An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Considering the emotions when these two teams meet, it’s surprising there aren’t more line brawls between the Canadian and American women’s sides like the one we got on Saturday night. Tensions finally flared when Jocelynne Lamoureux ran Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados, then turtled upon being called to task by Courtney Birchard. “Once every Olympic cycle we have to get it out of our system,” said Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser.
• The Mighty Ducks (yep, Mighty) celebrated their 20th anniversary last night in grand fashion, donning the eggplant-and-teal once more and thumping the Ottawa Senators, 4-1.
• So, which Ottawa player do you think felt less bad after this one? Bobby Ryan for scoring in his Anaheim homecoming or Robin Lehner for robbing Corey Perry of a sure hat trick with this save of the year candidate?
• Twitter exchange of the night, between Ottawa Sun writer Bruce Garrioch and Ryan:
• There were two ways Nail Yakupov could have handled being benched from Saturday night’s game against Toronto. He chose this one: “I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift.” Whoops. OK, maybe that’s just a one-off emotional outburst from a frustrated teenager. Maybe the room straightens him out. But if not, the challenge falls on coach Dallas Eakins, a man revered for his teaching skills, to get this talented kid on the right path.
• Undrafted center Marc Arcobello took the scenic route to the NHL, but he could be sticking around now that he’s arrived. The Yale alum is not only tied for the Oilers’ team lead in scoring, he’s somehow a plus-4 on a team that is minus-8. Impressive.
• The Professor taught a graduate-level course in goaltending yesterday afternoon, blanking the Panthers 3-0 for the second-consecutive time.
• The Maple Leafs asked James van Riemsdyk to work on his down-low game. His commitment is paying off with the hottest start of his career. And bruises. Lots and lots of bruises.
• Good news for neurological specialists around the league: Alex Edler has no intention of changing his game despite his latest suspension.
• There has been one bright spot for the struggling New York Rangers: the resurrection of Brad Richards.
• Matt Moulson paid to play hockey in Chicago this weekend.
• A MRSA outbreak at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ facility has the Lightning’s training staff taking some serious precautions to prevent the dangerous staph infection from striking their players.
• Former Sabres captain Jason Pominville will finally get his chance to say his goodbyes to Buffalo tonight when he returns for the first time as a member of the Minnesota Wild.
• Maybe while he’s there, Pominville can convince his ol’ buddy Thomas Vanek that Minnesota is the place to be, you know, just on the off-chance that he decides to look into free agency this summer.
• Frank Seravalli argues that hiring Ian Laperriere as an assistant coach might be Paul Holmgren’s smartest hire in ages. If nothing else, he’ll keep the boys pumped up. Lappy may not have had a lot of talent as a player, but energy and an upbeat attitude were in ready supply.
• There is a plan in Dallas. It’s just that the players aren’t following it yet, according to GM Jim Nill. But poor execution won’t be their biggest problem if Kari Lehtonen misses too many more games. Dan Ellis was absolutely brutal against the Wild and Jack Campbell isn’t ready for prime time.
• Cory Schneider gave his teammates a chance in his Winnipeg homecoming, but the Devils found yet another way to lose against the Jets.