Sunday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Marc Savard may still be on Team Canada’s radar, John-Michael Liles apparently available and is Jeff Carter on the block?
- It has been one of those years for New Jersey, as they stormed back after Martin Brodeur was pulled to hang the loss on Atlanta. Looks like Jacques Lemaire’s line changes worked out quite well.
- Due to a storm in the New York area, the Islanders had under 8,000 fans at last night’s game and the Habs fans outnumbered the Islanders fans. Martin Biron isn’t playing much anymore for the Islanders. Meanwhile, Rick DiPietro is slated to practice on Monday.
- Henrik Lundqvist could probably use a benching but the Rangers’ best player was tremendous yesterday afternoon in leading the Blueshirts to a 2-1 win over the Flyers. New York has sent Bobby Sanguinetti back to the AHL. Also, the Rangers have recalled Matt Gilroy. In his weekly Slap Shots column, Larry Brooks unveils his Team USA.
- Paul Holmgren says he will need to watch a few more games before deciding whether to make a big trade. Chris Pronger critiques the Flyers’ overall performance. Simon Gagne returned to the lineup yesterday and Peter Laviollete sure didn’t take it easy on him.
- Marc-Andre Fleury has been that good in the shootout this season. It seems like the Penguins continue to face teams on the second half of back-to-back games. Maxime Talbot was back in the lineup last night after being a healthy scratch. This upcoming Olympics is going to be important for Russia, explains Sergei Gonchar.
- “But I don’t think we tested him as much as we should have. That’s our fault,” said Claude Julien about his team’s offensive performance last night. Johnny Boychuk is nice off the ice, but just ask Matt Stajan how he is off the ice. In Kevin Paul Dupont’s weekly Hockey Notes, we get a taste of how good the Kings have been and he tells us that Marc Savard is still on Team Canada’s “watch list”.
- In his Inside the NHL column, Bucky Gleason talks head shots and John-Michael Liles’ availability. The Sabres can blame their power play for last night’s loss. Thomas Vanek didn’t play last night due to an abdominal injury.
- That Andrei Markov fellow is pretty important isn’t he, writes Pat Hickey.
- Mike Brodeur copied his relative Martin Brodeur, with a great NHL debut against the stiff Wild, writes Bruce Garrioch. Garrioch has a ton of rumors in his weekly rumor column, including his report that the Flyers are trying to trade Jeff Carter and the Oilers are shopping Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky and Shawn Horcoff.
- It is hard to keep track of the Leafs’ identity, but whatever they were doing last night worked. Jonas Gustavsson was the story last night.
- The Thrashers were outplayed by the Devils last night and the game wouldn’t have been close if not for Ondrej Pavelec.
- The Hurricanes actually pulled out a victory last night over the Panthers.
- Cory Stillman could return to the Panthers’ lineup on December 27, reports George Richards. Florida lost last night because they brought no intensity for the first 30 minutes of last night’s contest.
- Damian Cristodero says the Lightning can learn from the Nashville Predators. Alex Tanguay has the support of his family to turn it around. With a storm in the Northeast, coordinating travel plans wasn’t easy for the Ligtning’s director of team services.
- Oilers fans came to see Alexander Ovechkin and didn’t go home disappointed, writes Corey Masisak.
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