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Top Line: Bruins crash Toronto’s party, Marc Staal returns, more links

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Toronto Maple Leafs fans

Maple Leafs fans came to party, but what they saw on the ice probably made them wish they’d kept the blindfolds on. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• Someone forgot to tell the Bruins that Monday night was supposed to be Toronto’s party.

• Leafs Nation did its part last night. The Leafs? Not so much.

• It’s not often that the goalie is the story in a win as decisive as Boston’s, but Tuukka Rask and his 46 saves carried the day for the Bruins.

The return of Marc Staal after two months on IR provided a huge emotional boost to the Rangers.

• The key to winning a close game for the Rangers? Shutting down Alex Ovechkin. AO threw 11 shots at New York’s net, but only two found the target. That’s how you minimize the damage.

• Handing a last-minute advantage to the league’s top power play unit is a lousy lead preservation strategy. Fortunately for the Blueshirts, the Capitals spent the final minute being cute instead of putting the puck on the net.

• Mitch Albom (yep, he still writes about sports) explains how Detroit’s rookies were the unlikely heroes in the Wings’ Game 4 win.

• Of course, argues Drew Sharp, the game doesn’t get to OT without the heroics of goaltender Jimmy Howard.

• Rob Pizzo offers up his interpretation of hockey’s playoff cliches.

• Just to make things interesting, hard-hitting defender Eric Gryba is set to return to Ottawa’s lineup tonight. Just keep your head up, kid.

• The Canadiens aren’t built to pound their opponents. That, Dave Stubbs writes, is why the Habs have to play it smart tonight.

• Kevin Bieksa called out the San Jose Sharks for diving. Maybe he should have called out his own teammates for not scoring.

• Dave Bolland is close to returning to the Blackhanwks lineup, but it won’t happen in time for Game 4.

• The Islanders aren’t going away as long as the Penguins keeping feeding them hot, fresh turnovers.

• This isn’t about trying hard and saying they put up a good fight, says Josh Bailey. The Isles are in it to win it.

• The Kings’ offense finally found high gear in LA’s 4-3 win over St. Louis.

• The Blues still have home-ice advantage, but they threw away an opportunity to put the Kings behind the eight ball.

• Jim Matheson talks a potential Shea Weber trade, the buzz on a couple of rising prospects, and Russia’s ham-fisted handling of its World Championships roster.

• Matty also offers up some hot trade speculation.

• Could New Jersey’s David Clarkson be a free agent target of the Flyers? Maybe if he was a defenseman.

• I guess you could say that Winnipeg first-rounder Mark Scheifele had a big night for himself in the OHL final last night.

  • Published On May 07, 2013
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