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- Jacques Lemaire put his troops through a harder practice than normal to send a message about what he wants from them, writes Colin Stephenson. The team’s positioning has not been sharp lately. There is still no word on whether Jay Pandolfo or Johnny Oduya will play tonight.
- If you are expecting Matt Moulson’s play to trail off, last night’s game should catch your eye, as the 26 year old scored a hat trick to lead the Islanders to victory. In good news, Frans Nielsen played last night without missing any games to injury.
- Artem Anisimov is getting a chance to center the Rangers’ number one line. Newcomer Erik Christensen realizes this may be his last shot in the NHL. Meanwhile, Ales Kotalik has been back on the number one power play unit.
- The Flyers held a ten minutes clossed-door meeting after losing their sixth game in seven days. Philadelphia’s special teams have been terrible lately. At least the Flyers avoid Alexander Ovechkin on Saturday.
- So much for any early season slump, as Sidney Crosby now has eleven points in his past three games. On the injury front, Chris Kunitz and Alex Goligoski are nearing returns. Tony Granata was behind the Penguins bench last night coaching against his old team, but he says he has no regrets.
- Byron Bitz isn’t your normal first line player but he contributes and has developed some chemistry with Marc Savard and Blake Wheeler. Combine the adjustment of the team’s new players with a more aggressive system and those are the two main reasons that the Bruins penalty killing is now second in the NHL. Friday’s game should be quite the experience for the Bruins, as the Habs franchise celebrates its 100th anniversary.
- The Sabres did their fans a favor, dominating the Habs early enough to all Buffalo fans to switch over to the Bills game with full confidence their team would win. Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News thinks Sabres fans should look at the moves by Habs GM Bob Gainey and be thankful their team didn’t do the same.
- Sean Gordon of the Globe & Mail has a great article on the Centennial tonight from Jean Beliveau’s perspective. The Habs only generated eight shots on net last night in the first two periods against the Sabres, writes Pat Hickey.
- “I thought we sustained the momentum after we tied it, but Brian needs to be better,” said Senators coach Cory Clouston after his team’s 6-3 loss at Los Angeles. The fourth goal was the back-breaker last night. Nick Foligno was a healthy scratch last night.
- “He’s a good kid and we know he can play in the NHL but with Paradis we’re getting a guy who can be a winger with speed, decent hands and who plays a physical game,” said Brian Burke about the trade of Jiri Tlusty. “(Tlusty) is a player who has a better chance to flourish in a smaller market,” said Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford. Jonas Gustavsson is having a second procedure on help his heart rate and his teammates are definitely thinking of him. Meanwhile, the Leafs actually played a hockey game last night and played quite well–defeating the Blue Jackets 6-3 in Columbus. Jason Blake’s two tallies last night were surely a relief.
- “We didn’t play very hard today,” said Slava Kozlov after his team’s 4-1 loss to the Islanders. Did you know the Thrashers averaged the third most goals-per-game in the NHL and have scored the most third period goals?
- Cam Ward is back onthe ice in Carolina and says he is close to being game ready. “We’ve excelerated the timeline of a prospect,” said Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford about his trade on Thursday.
- Scott Clemmensen has not made a great impression since taking over starter duties while Tomas Vokoun recuperates from the Keith Ballard incident. With no David Booth or Cory Stillman right now, the Panthers are getting top notch play from Stephen Weiss.
- Vincent Lecavalier admits that he lacks confidence right now, explains Damian Cristodero. On paper, this team should be a dominant two-line team.
- Who needs Ovechkin? As the Capitals cruised past the Panthers last night. Alexander Semin was coming back from injury and dominanted last night’s contest.
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