Friday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Barry Trotz not happy with David Backes, Andy Murray angry with his team, Jarome Iginla denies challenging the whole Canadiens bench and Coyotes players give away free tickets to fans at mall
- The Blackhawks players are committed to sacrificing their bodies and that’s the main reason they lead the league in penalty killing. The Blackhawks’ American players aren’t thinking anymore about playing their way on the Olympic team just becauase Ron Wilson will be behind the opposing team’s bench tonight. Apparently Marian Hossa has looked great in practice.
- “I don’t believe in brainless practices” said Ken Hitchcock about his decision to not bag skate his group after its 9-1 loss to Detroit. Ken Hitchcock wasn’t the happiest with Steve Mason’s comments the other day.
- “We are now 9-3-3 since coming back from our trip (to Sweden),” coach Mike Babcock said. “We aren’t winning games in the same fashion that we used to, that’s pretty obvious. But we are finding ways to grind games out and that’s what we have to do,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock. Yesterday’s victory was an important one for Jimmy Howard as he defeated his idol. Meantime, Babcock is happy to have Drew Miller in Detroit.
- The Predators made up for their loss in San Jose with a late third period go-ahead goal leading them to a victory over St. Louis. J.P. Dumont returned to the lineup last night but was hit hard by David Backes and coach Barry Trotz thought the hit was on purpose.
- “We’ve got guys trying to stick-handle, we’ve got guys trying to toe-drag guys, instead of putting the puck to the net,” said an angry Andy Murray after his team’s loss last night. Paul Kariya admitted that he was disappointed to be taken off the power play last week by coach Murray.
- Jarome Iginla is denying that he challenged the entire Habs bench the other night. Meanwhile, the Flames practiced their power play on Thursday, as it has been poor on the road. Miikka Kiprusoff doesn’t want to make a big deal of his return to old form.
- The Avalanche is debuting the team’s new third jersey, click here to take a look.
- “We’re not a mentally strong team that goes and gets points … we’re letting them get away,” says Oilers coach Pat Quinn. Liam Reddox is feeling the after-effects of the hit he received from Clarke MacArthur. At least the flu is finally in the team’s rear-view mirror.
- “We can’t take penalties every night. We got away with it last game. Lesson learned today,” said Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom after his team’s 4-3 shootout loss to Tampa Bay. Michael Russo provides Wild fans with the latest news on current Lightning Stephane Veilleux.
- The Canucks outplayed the Red Wings last night but the Wings got goals when they needed them, writes Jim Jamieson. The Canucks’ offense is too concentrated.
- Ducks owner Henry Samueli has been reinstated by the NHL. Ducks GM Bob Murray says not expect coach Randy Carlyle to go anywhere.
- The Stars ventured to the Shark Tank, came back from a deficit and beat the Pacific Division’s best team in a shootout.
- The Kings face the Thrashers tonight in Atlanta, here is the preview.
- Nobod is coming to Coyotes games, so now players are giving out free tickets to fans. On the ice, Dave Tippet wasn’t happy with his team’s play in the group’s loss to Montreal last night.
- The Sharks blew a third period lead but coach Todd McLellan wasn’t that unhappy with his team’s play. GM Doug Wilson wants something done about hits to the head.
If you are looking for a holiday gift and want to support IllegalCurve, take a look at our touques that can be purchased for only $9.99 plus shipping. Also, if you want to add IllegalCurve on Twitter, click here.