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On the Beat

On the Beat: Eric Staal may return next week, Babcock sticks with Ericsson, Ron Wilson vows to be less patient, Penguins lose key defenceman, Boudreau says about Ovechkin “As of today, he’s in”.

Ducks GM expresses displeasure with team; Bruins looking for consistency; J.R. talks NHLPA; Babcock shows trust in rookie Ericsson; Andrew Peters may be key to Devils streak; Flyers rookie James van Riemsdyk back in the lineup. These stories and more after the jump.

Today’s word from the team beat writers:

  • Ducks GM Bob Murray was less than pleased with his players and let them know it this weekend, and the question today is have the players gotten the message after taking Sunday off.
  • Johan Hedberg has gotten three of the last four starts in goal for the Thrashers, missing only Friday’s game against Los Angeles and it looks like coach John Anderson will continue to ride his hot goaltender.
  • The confounding thing about the Bruins is that they aren’t that far away from being a good team if only the team could put together a good defensive and offensive game plan in the same game.
  • Canes coach Paul Maurice said today that center Eric Staal may be able to return to the lineup next week after missing the last six games with an upper-body injury.
  • Former Chicago Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick is not happy about disarray NHLPA is in and no surprise, he is voicing his displeasure about its current state.
  • Still no word on how Steve Mason is doing after feeling the ill effects of back spasms yesterday, but Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock has his plate full worrying about a Columbus killer in the form of Ales Hemsky.
  • Mike Babcock stuck with his young defenceman, Jonathan Ericsson, despite some critical mistakes he made against the Ducks on Saturday night knowing that it helps to build character and is necessary for development.
  • Sam Gagner, the Edmonton Oilers’ second-line centre, might not play Monday night against the Blue Jackets as he has a lower-body injury according to coach Pat Quinn.
  • The newest member of the L.A. Kings, Randy Jones is settling in nicely with his new team, including scoring the game winning goal in his first game with the team. 
  • The Canadiens are off until tomorrow morning, when they’ll skate in Brossard to prepare for tomorrow night’s home game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
  • Andrew Peters might be the key to the Devil’s road winning streak as he was also a member of the 2006-07 Sabres team which set the record, a record the Devils could tie tonight in Philadelphia.
  • Early in the season, Rangers coach John Tortorella had said the coaching staff wanted to push Staal on the offensive side of the puck, and take the power-play pressure away from Redden.
  • Looks like fans in Ottawa will be seeing a lot more of country music star Carrie Underwood, but let’s hope she doesn’t have a Jessica Simpson like effect on Mike Fisher.
  • Flyers rookie James van Riemsdyk will be back in the lineup tonight after missing Saturday’s game against Buffalo with a nasty case of the flu.
  • The injury woes continue as Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced defenseman Alex Goligoski will be out two to three weeks due to a “lower-body” injury.
  • The San Jose Sharks don’t often give up leads and David Pollak of the Mercury News taks another look at the missed opportunities in last night’s OT loss to the Blackhawks.
  • Leafs coach Ron Wilson is now threatening a less patient approach, saying he will base the ice time he allots to players on how they hit the ice in the first few shifts.
  • Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was coy when asked whether Alex Ovechkin would be back in the lineup tomorrow, saying: “As of today, he’s in.”