Wednesday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Another side of Ken Hitchcock, Mathieu Schneider takes time away from Canucks and Ryan Whitney has turned up his game
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- The Blackhawks knew the Sharks would be looking for revenge, and they sure were, as San Jose came into Chicago and recorded a 3-2 road victory. The score was deceiving though, as the Hawks outshot the Sharks 47-14. Ben Eager missed last night’s game but claims the injury has nothing to do with his previous concussion problems this season.
- “I guarantee there are a lot of guys in our (locker) room, whether they say it or not, who are tired of James Neal,” said Jackets forward Derek Dorsett. Apparently a few Blue Jackets players got to see the non-coaching side of Ken Hitchcock and a team meeting yesterday. Here are the Blue Jackets’ probable lines for tonight’s tilt.
- The Red Wings’ power play has been awful as of late. The Red Wings have called up Mattias Ritola from Grand Rapids of the AHL.
- The Predators lost 4-1 at the Canucks last night. (Note: AP article)
- The Blues are starting to gain confidence and a win tonight would mean the team’s first Western Canadian sweep in the organization’s history.
- All Craig Conroy wants for Christmas is one goal, as the veteran center hasn’t scored a goal in 33 games. Miikka Kiprusoff is admittedly impressed with the records that Martin Brodeur has been breaking. Calgary players know they get a break after tonight’s game and they have had some time off before tonight’s game, so there are no excuses for poor play.
- Last night’s loss was probably the Avalanche’s most disappointing loss of the season, writes Adrian Dater. Matt Duchene was happy to have some family at yesterday’s game, even if his uncle was on the opposing team’s coaching staff.
- Ryan Potulny has been promoted to the Oilers’ first line with Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule. The Oilers players are excited to get back on the road where they had all of their recent success.
- The Wild had the equipment issues in Ottawa but the team has been affected even more so by the flu.
- The Canucks were tremendous last night, as they handled the hottest team in hockey, writes Jason Botchford. Last night’s win actually moved the Canucks into playoff position for the first time this season. Nobody is sure where Mathieu Schneider is.
- Ryan Getzlaf’s late goal against Colorado was huge for the Ducks’ improbable comeback against the Avalanche. Ryan Whitney has been a different player lately–one that has been far more effective.
- The results may not be coming for the Stars but they are doing many things the right way, writes Mike Heika.
- Martin Hanzal is a team player, if you don’t believe that, then just ask his linemates.
- The Sharks know they got lucky last night against the Blackhawks, writes David Pollak. There is a built in schedule break for teams over Christmas, but coaches Sharks may not take that time off.
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