We're in a brief slow period here in Baltimore with the Preakness finished and the Orioles on the road. But before we start looking ahead at the NCAA men's lacrosse Final Four, here's the Coffee Companion, where we look back at the previous day's headlines every weekday morning.

- On the Orioles’ off day, Dan Connolly looked into the impact of Orioles bench coach John Russell on the team. He also wrote that Tuesday’s starter, Miguel Gonzalez, is excited to rejoin a rotation that has pitched well over its last turn.

- Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome left this morning for Belmont, where the track’s leaders have allowed the horse to wear his nasal strips in next month’s Belmont Stakes. Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas says he’s pulling for California Chrome to win the Triple Crown.

- The Ravens’ minicamp last week was especially meaningful for running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, whose academic issues in high school nearly put his career in jeopardy. The team also made three signings after the rookie mini-camp, including one who has NFL experience but may be viewed as offensive line depth.

- The Ravens also disputed former Towson running back Terrance West’s assertion that he was going to be the Ravens’ pick at No. 99 had the Cleveland Browns not traded up for him. West said the Ravens called his agent to say he was the pick during the draft, but the Ravens said no such call was made.

King Henrik reigns

- The New York Rangers take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals home after last night’s 3-1 win over Montreal.

- San Antonio pulled away from Oklahoma in the first game of the Western Conference Finals, 122-105.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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