By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The Penguins led Game 2 with their strength, Sidney Crosby. The New York Islanders countered with theirs: fearless resistance. Amazingly, it was enough for the Isles to steal a thriller in Pittsburgh.
• Sean Gentile breaks down Pittsburgh’s Game 2 break down. Is brutal puck management on the list? You bet.
• Montreal’s annoyance with Ottawa coach Paul MacLean inspired their gutsiest performance of the season.
• Ottawa needs to start driving to the net if it wants the upper hand in this series, because Craig Anderson can’t do it all by himself.
• I’m not coming around to Cam Cole’s thinking on the need for thinking to evolve on what is and isn’t a clean hit in hockey but he makes a very compelling case. This is a must-read.
• Pretty obvious why the Canucks find themselves down 0-2 to the Sharks: they can’t score. Vancouver has just 19 goals over its last 14 playoff games. That’s more than just an issue of bad puck luck.
• Raffi Torres remembered his youth hockey training on the way to scoring the OT winner against Vancouver.
• Rick Nash says today’s Game 2 against the Caps is a must-win for the Rangers. Probably being a little dramatic, but then again he’s played five career playoff games and lost them all, so he’s got a right to be a little antsy.
• Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu is playing like a man unfamiliar with the job description through the first two games against the Hawks. Is he hurt, or just failing to rise to the moment?
• Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is challenging his team’s playoff rookies to be bold and seize the moment in Game 3 against Detroit.
• The Kings aren’t panicking despite being down 2-0 to the Blues. To get back into the series, they just have to score a little more. Plus, maybe have someone pick up Anze Kopitar to make sure he shows up for the next game.
• Brian Elliott shook off the effects of last year’s humiliating performance against the Kings in Game 1, then shook off the effects of a nasty collision with Dustin Brown in Game 2. That resilience will be key to his survival against a desperate Los Angeles squad in Game 3.
• TSN’s Jamie McLennan grades out the Friday night goalie performances. Fleury bad, Price good.
• If this sports writing thing doesn’t work out, our buddy Adrian Dater might have a future in scouting. He went to Portland to check out Seth Jones in action and offers up his take on the presumptive first overall choice.
• Kirk Luedeke does a solid job breaking down Boston’s top 10 prospects. He likes Torey Krug more than I do, but we’re both very bullish on 2011 fifth-rounder Rob O’Gara.
• Austria came out swinging, but Team USA finished strong to win its opener at the 2013 World Hockey Championship.
• Metallica played the American national anthem at a game last night. Fortunately, it was not a hockey game.