By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• This is amazing: with a win tonight over the visiting Blackhawks, the Ducks could pull within three points of the Western Conference leaders…and they still have a game in hand. Hard not to look at this as a playoff preview.
• The Penguins fought their way through the slop to run their winning streak to 10 games by beating the Caps, 2-1. Stretching it to 11 will be a whole lot easier if Evgeni Malkin returns the to lineup Friday as expected.
• Max Talbot has been Philly’s best forward in each of the last four games. If that keeps up, there’s no way this team makes the playoffs.
• Niklas Kronwall resisted the urge to replace Nick Lidstrom, and by staying within himself he’s made a greater contribution to Detroit’s revamped blueline.
• Capgeek has the cap-hit leaders for 2013-14. Two new entries crack the top five…can you guess who?
• Another day, another sexual assault arrest in hockey. I can already hear this one being sloughed off as a little drunken silliness. It shouldn’t be.
• It sounds like Rick DiPietro is finding success – and maybe a little peace – in the AHL.
• The Blues expect to get T.J. Oshie back in the lineup this week…and that could mean the end of their awkward three-goalie rotation. Jake Allen’s going nowhere, Which suggests that bad news is coming for Brian Elliott.
• Nice .gif work by the boys over at The Score capturing Sergei Bobrovsky’s eye-opening meeting with the smelling salts after taking a Kevin Klein slap shot to the mask.