COLOGNE, GERMANY - MAY 06: Konrad Abeltshauser #16 of Germany challenges William Nylander of Sweden for the puck during the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship game between Germany and Sweden at Lanxess Arena on May 6, 2017 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Toronto Marlies pushed to the brink of elimination by the Crunch, William Nylander scores twice versus Denmark, Randy Carlyle’s transformation, and more in the links.

Leafs/NHL Links

Toronto Marlies solved again in Syracuse, trail 3-2 in series (MLHS)
The Toronto Marlies have been pushed to the brink of elimination after a Jekyll and Hyde performance in Game 5 in Syracuse. The first period was more akin to the level of play we saw from the Marlies in the two home games in Toronto, but what followed in the final 40 resembled the shambles of games one and two in this series. After 12 shot attempts in the first period, the Marlies managed only 17 through the remaining 40 minutes.

Sweden books Quarterfinal spot (
Two goals from William Nylander late in the second period that took the game beyond a hard-working Danish team and made the Maple Leafs forward his country’s leading scoring with nine points.

Leafs’ progress earns presidential seal of approval: DiManno (Toronto Star)
At this point, Shanahan pulls out his phone and scrolls around looking for a specific photo. He finds it: 14-year-old son Jack wearing a Nylander jersey. “How could I ever possible trade this player?” he laughs.

Could Darren Raddysh help the Maple Leafs blueline? (PPP)
He’s the best defenseman in the league, he’s broken every defensive record for the Otters, he’s going down with Chris Campoli as the best defenseman in Otters history. Coach Knoblauch has no problem putting him out there in any situation, he’s the quarterback on the power play, he’s the anchor on the penalty kill, he can skate with the top forwards in the league, and he can play a physical style if he needs to.

Coach’s analysis: Penguins will be better against Senators in Game 2 (
“Pittsburgh just didn’t look like they were emotionally there and physically there coming off that hard-fought Washington series,” Lidster said Sunday. “The passes weren’t sharp. I think it showed up in particular on the power play, especially in the first period. They had 3 ½ [power-play] chances, they had the 5-on-3 [power play]. If they were just a little bit sharper, I think they could have got that goal and maybe felt a little bit better about themselves, energized the building, that type of thing.”

Penguins’ Guentzel shares awesome story of meeting Kessel as a kid (Sportsnet)
“When I was 11 years old, this highly recruited kid named Phil Kessel came to the team. It was a huge deal at the time because Phil was a Wisconsin kid, but he had picked the Golden Gophers over the Badgers,” wrote Guentzel. “I remember when he came in, I was kind of in awe of him because he was so good, but he was also just a hilarious guy. He had this infectious energy every time he came to the rink, like he just loved playing hockey — and that’s exactly how I felt, too.”

How old-school Randy Carlyle updated his style with the Ducks (Sportsnet)
“He’s still very hard in terms of what he wants from players, and the discipline you need to play,” said Andrew Cogliano, another holdover from the early years. “But he’s much more approachable this time around. If there are things you want to get off of your chest, I think he’s easier to approach. To figure it out. When you’re younger and you make mistakes, there’s a sense now that you can work through those details (while still getting ice time). Back then? That wasn’t going to happen.”

How Phil Housley coaches offense to Predators’ defense (Puck Daddy)
“I think anybody that steps in the NHL, especially at the defensive position, it takes time,” Housley said. “Just the reads – knowing who you’re playing against with the players around this league and their characteristics. That takes time, maybe one or one-and-a-half years and then you get into the mix. (Ellis and Ekholm) have earned more minutes each year. They haven’t been given everything and that’s a credit to them. They’ve really worked hard at it, and then now they deserve what they’re getting and you can see the results of their hard work because they are a good group of players and they’re winners and they want to win.”

5 Keys: Predators at Ducks, Game 2 (
The Predators took 77 shots at the net in Game 1 compared to 61 for the Ducks, and all three Nashville goals came off a deflection or redirection. The Predators didn’t wait for an opening to shoot, an attitude they’ll try to maintain. “We’ve got to keep shooting,” defenseman Roman Josi said. “I thought we did a good job again of getting pucks to the net [in Game 1], and it’s always important. It’s part of our mentality to get as many shots as we can.”