Friday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Andy Murray not particularly interested in benching veterans, Guillaume Latendresse returns to Montreal and apparently Ice Edge Holdings wants to purchase AHL team and move it to Thunder Bay
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- Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune summarizes which Blackhawks have a chance to make which Olympic teams. The Hawks have only allowed two games of three plus goals since Mid-October.
- “We’ve played almost identical to the way we did when we were having success,” said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock after his team’s 2-1 shootout loss at home. Meanwhile, coach Hitchcock said that youngster Derick Brassard is not going to be sent to the minors–basically under any circumstances.
- One of the reasons for the Wings’ success this season is that they stick to the system, writes Helene St. James. Jimmy Howard impressed in last night’s 3-0 win over Tampa Bay. It doesn’t appear Henrik Zetterberg will miss much, if any, time after being hit hard by country-mate Mattias Ohlund.
- The Predators handled the Oilers last night. (Note: AP article)
- Perhaps the Blues would play better if coach Andy Murray benched his veterans, but he doesn’t sound amenable to that idea, writes Jeremy Rutherford.
- Is the outdoor game already overdone? Sounds like the Flames players like the idea of an outdoor game–well, as long as it isn’t minus 30. Miikka Kiprusoff was great–broken record–as the Flames beat the Kings at the Saddledome last night. Calgary was sure physical last night.
- While Wade Redden was very unhappy with his benching, John-Michael Liles understands why Joe Sacco sat him down, explains Adrain Dater.
- The Oilers got off to a good start, but after Barry Trotz’s timeout the Predators were a different team. Fernando Pisani hopes to return to the Oilers sometime in the new year. The Oilers are saying they don’t believe that Nikolai Khabibulin’s back issue is long-term.
- Guillaume Latendresse knew what would get his old fans to turn on his old team and boy was he right, writes Michael Russo. “I enjoy my new life, after practice talking to two [media] people, and that’s great for me,” said Latendresse about his move from Montreal to Minnesota. Looks like the Wild will start next season in Finland.
- Kevin Bieksa is a talent but he needs to be a bit more consistent. Michael Grabner appears to be headed to Manitoba for conditioning before a return to Vancouver. Canucks fans get a sneak peak at the Alexander Ovechkin tonight, just before seeing him for two weeks in February.
- Saku Koivu’s stint in Anaheim didn’t start how he wanted, but he has really picked up his game over the past couple weeks, explains Eric Stephens.
- Marc Crawford went after his team on Wednesday but took a different approach after Thursday’s loss at Atlanta. The Stars have been hit by some injuries on the blue line, writes Mike Heika.
- The Flames tried to push the Kings around physically but Los Angeles held their own, however, they couldn’t record the victory.
- Apparently the head of Ice Edge Holdings wants to buy an AHL team and move it to Thunder Bay and have it be the Coyotes’ main affiliate. (Writer’s note: That’s only a four plus hour flight for an affiliate…)
- The Sharks ended their losing streak against the team that knocked them out of last year’s playoffs, recaps David Pollak. Brian Burke was in San Jose to scope out Joe Pavelski for the U.S. Olympic team.
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