By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The biggest reason the Maple Leafs evened their series with Boston? Randy Carlyle played mad scientist with his lines in order to keep Phil Kessel away from Zdeno Chara. That was some serious tactical genius there.
• With the Game 2 win in Boston, the Leafs served notice they won’t be intimidated by the Bruins any longer.
• Nice moment in Boston before the game where Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman was honored as the team’s banner captain in a pre-game ceremony.
• The “bug-eyed, fat walrus” took center stage in Ottawa ahead of the Senators’ Game 3 meeting with Montreal on Sunday. Sounds like he’s not very good with numbers.
• Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs have a history of turning Scotiabank Place in Ottawa into the ACC North. Will Montreal’s ravenous fans do the same?
• Safe to say after three games that the Kings and Blues are evenly-matched foes. But someone has to win each night, and this time it was Los Angeles’ turn, thanks to the spectacular play of Jonathan Quick.
• In St. Louis, they’re putting the loss on the team’s misfiring offense. Probably a little from Column A, a little from Column B…
• Game-over Green strikes again!
• The Rangers aren’t going anywhere if they continue to expect Henrik Lundqvist to do all the work. A little spark from the offense might help.
• “He is one of those guys that everybody wants to be perfect,” San Jose coach Todd MacLellan said of Patrick Marleau, “and it’s virtually impossible to be a perfect player.” Probably true…but the wily veteran has come pretty close through the first two games against the Canucks.
• Owen Nolan remains the heartbeat of hockey in San Jose.
• Multi-talented Jussi Jokinen will slide onto the wing beside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal as the Penguins prepare for Game 3 against the Isles without James Neal.
• The Penguins are wondering which Marc-Andre Fleury will show up for the contest.
• The Vancouver Canucks are are playing the us-against-the-world card for Game 3 against the Sharks. What they might want to try playing is some gritty, playoff-worthy hockey in the San Jose end for a change. They’ll probably get a little further with that.
• Dan O’Neill looks at the cultural phrases that color the NHL playoffs.
• Flyers owner Ed Snider has a few thoughts on the failures of his team this season.
• Patrick Sharp still isn’t in top form after missing 20 games this season, but the closer he gets, the less likely Minnesota extends this series to five games.
• If you want pertinent thoughts on the state of hockey in Minnesota, you may as well start with Lou Nanne.
• The Wild return to the Xcel Center for Game 3, but the team’s fans may be in for a nightmare of a homecoming.
• So, apparently George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc are the next two potential buyers who will be introduced to city council in Glendale in order to
extract punishing concessions try to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix. We’ll see how that goes, eh?
• Matt Duchene, Steven Stamkos and Devan Dubnyk combined to propel Canada past Denmark in the opener of the 2013 IIHF World Championship.