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On the Beat

On the Beat: Canes seek .500 by Christmas, Hossa to return on Wednesday, Langenbrunner believes composite sticks leading to more broken bones, Cabbie visits Montreal.

Examining Thrashers season; Sutter still raving over Iginla; Columbus puts Dorsett on IR; Mike Babcock goes geopolitical with defensive pairings; Wild’s Brett Burns faces more concussion woes; Cabbie visits Montreal; Flyers two marquee forwards need to step up. These stories and more after the jump.

Today’s NHL news from the team beat writers:

  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution takes a look at the Thrashers season so far as they have roughly reached the quarter mark and the team is in the playoff mix.
  • The Buffalo Sabres have two days before their next game, so the projected lines could still change as coach Lindy Ruff was busy tinkering with them.
  • Flames coach Brent Sutter hasn’t decided who will be starting tonight in goal although it looks like the lines are set for Calgary as he is still raving about the performance of his captain Jarome Iginla after Saturday’s hat trick.
  • Canes GM Jim Rutherford has stated that the team goal is to get back to .500 by Christmas and Chip Alexander of the News and Observer looks at the different scenerios that could see Carolina achieve that mark.
  • It has been an exciting 36 hours for Chicago’s Bryan Bickell who hit the ice after trying to crunch the Oilers Dustin Penner, then he scored the game winner in Vancouver and then he was sent back to the AHL this morning to make room for Marian Hossa who is expected to return for the Hawks game against the Sharks.
  • Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the Blue Jackets have placed winger Derek Dorsett on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 19.
  • The Dallas Stars lineup has been set and it looks like it will be the same as it was on Saturday writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
  • Mike Babcock joked he went with geopolitical defense pairings this morning, as the Red Wings prepared for at least a month without Niklas Kronwall starting with tonight’s game against the Predators.
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal has a big question regarding whether or not Nikolai Khabibulin is earning the huge amount of faith that GM Steve Tambellini put in him by signing him to a four-year deal, rather than going with one or two younger free agent goalies.
  • If you are interested in seeing a quasi sneak peek at the new Panther colours, George Richards of the Miami Herald has this photo which was taken at this mornings skate.
  • Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting from practice today that Brett Burns was diagnosed with a concussion and a number of other Wild players were out today.
  • While the team had a fun encounter with The Score’s Cabbie, Montreal coach Jacques Martin was heaping lots of praise for his players including Carey Price, Mike Cammalleri, Andrei Kostitsyn, Tom Pyatt and Ryan White.
  • John Glennon of the Tennessean is reporting that Pekka Rinne will go for a sixth con­se­cu­tive win in goal tonight when the Pre­da­tors play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
  • NJ Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner believes the reason for so many injuries is because players are so much bigger, and composite sticks are creating harder shots that tend to break bones.
  • New York Rangers coach John Tortorella has sloted Ryan Callahan as a center between Lisin and Kotalik and interestingly despite only scoring two goals Christopher Higgins is second on the team in terms of scoring chances behind Gaborik.
  • The Flyers need their two marquee offensive players, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, to step up and lead the team out of their current funk.
  • Looks like Semyon Varlamov will start for the Capitals as they take on the Senators tonight and Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post has the likely lines for tonight’s contest.