Friday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Alexander Ovechkin will probably miss at least two more games and will Jaromir Jagr eventually return to NHL?
- Patrik Elias may return to the Devils lineup tonight, but he cautions fans not to expect too much. Yann Danis will start in goal tonight for the Devils.
- Apparently there is still no date for Rick DiPietro’s return to the Islanders lineup.
- “He’s on our radar. He has NHL years ahead of him. No question,” said Oilers coach Tom Renney about former Rangers star Jaromir Jagr. On the ice, the Rangers were solid on both the power play and penalty kill last night and it resulted in a 4-2 road win over Edmonton.
- Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says Marc-Andre Fleury played his worst game of the season last night. Injured Penguins center Evgeni Malkin is still not skating. Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi were integral parts of the Penguins’ Cup run, but the team really isn’t missing them this season. Close buddies Jack Johnson and Sidney Crosby got to face-off last night.
- The flu is circulating around the Flyers locker room, writes Frank Seravalli. The tightest defensive team faces the highest scoring team tonight as the Sabres face-off against the Flyers.
- The Bruins were almost shutout for three games in a row for the first time in 80 years, writes the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan. “Whether people like it or not, we are trying, and I’ll stick behind this group and take whatever heat comes my way,” said coach Claude Julien after his team’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Habs. In roster news, Peter Chiarelli signed Tuukka Rask to a two-year contract extension. In concerning news, David Krejci has H1N1.
- One of the most difficult parts of defending the Sabres is their balanced offense throughout the lineup, writes John Vogl. Buffalo is fourth place in the NHL in face-off percentage.
- Anyone who questions Carey Price’s talent should watch film of last night’s Montreal win over Boston.
- Jason Spezza returned to the lineup last night and proved just how valuable he is to the Senators’ chances. Here is a funny back and forth between Chris Neil and Steve Downie. For those who enjoy the off-ice couples news, Carrie Underwood was on Regis and Kelly talking about Mike Fisher.
- Leafs coach Ron Wilson won’t announce his starters for his team’s back-to-back games this weekend. Toronto players know tonight’s game against the also struggling Hurricanes is very important. Highly paid Jeff Finger is finally checking into the lineup.
- Atlanta had another slow start at home, which means it is no coincidence that the team lost its fourth consecutive home game last night. (Writer’s note: The crowd in Atlanta last night was a joke. It looked like thirteen people were in the stands.)
- “I wouldn’t [change coaches] in short order. You have to understand my change last year was due to things that had happened over a two-year period where things were faltering. I’m not going to make a decision like that over 15 or 20 games,” said Jim Rutherford on any talk of a coaching change. Things could be getting even worse for Carolina, as Ray Whitney and Tuomo Ruutu may be injured.
- Bryan McCabe will play in his 1000th NHL game tonight. David Booth hopes to start exercising very lightly in the next day or two.
- The Lightning lost in overtime to Ottawa and lost Victor Hedman to injury, writes Damian Cristodero. Vincent Lecavalier very much wants to make the Canadian Olympic team and knows he has two more months to prove himself.
- Alexander Ovechkin was back on the ice for a hard skate on Thursday but says he will probably miss the team’s next two games.