Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading as the NHL playoff picture begins to gain clarity.
-- The Ottawa Senators have lost 9 of their last 11 games and are dropping like a stone in the standings.
-- The reaction to the NHL’s decision to skip the Olympics was predictably strong, but some are questioning just how bad it will actually be for hockey. I think it flat-out stinks for the marketing of the game world-wide and everybody should be concerned about that, just as it’s also setting up another potentially acrimonious work stoppage when the CBA runs out.
-- Matt Duchene is in a slump for the Colorado Avalanche as that team runs out the clock.
-- Jaromir Jagr will be a free agent at the end of the season, but it sounds like he wants to be back with the Florida Panthers once again.
-- Saugus native and Union College standout Mike Vecchione has signed with the Flyers, and will make his NHL debut this weekend.
-- Here are six looming questions as the NHL enters the final week of the regular season with a few things still up for debate.
-- PHT writer James O’Brien has the Montreal Canadiens clinching the Atlantic Division and setting up a tough first-round match-up with the New York Rangers.
-- Mike Felger thinks the Bruins are still capable of “puking all over themselves” and missing the playoffs. I’m just not seeing it at this point.
-- For something completely different: Listening to Mayte Garcia talk about Prince on the anniversary of his death reminds me that his passing is still a huge bummer. Major, major regret that I never saw him play live.