With Jonathan Bernier in net, the smiles are returning to the defending champions’ faces. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Don’t look now, but the Kings have won five straight and seven of eight despite an uneven effort against the Red Wings on Wednesday night. Jonathan Bernier has his own four-game winning streak going. The backup has allowed just one goal in each of those victories.
• There is a God. The Canucks announced that Japandroids’ The House That Heaven Built won a fan survey to become the team’s new entrance song, beating out some crappy song by Nickelback. Sorry not to narrow that one down for you.
• Count Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau among the supporters of the realignment plan that moves Detroit to the Eastern Conference. Boudreau also hopes that Detroit takes the Blackhawks and the Kings with them.
• The Florida Panthers are concerned that realignment will add to their heavy travel load. The Panthers have ranked second in total miles each of the last two seasons.
• Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh should be good to go for the Rangers tonight against the Lightning. McDonagh also offers up some hot sports opinions about Max Pacioretty and the hit that laid him out.
• Rick DiPietro plans to make the most of his time with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers. But News 12 Long Island has a darker take.
• All is right in the hockey world when the Montreal/Toronto rivalry matters again.
• It might be wise for opposing players to avoid the temptation to plaster 5′-8″ rookie Brendan Gallagher every chance they get. The Leafs learned last night it brings out the best in him.
• How amazing is Chicago’s 16-0-3 start? Not bad, but even with a win tonight against the Blues it wouldn’t rate among the 10 best 20-game stretches in NHL history.
• I’m not sure why a Penguins fan would want a comprehensive list of every hat trick scored against them, but the Post-Gazette put it together anyway. Hmmm…four teams have never notched a hatty against the Pens…