Wednesday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Players eagerly awaiting Team Canada’s Olympic announcement, Jason Chimera likes his new linemates and previewing the Winter Classic
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- If there wasn’t a high opinion of the Devils to start the season, there definitely is a high opinion of the group now, writes Mark Everson. Zach Parise broke out of his slump because of the improved play of Travis Zajac, says coach Jacques Lemaire.
- Dwayne Roloson was the difference last night for the Islanders and Rob Schremp used his shootout skills to win the game, as the Isles beat the struggling Jackets. Jeff Tambellini was given a shot in the lineup last night.
- With Vinny Prospal injured, Chris Higgins will be given every opportunity to replace him on the top line. Ryan Callahan is hoping to get a call from Team USA on Friday.
- The Flyers will only start focusing on the Winter Classic after tonight’s game against the rival Rangers. Some worry that weather will be an issue on Friday. Even though the Flyers haven’t really defeated a quality team lately, the team will take any wins it can get.
- The Penguins uncharacteristically blew a 3-0 lead to the Sabres and Dan Bylsma thinks his team lost the game in the first ten minutes of the third period. “I honestly thought we deserved a better fate tonight,” said Sidney Crosby afterwards. Today is the day that Jordan Staal will find out if he makes Team Canada.
- Kevin Paul Dupont talks about how big of a thrill it would be for Tim Thomas to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team. Claude Julien wants his players to improve their starts. Tonight the Bruins face the Thrashers, then they can focus on the Winter Classic.
- Drew Stafford was benched the other night, but last night he proved why the team needs his services. Here are some Sabres notes courtesy of Mike Harrington.
- The Habs are healthier and are starting to gain some confidence heading into the second half of the season, writes Pat Hickey.
- “I’m pretty excited, obviously. It would be a dream come true to be named,” said Mike Fisher about possibly being named to Team Canada today. These Ottawa Sun writers think Fisher will be there. In other Sens news, Nick Foligno is expected to return from injury today.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star doesn’t expect many surprises from Steve Yzerman this afternoon. In Leafs news, Viktor Stalberg may return to the lineup tonight. Tonight’s game against the Leafs is Pat Quinn’s first since being fired a few years ago. “For lack of a better word, they are retarded. They are from the dark ages,” said Ron Wilson when asked about pre-game skates.
- The Thrashers are in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season, as they face the Bruins tonight.
- Team Canada take notice, Eric Staal has looked good on right wing as of late, writes Chip Alexander.
- Pete DeBoer likes what he sees from young Panthers defenseman Jay Garrison.
- Tampa Bay is finally receiving the production the organization expected from Alex Tanguay. Coincidentally, or probably not, Vincent Lecavalier has also picked it up as of late.
- Jason Chimera had to be pretty excited to start out in Washington on a line with Alex Semin and Nicklas Backstrom. It sure beats playing with Sammy Pahlsson and Freddy Modin.
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