Thursday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Peter Laviollete wants more discipline, Phil Kessel back in Boston and the Lightning’s attendance average is less than half capacity
- Playing against the Rangers as a youngster taught a young Martin Brodeur to play the game under controlled emotions, explains Mark Everson. Brodeur didn’t record a shutout last night but the Devils handled the NHL’s worst road team with a victory at the Prudential center.
- John Tavares single-handedly tied the game in the third period at Toronto, but it wasn’t enough as former Islanders forward Jason Blake scored a late goal to give Toronto the victory. As a result of a couple injuries, Blake Comeau and Rob Schremp got into the lineup last night. (Registration required)
- The Blackhawks dominated the Rangers in an original six matchup last night, so if not for Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers surely wouldn’t have recorded one point in the standings. “My concern is the level of competing which was void as far as I’m concerned,” said an angry John Tortorella. At least Brandon Dubinsky is closing in on a return to the lineup.
- Peter Laviolette made his new players in Philadelphia pay for taking too many penalties at practice on Wednesday. Ray Emery’s surgery was successful.
- Mike Rupp wasn’t signed to score goals but there he was yesterday playing alongside Sidney Crosby. The Penguins have had some travel changes this season, as they do every year. Chris Kunitz will not be ready to return to the lineup for tonight’s game.
- Tim Thomas says there is a fine balance between time off and playing every other day. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain at Fenway Park for the Winter Classic. Phil Kessel is already back in town to face the Bruins again tonight.
- Ryan Miller proved why he is the best goalie in the world right now, as the Sabres defeated the high-powered Washington offense by a final score of 3-0. Nathan Gerbe was called up for yesterday’s game and the diminutive scorer brought instant offense.
- Jacques Martin’s Canadiens have been improving as of late, and the team’s penalty killing units have something to do with that.
- The Senators need to stop taking too many men on the ice penalties. In good news, Pascal Leclaire is hoping to return to the Ottawa net in the next ten days. Coach Cory Clouston wants his big guns to start taking on “shooting mentality.”
- For all the panic at the beginning of the season, the Leafs continue to improve, writes Damien Cox. Phil Kessel returns to Boston for the second time tonight but says he isn’t worried about a repeat of last Saturday. Ron Wilson wants Luke Schenn to be more physical.
- Is a seventh NHL team in Canada on the horizon? Jean Charest thinks a team is coming to Quebec City.
- The Thrashers lost at Calgary last night by a score of 3-1. (Note: No beat writer on the road.)
- The Hurricanes continued their horrible road play last night in New Jersey. (Note: No beat writer on the road.)
- Tomas Vokoun says the Panthers need to do a better job of scoring in dirty areas, as Florida lost 3-0 at Columbus last night. The Panthers are hoping that David Booth can return to the lineup after Christmas, but George Richards thinks that is too optimistic.
- Not only did the Bolts lose the game to Edmonton last night, they lost both Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos to injuries. The Lighning has played at an average of less than half capacity all season long. Most news isn’t great coming out of Tampa, but the progress of Victor Hedman has been.
- Alexander Ovechkin wasn’t much of a factor last night for Washington, writes Corey Masisak.
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