Bruins

Morning Skate: Are Lightning's struggles opening the door for Bruins?

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NBC Sports Boston illustration

Morning Skate: Are Lightning's struggles opening the door for Bruins?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while still processing the Han Solo Star Wars movie trailer this am. 
 
-- The Tampa Bay Lightning are struggling right now, and their head coach says it’s because the Bolts are “still learning to win the right way.” It’s gonna get interesting in Tampa Bay if they can’t figure this out and continue to have problems without the injured Victor Hedman. The Bruins are only five games back with a couple of games in hand, and these two teams play a bunch of divisional games against each other in the final few months. I think the B’s are going to hit a wall based on their schedule, but they could also very realistically pass the Lightning if they sidestep the aforementioned “wall.”

-- Marc-Andre Fleury returns to Pittsburgh for the first time since being taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in last June's expansion draft, and it promises to be an emotional return for Flower. 
 
-- It’s a shame what’s going on with Corey Crawford in Chicago, where he’s still not playing and there’s still no clear idea of when he will return based on the symptoms he’s experiencing. 
 
-- The New Jersey Devils are in a very tricky spot as the trade deadline looms. 
 
-- Pro Hockey Talk has the details on the Colorado Avalanche turning things around this season with an attitude adjustment after last year’s embarrassment. 
 
-- For something completely different: The new Han Solo trailer looks cool, but let’s be honest . . . this is all riding on the dude that plays young Han Solo. I wasn't sold on him based on that trailer, but I’ll keep an open mind. 

Morning skate: Why BU's Dave Quinn is leaving for the Rangers

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nbC Sports Boston Illustration

Morning skate: Why BU's Dave Quinn is leaving for the Rangers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while not at all minding a Tampa/Vegas Stanley Cup Final, though I think Winnipeg still has a few cards up their sleeve to play.

*Boston University head hockey coach Dave Quinn will be the latest to jump from the college ranks to the NHL ranks as he’s headed to New York as the Rangers head coach. A tough call for Quinn, who could have stayed at BU as a lifetime gig, but the presence of people like Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury and the high-profile nature of the Rangers gig certainly must have made it too difficult to pass up. 

*Marian Hossa is sadly calling it a hockey career after a skin condition sidelined him a couple of years ago, and will be joining the Chicago Blackhawks organization. 

*Interesting Q&A with Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee about the Stanley Cup dreams in Vegas, and what it’s been like to watch the organization grow this season. 

*A brand new coach’s corner with Don Cherry talking about the importance of goaltending at this time of year with both Marc-Andre Fleury and Andrei Vasilevskiy standing out right now. 

*Ryan Callahan has inspired the Tampa Bay Lightning with his courageous play this season, and has certainly been a difference-maker on the fourth line for the Bolts. 

*Wondering what’s going on with the Philadelphia Flyers? Here’s a mailbag to keep you up to date with it all. 

Report: BU hockey coach Quinn to take Rangers job

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AP Photo

Report: BU hockey coach Quinn to take Rangers job

Boston University hockey coach David Quinn has agreed to a five-year, $12 million contract to become the New York Rangers coach, according to an ESPN report.

Quinn, 51, replaced college hockey legend Jack Parker at BU in 2013 and was 105-67-21 with the Terriers, reaching three NCAA regional finals with a runner-up finish for the national championship in 2015. Parker won 897 games in 40 years at BU, the third-most all-time and most for a coach at a single school.

Rangers assistant GM Chris Drury and veteran defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk played at BU. Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada and Bob McKenzie of TSN had each tweeted that Quinn was the leading candidate to replace Alain Vigneault as Rangers coach. Vigneault was fired the day after the regular season ended. New York finished 34-39-9 and last in the Metropolitan Division. 

The Rangers traded away veterans, including winger Rick Nash to the Bruins, at the trade deadline as they fell out of the playoff race and will likely try to rebuild with younger players under Quinn.

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