NHL playoffs for Garrison, Raymond, Niskanen and Johnson

The start of the NHL playoffs is lengthening the season for four Minnesota Duluth alums: defenseman Jason Garrison and forward Mason Raymond of Vancouver; defenseman Matt Niskanen of Boston; and assistant coach Jim Johnson of San Jose.

San Jose defeated Vancouver 3-1 Wednesday in the opening game. Stories from the San Jose Mercury News here and Vancouver Sun here.

Boston blanked the New York Islanders 5-0 in a series opener Wednesday. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

In the regular season, Garrison had eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 47 games; Raymond 10-12-22 in 46 games; and Niskanen 4-10-14 in 40 games. Niskanen, 26, has already played more than 400 games in six seasons with 25 goals and 96 assists for 121 points in 410 games.

Johnson, 50, is in his first season in San Jose on the staff of Todd McLellan.

Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald takes a close look at what may be on the agenda as Division I coaches have their annual meetings this week in Florida here.

The Run to Remember Half Marathon in Boston on Memorial Day (May 27) already has a capacity field of 10,400 runners. ESPNBoston reports that race event participation in the area is showing and increase since the Boston Marathon bombings April 15. That story is here.