An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The St. Louis Blues got payback the smart way after a vicious cheap shot by Brent Seabrook left captain David Backes crumpled in the corner in the dying minutes of Game 2. Just a brain-dead play by the veteran defender … and not a real good look on Jonathan Toews, either. I expect a little more from him than to be seen chirping the obviously dazed Backes.
• Honestly, we can’t be surprised at this point to hear that Seabrook will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety, meaning his suspension won’t top five games. If a hit as dangerous, as injurious and as blatantly offensive to common sense as that doesn’t merit a more serious response, it’s time to dismantle the department and start from scratch.
• They’re even questioning the dirty, stupid play of the Blackhawks in Chicago after this one. What does that tell you?
• It’s not often I get to link to the great Michael Enright in this column, but his essay on the complicity of the NHL in the build-up of hockey violence fits nicely today.
• Nathan MacKinnon’s nickname is silly, but not as silly as he’s making the Wild look in his NHL playoff debut. Gotta hand it to this kid. The bigger the game, the better he plays.