Tampa?
• Now that Los Angeles is in the mix for an outdoor game, can
The Death Star Cowboys Stadium be far behind as an option?
• The Winnipeg Jets made it five straight wins and held onto a share of eighth in the East with a thrilling OT win over the Hurricanes. From what I saw of it, goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stole this one with some larcenous work between the pipes.
• New Jersey finally ended a miserable 10-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over Philadelphia, but the Flyers made them pay a steep price for the privilege.
• The Flyers can be
put out of their misery officially eliminated from the playoffs on Friday night after dropping that contest to the Devils.
• Simon Gagne wants to be part of the solution in Philadelphia and he’s willing to take a pay cut to make it happen.
• The story that won’t die — the feud between Brian Burke and Kevin Lowe – was seen in a new light this week after Edmonton’s president went on his anti-fan tirade.
• Led by Los Angeles Kings prospects Bud Holloway and Oscar Muller, Skelleftea AIK won the Swedish Elitserien championship on Thursday night. The trophy’s nice and all, but how about them nifty gold helmets!
• Connor McDavid scored twice to lead Canada over Slovakia in the opener for both countries at the U-18 World Championships.
• Here’s an interesting take from Ed Willes on the increasingly obvious impact of ownership on sports coverage.
• Apparently, the media is to blame for the spike in hockey head injuries. Updated: media also at fault in event that led to mass dinosaur extinction.