Friday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Confusion over the Avalanche’s attendance troubles and the Canucks interested in Peter Forsberg
- Marian Hossa is still a few weeks from returning to the lineup. Jonathan Toews didn’t play last night in the team’s 3-1 loss at Phoenix. Tomas Kopecky wants to be the type of front-of-the-net force as his former teammates Tomas Holmstrom.
- The Blue Jackets got away from their style of play last night, but still defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3. Even though the team is losing a boatload of money, Rick Nash is still confident in the Blue Jackets’ viability in the Columbus market.
- “We’re not going to win like we used to,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock after a hard fought 2-1 shootout win over the Sharks. Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press thinks Jim Devallano is underestimating his team. A Vancouver chiropracter has really helped Andreas Lilja’s headaches.
- Jordin Tootoo made his season debut in Nashville but his team lost 4-0 at Anaheim.
- The Blues lost again at home last night to Calgary and only have one win at home this whole season, explains Jeremy Rutherford. Daryl Sydor has been a great signing for the Blues for a number of reasons.
- Miikka Kiprusoff returned to the Calgary lineup after missing Wednesday’s game with the flu and the result was a 30 save performance for a win at St. Louis. The Flames have recorded two overtime victories since Brent Sutter put them through a hard skate at the Saddledome.
- Marek Svatos may not be posting high goal/assist totals but his coach is very happy with his play. In injury news, Matt Duchene has a sore shoulder but is expected to play tonight. “Normally, I’d think it’s because of the economy and ticket prices being what they are. But in our case, because we have so many low-cost options now, it’s a little bit confusing to me still,” said a Kroenke Sports executive about the Avalanche ticket troubles.
- Edmonton players are embarassed by their recent performance, including last night’s loss at home to the Rangers. The Oilers’ injury excuses may have some merit, but just look at the success of the Vancouver Canucks, writes John MacKinnon. In good news, Sheldon Souray is back on skates but there is no date targeted for his return. Jim Matheson has a very good article on the story of Tom Renney’s firing from the Rangers.
- Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune blames Doug Risebrough for the Wild’s current mess of a season. The Wild is now the worst team in the Conference and the team looked like it last night.
- Andrew Raycroft played another good game, this time in Minnesota, but he says the key is that the Canucks believe in each other and are having fun. Did you know Darcy Hordichuk leads the NHL in shooting percentage? The Canucks are interested in signing Peter Forsberg if he is fully healthy.
- Teemu Selanne passed the legendary Jean Beliveau on the all-time points list last night in helping his Ducks team defeat the low-scoring Predators 4-0. The Ducks are happy to see Saku Koivu is getting more comfortable in Anaheim and has found his game in the process.
- “To play a team like Calgary that was really motivated, to have some key players come back into the lineup and play well together, I really do think it was a good sign,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow.
- “They’re the defending Stanley Cup champions, they were 7-0 on the road,” said Dustin Brown noting the significance of his team’s win at home last night against Pittsburgh.
- Peter Mueller finally got on the scoreboard, as his team won a passionate 3-1 game at home against the Hawks.
- Sure the Sharks lost in a shootout last night but coach Todd McLellan was proud of his team considering the circumstances.