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On the Beat

On the Beat (Western Conference): Craig Anderson injury cloaked in mystery, Mike Babcock happy with Justin Abdelkader, Canucks hire Dave Babych.

Flames preview; Blue Jackets chat; Leadership a challenge for Stars; Oilers still not on right track; Wild chat @ 3pm; Blues add some scoring depth. These stories and more after the jump.

Be sure to tune into the Illegalcurve Radio show tonight (7pm cst) as the guys will have Johnny Misley of Hockey Canada on the show this evening.

Word from the team beat writers.

  • John Down of the Calgary Herald gives a preview of tonight’s Flames and Thrashers game.  Good news for Flames fans, Robyn Regehr is expected back in the lineup for Thursdays game.
  • Hawks coach Joel Quenneville won’t give Antti Niemi starts in consecutive games and it will instead be Cristobal Huet between the pipes tonight, when the New York Rangers visit the United Center.
  • The condition of Colordao Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson is cloaked in some mystery writes Adrian Dater of the Denver Post. 

    Photo Courtesy:  CBC

    Photo Courtesy: CBC

  • Each Wednesday at noon during the NHL season, and readers can chat online with either Aaron Portzline or Tom Reed, The Dispatch’s Blue Jackets beat writers.  Here’s a transcript of today’s chat with Aaron.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News suggests that leadership is a challenge for the inconsistent Dallas Stars.
  • Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is quite happy with the play of young Justin Abdelkader and rewarded him with time on the 2nd line during the Wings 3-1 victory over the Rangers.
  • Despite all the winning the Oilers have been doing lately David Staples of the Edmonton Journal is just not convinced that Edmonton’s management is on the right track. 

    Photo Courtesy: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    Photo Courtesy: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

  • Other than Erik Ersberg starting in goal, the Kings are expected to go with the same lineup tonight (Drewiske and Harrold scratched).
  • Join Michael Russo and Wild fans at 3 p.m. for a chat about the state of hockey — with the Wild and elsewhere in the National Hockey League.
  • Jeff Gordon of St. Louis Today feels that the Blues added some scoring depth up front while subtracting some significant depth from its blue line when they traded defencemen Brendan Bell to the Columbus Blue Jackets with failed center prospect Tomas Kana for center Pascal Pelletier.
  • The Vancouver Canuck are bringing in former player Dave Babych as an assistant to director of player personnel Dave Gagner, paying particular attention to defencemen writes Jim Jamieson of the Province.