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Thursday morning look around the NHL

Greetings. Happy Thursday. It sure is in Boston ...

*Bucky Gleason writes the Stanley Cup final was on the verge of becoming a joke. And the joke is over.

For the most part, both teams stopped the monkey business and returned to the business of playing for the Cup. The result Wednesday in Game Four was an entertaining game in which two passionate and talented teams played the way the game was designed.

The Bruins were more efficient and came away with a 4-0 victory to even the series. Game Five will be Friday night in Vancouver after the two teams fly back across the continent in search of hockey's biggest prize.

Remember, that's why we're here.

*Tim Thomas made 38 saves in his third shutout of the playoffs, Rich Peverley scored two goals after replacing Nathan Horton on Boston's top line, and the Bruins emphatically evened the finals.

The Bruins rolled through Game Four on an emotional high that began with a stirring pregame tribute to Horton, who will miss the rest of the series after a late hit in Game Three from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who was suspended for four games.

*The NHL's general managers agreed Wednesday with a recommendation to broaden the league's definition of illegal hits to the head, likely expanding the scope of a rule enacted last year to outlaw blindside head shots.

A panel of former players, including Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake, has been investigating new ways to protect defenseless skaters from head hits since March. The panel and the GMs agreed the word "blindside" should be taken out of Rule 48, expanding the rule to allow referees to issue bigger penalties on more instances of contact with an opponent's head.

*With the NHL draft fast approaching, Steve Tambellini is open to dealing the No. 1 selection.

The Edmonton Oilers general manager has had discussions with some of his counterparts around the league and remains willing to discuss a trade leading up to the June 24 draft in Minnesota. It's the second straight year Edmonton has held the top pick.

*Kris Draper is doing all he can to stay in shape, hoping Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland will want him back for an 18th season.

"I hope to know within a week to 10 days," Draper said Wednesday after working out with the locked-out Detroit Lions. "If Kenny could've seen me working out here, I think he would've made a decision right away."

*Former NHL star Bill Guerin has joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as a player development coach.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |