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Top Line: Ovechkin, Malkin on Sochi superline; Subban shines; more links

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Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin

Old buddies Ovi and Evgeni won some hardware together at the 2012 World Championship. (AFP/GettyImages)

By Allan Muir

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

• Are the Russians planning on icing a superline in Sochi? Evgeni Malkin believes his long-time national team running buddy Nikolai Kulemin will be replaced by Alex Ovechkin, and that the Great 8 will be playing left wing on the unit. Scary … or a disaster waiting to happen?

• You gotta love how Kyle Okposo dealt with his Team USA snub. He handled the media’s questions with class, then went out and scored the game winner against the Blackhawks in OT. You have to think that if the Americans lose a forward to injury between now and Sochi, it’ll come down to Okposo or Chicago’s Brandon Saad to fill the open spot.

• These are Ryan Miller’s numbers for December while playing for the worst team in hockey: 5-2-1 with a 1.82 GAA and a .949 save percentage. How is there any debate over the starting job for Team USA in Sochi?

• Maybe the American talent pool isn’t quite as deep as we thought.

• You say you don’t like P.K. Subban as a member of Team Canada? Well, if you’d watched him tear apart the Stars’ defense in a mesmerizing one-goal, three-assist performance on Thursday night, you’d pay for his plane fare to Sochi. He made a couple of nice defensive plays, too, including a show of strength against possible Team Russia forward Val Nichushkin. Just a terrific performance. Check out this goal:

And how about this assist?

• Sidney Crosby is at the center of an aggressively Canadian ad campaign from Tim Hortons ahead of the Olympics. Sure hope he makes the team …

• Penguins defenseman Paul Martin was named to Team USA on Wednesday, despite a broken tibia that has now cost him 16 games. Will he be ready to go before the plane leaves for Sochi?

• Randy Carlyle says his Maple Leafs are more than happy to move out from under the glare of HBO’s 24/7 cameras.

• Mike Zeisberger explores five things we know about Toronto in the wake of the Leafs’ big Winter Classic win.

• Henrik Lundqvist’s mask for the upcoming Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium is the bomb(ers).

• After watching this year’s Winter Classic, Jaromir Jagr is hoping for a different atmosphere when his Devils take it outdoors later this month.

• Martin Brodeur has his sights set on one of the few goaltending records he doesn’t already own.

• Nice to hear that Homeland Security was hard at work in the days leading up the the Winter Classic, keeping us all safe from … counterfeit merchandise?

• There’s no way to keep 20 guys happy when you’re in charge of the dressing room music. Personally though, I always found that cranking up the Ramones and then breaking the volume knob off came pretty close.

Welcome back, Nathan Horton.

• A pair of Red Wings legends highlighted the six-member Class of 2014 for the IIHF Hall of Fame.

• You can’t have Pavel Datsyuk’s hands … but you can have his clothes. Nice stuff, but when did t-shirts get so expensive? And get off my lawn!

• Who owns the Predators? Jarome Iginla.

• TSN analyst Jeff O’Neil took his shot at Winnipeg the other night, saying players didn’t want to stay there. Now, Winnipeg fires back.

• Ilya Bryzgalov is struggling to keep his emotions in check in Edmonton. Geez, who saw that coming?

  • Published On Jan 03, 2014
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