By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• No one ever shoots when the crowds screams for him to … except this once. The decision paid off, as Dustin Penner’s long blast with two-tenths of a click remaining on the clock served as the clincher as the Kings knocked off the Blues.
• Solid piece from Bernie Miklasz on what went wrong this time for a St. Louis team that always finds a way to break the hearts of its fans.
• It hasn’t been easy to be an Avs fan lately, but winning the first overall pick in the draft and now getting Joe Sakic in charge of hockey operations in Denver probably makes this the best postseason since they last won the Cup.
• On a night when the Detroit Red Wings faced elimination, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg stepped up and led them to victory.
• Playing not to lose doomed the Ducks in the eyes of coach Bruce Boudreau.
• Mike Ribeiro’s always been a pass first, second and third guy, but this time he shot … and now the Caps have the upper hand in their series against the Rangers.
• In order to advance past the Caps, the Rangers will have to win a Game 7 on the road for the first time in franchise history. But to get to that contest, they’ll need more from floundering forwards Rick Nash and Brad Richards.
• The Penguins know how dangerous it would be to let the Islanders up off the mat. They are looking to finish them off today.
• Evgeni Nabokov has been pulled twice in the series, but coach Jack Capuano is riding the veteran goalie to the bitter end.
• Clarke MacArthur has scored twice for the Maple Leafs–including the Game 5 winner–since drawing back into the lineup, and he credits time spent with the team psychologist for his success.
• James Reimer’s performance last night against the Bruins was the sort careers are built on.
• The Bruins know how brutal they were in Game 5, and they’re happy to talk about it.
• The name might not ring a bell, but Bob Lemieux sure rang a few as an enforcer with the Oakland Seals. He’s now on a crusade to spread awareness about the impact of fighting and concussions in hockey. Terrific story.
• Forget the seventh-seed label and take a look at how the Ottawa Senators are constructed. It looks like they have the key pieces in place for a long playoff run.
• Have to believe they’ll be even more dangerous when they get Jason Spezza back in the lineup. And that could happen soon.
• Connect the dots, Pat Hickey writes, and you can make the case that Montreal’s season was doomed by a key injury…but not the one you think.
• After two dissatisfying springs and with unrestricted free agency on the horizon, making the right decision about the future of the Sedins is more important to the Vancouver Canucks than dealing with Roberto Luongo.
• GM Chuck Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo appear to be safe after a swift post-season exit, but there are changes coming to the roster of the Minnesota Wild.