Monday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Mike Richards faces Florida for first time since David Booth hit, Eric Staal badly wants to be on Team Canada and does Wade Redden have to play well to avoid the AHL?
- With Paul Martin due to return after New Year’s, Mark Fraser may be playing well enough to stay in the lineup. Colin Stephenson writes about Brian Rolston’s comeback season in New Jersey.
- If the Rangers are going to succeed this season, coach John Tortorella says they need Henrik Lundqvist to be that good. Larry Brooks seems convinced that Wade Redden is being put back into the Rangers’ lineup in order to prove himself and thus keep himself out of the AHL.
- Frank Seravalli knows who isn’t being traded from the Flyers roster. Sam Carchidi documents the team’s awful scoring slump.
- Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains to readers why Brooks Orpik and Sergei Gonchar are such a good defense combination. Jordan Staal admits tonight is a big game for the Penguins.
- In Boston, Dennis Wideman is on the cusp of returning to the lineup. Meantime, Derek Morris is questionable for tonight’s tilt. Let’s be straight, the Bruins’ highly-paid forwards have not gotten the job done as of late.
- Lindy Ruff understands that one of the biggest problems with the Olympic schedule is the lack of practice time this season.
- The Habs spent an extra day in Long Island after the team’s plane decided not to take off due to the snow and high winds, writes Pat Hickey. Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette wonders how good Andrei Markov can be when fully healthy.
- Mike Brodeur may be getting consideration for the start tonight in Ottawa–however, coach Cory Clouston never reveals his starting goaltender until the day of the game. Erik Karlsson is starting to show progress for the Senators, writes Allen Panzeri. Is Mike Fisher engaged?
- The Leafs unfortunately have to face Ryan Miller again tonight–the one player that has been a real thorn in their side. Ron Wilson has taken notice of Miller’s performance, especially with this being an Olympic year. Chris Zelkovich takes Mike Milbury to task for his Hockey Night in Canada comments.
- The Thrashers can score, but they are last in the NHL in shots allowed per game, writes Chris Vivlamore.
- Eric Staal badly wants to play on the Canadian Olympic team this February in Vancouver.
- Tonight is the first time Mike Richards will face the Panthers since he injured David Booth on October 24th.
- “You hate to use the words do or die, but there are games that, as a player, you really look to dig deep,” said Rick Tocchet about tonight’s game at the Islanders. Tocchet is hoping a six-goal outburst last game will open the floodgates.
- Quintin Lang is tough and his toughness makes him one of the fan favorites in DC.
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