Thursday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Marian Hossa taking part in contact drills, Brent Sutter plays some football and J.S. Giguere wants to be number one in Anaheim
- “For some reason we were kind of scrambling (Wednesday),” said Cam Barker after his team’s 3-2 shootout win at home over Colorado. Good news for hockey fans, Marian Hossa has started taking part in contact drills at practice. Stan Bowman won’t be putting Dave Bolland on long-term IR, just as he didn’t put Marian Hossa on long-term IR.
- “We’re not going to put this behind us and just write it off,” said Ken Hitchcock after his team’s 9-1 loss to Detroit. “It’s not nice to hear that from your home fans” said Blue Jackets netminder Steve Mason after beeing booed. Bob Hunter thinks the results of last night’s blowout were an aberration.
- “We weren’t very happy, obviously, with our last game and I thought our guys, we played with good structure tonight and got started,” said Mike Babcock after his team’s blowout victory. Last night Chris Osgood had a night off and Jimmy Howard recorded an easy win between the pipes. In roster news, the Wings have claimed Drew Miller off waivers.
- J.P. Dumont is slated to return to the Predators lineup tonight, writes John Glennon.
- In St. Louis, Andy Murray has been happy with Cam Janssen’s play lately, as the big enforcer is proving he can do more than fight.
- Brent Sutter showed his lighter side to the Flames players yesterday, as he took part in some tossing of the pigskin with his players.
- “I don’t think we can be too disappointed in that loss. We played a heck of a game, one of the better games I think we’ve played all year,” said Colorado rookie Matt Duchene after his team’s shootout loss at Chicago.
- “Well, as far as I know, not many people score when they don’t shoot it,” said Pat Quinn in the continuing theme surrounding the Oilers this season. Ales Hemsky was back in the Edmonton lineup last night, but he’s still hurting. Liam Reddox was hurting after being hit by Clarke MacArthur last night. Ryan O’Marra stay with Edmonton looks like it will last all of about seven shifts.
- Rick Tocchet nailed it when he described the progression of the Wild under new coach Todd Richards, explains Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
- Daniel Sedin was sent home to Vancouver and may not return to the team’s lineup until next week. Where does Roberto Luongo stand when it comes to the starting netminding spot for the Olympics.
- The Ducks continued their inability to be any kind of streak together last night, explains Eric Stephens. Meanwhile, J.S. Giguere doesn’t want to be traded but he says he wants to become the number one netminder in Anaheim.
- Stars coach Marc Crawford is excited that the Stars are going to San Jose because he likes when his team has a big challenge to focus in on. Mike Heika analyzes the Sharks’ defense and the transformation the unit has undertaken since the 2008 playoffs.
- The Kings handled the worst team in the NHL by a score of 5-2 last night.
- Coyotes assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson deserves more credit for the Coyotes’ success than he has received so far. There are many subplots for tonight’s Habs/Coyotes game.
- Evgeni Nabokov has been terrific this season, but he doesn’t want to talk too much about his success.