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On the Beat

On the Beat: Flames coach doesn’t hold back, Dater says goodbye to Twitter, Huet is stepping up big time for the Hawks, Steven Stamkos scores possible goal of the year with Steve Yzerman in attendance.

Ducks special teams clicking; Tuukka Rask may get 3rd straight start; Canes victory significant on several fronts; Mike Babcock wants more from his top line; Preds big names finally producing; Zach Parise ties team record he already holds; Philadelphia defense huge asset in offensive zone; Ron Wilson seems powerless to stop Leafs slide. These stories and more after the jump.

Today’s word from the team beat writers:

  • Despite the near brawl that happened after the game, when 1st star of the game Scott Niedermayer tried to give his stick away, the Ducks finally got something postive going last night as the special team’s play was very effective against the Lightning.
  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution asked Thrashers coach John Anderson who has been the best off season acquisition for the team.
  • Coming off a strong shootout effort which gave the Bruins the victory, Tuukka Rask may make a third straight start in the Boston net for the first time this season.
  • The Sabres look to get a few more players back in the lineup, including both Roy and Connolly who took maintenance days yesterday, writes Mike Harrington in the Buffalo News.
  • Flames coach Brent Sutter didn’t hold back when describing his team’s “deeper issues” using terms like “Too casual; not enough emotion; no sense of urgency”.
  • Yesterday’s come from behind victory by the Carolina Hurricanes was signficiant on several fronts writes Chip Alexander of the News and Observer.
  • There have been a lot of positives for the Blackhawks during their five-game winning streak, but the play of goaltender Cristobal Huet has been the biggest one.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post says goodbye to his Twitter account largely it seems as a result of the Flames incident which has spurned a “Where do you draw the line with twitter and journalism?” discussion.
  • The Blue Jackets put together arguably their most complete effort of the season, outlasting the Stars 4-1 in a nasty and combative contest in Dallas including a vicious hit by James Neal on Derek Dorsett.
  • Red Wings coach Mike Babcock wants to see more out of the forward line of Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom.
  • Some of the Edmonton Oiler big names are struggling on the powerplay, so perhaps it’s time for Nilsson and Potulny to take on bigger roles.
  • Rich Hammond had a huge open forum for Kings fans to ask questions, and today he answers them, everything from Jonathan Quick not getting a new mask to why the Kings play Frolov on the third line and many more.
  • Slowly but surely, the Predators’ big-name players are starting to produce some points and the team is looking good after they beat San Jose and followed that by edging New Jersey last night.
  • Habs coach Jacques Martin has confirmed that Georges Laraque will play for the first time since Oct. 20 and so will defenceman Ryan O’Byrne whose been out with a knee injury.
  • By scoring both Devils goals in Thursday night’s shootout loss to the Nashville Predators, Zach Parise tied a team record he already shared.
  • The Rangers Chris Drury was cleared medically yesterday after his afternoon doctor’s visit to begin the next phase of his comeback after suffering a concussion.
  • In 18 games this season, the eight defensemen currently on the Philadelphia Flyers roster have 57 points which compared to the 141 points they had all of last season is a significant upgrade.
  • Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has some more Mellon Arena memories, today’s feature is Andrew Ference.
  • It is the goal that everyone is talking about today, the one Bolts young star Steven Stamkos’ goal from his back that was part of the Lightning’s three-goal comeback and lucky for him Steve Yzerman was in attendance as part of his Team Canada duties.
  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star writes about the Leafs misfortunes this season but disagrees with the idea of sending Jason Blake down and wonder why Ron Wilson seems powerless to stop the slide.
  • Playing in the first game of his NHL career, Capitals rookie John Carlson didn’t get much sleep last night as his team plays host to the Montreal Canadiens tonight writes Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post and he also has tonight’s expected lineup.