Top Line: Sidney Crosby’s clinic; Raffi Torres gets jobbed; more links

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Sidney Crosby (center) and Evgeni Malkin were all smiles after Crosby’s third goal against the Senators. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

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

• Sidney Crosby put on a clinic with his three-goal performance against Ottawa last night. Just another night at the rink for the smartest man in hockey.

• The Senators can only hope to find another level when they return home for Games 3 and 4 or this series could be very short.

• Of course, if the Penguins are willing to keep feeding Ottawa Grade-A scoring opportunities then maybe the Sens have a chance after all.

• So, do you think Ottawa has a goalie controversy heading into Game 3?

• San Jose GM Doug Wilson offered an eloquent rebuttal to the league’s decision to suspend Raffi Torres. I’m right there with him on this one.

• “Twenty years ago, he would have got a medal for what he did!”

• The Sharks could be on the verge of adding a significant player in time for a must-win Game 3.

• Detroit needs to figure out how to get Johan Franzen a little grumpy if they want to see his best effort in Game 2.

• Considering the miraculous recoveries we’ve seen this season, should the Red Wings get their hopes up about a key player who returned to practice yesterday?

• Since balance isn’t working for Chicago’s struggling power play, Joel Quenneville is ready to throw his All-Star eggs into one basket.

• He didn’t have much to do in the opener, but Corey Crawford expects to play a larger role as the series against Detroit progresses. That’s nice and all, but he may want to bring a crossword puzzle or something, just in case.

• Just on principle, I can’t write that Marc Staal is eying a return in Game 2. Wait…ah, dang it!

• With an 0-3 overtime record this spring, the Rangers need to keep Game 2 within the confines of 60 minutes.

• Brad Richards has been reduced to bit-player status for the Rangers. It’s not even about a wake-up call or jump starting his game at this point. More like, “Sit over here out of the way and try not to hurt yourself.”

• The Bruins are comfortable going with a trio of rookie defensemen if none of their battered blueliners are ready to return to action.

• So, how’s home ice working out for ya so far?

• Is Paul Stastny the answer to Toronto’s need for a No. 1 center? Howard Berger ignores the line of Colorado fans willing to drive Stastny to the airport and makes his case.

• James Reimer still hasn’t figured out how to process that Game 7 loss.

• Unless there’s a height requirement for the Hall of Fame, this guy is a shoo-in.

• The rusty Blades of Saskatoon gave the London Knights all they could handle in the opening game of the Memorial Cup.

• Halifax star Zach Fucale may be the solution to Team Canada’s greatest problem. First, though, he needs to solve Seth Jones and the Portland Winterhawks in tonight’s must-watch Memorial Cup match.

  • Published On May 18, 2013