An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The Avalanche hitched their wagon to Semyon Varlamov on Thursday night, signing the goaltender to a five-year extension worth an average of $5.9 million per year. He’s been dynamite this season, but his thin postseason track record makes me leery — this deal might be too much, too soon for a still unproven player.
• After watching another truly sorry performance by the Capitals on Thursday night, Adam Proteau says that there’s no reason for continued patience with this roster.
• Alex Ovechkin was a brutal minus-5 in the game, a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets. Could be that he’s feeling the weight of a nation starting to bear down on his shoulders.
• But hey, no pressure on Washington. After all, the Capitals play in a division in which the general managers appear to have no accountability for their teams’ performances.
• Ryan Johansen is just gross: