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NHL Morning Papers

Saturday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Are NHL players what they tweet, Sabres PK goes from 20th to 2nd, Rick DiPietro returns to action, Can Alex Semin score more goals than Alex Ovechkin?

Bruins play worst game of the year; Senators road woes continue; Cammalleri with the trick; Phil Kessel still has hard feelings; Devils get 2 players back but lose another to injury; Holmgren discusses firing of Stevens; Can Vincent Lecavalier get his confidence back? These stories and more after the jump.


  • Not surprisingly the NHL remains well behind the other leagues in terms of using social media although David Perron of the St. Louis Blues seems intent to be a pioneer.
  • Canadian researchers are asking hockey players to donate their brains after their deaths in order to gain a better about concussions.
  • Never-before-published records on critical violations in the Greater Toronto Hockey League reveal troubling undercurrents in youth hockey.
  • The IIHF governing body shows off the national sweaters of 13 participating nations while five need IOC driven alterations.

Northeast Division

  • The scrappy Buffalo Sabres appear to be playing with a new found confidence which recently injured Toni Lydman noticed, especially when it comes to the play of Andrej Sekera.  One of the most important changes these Sabres have made is with their penalty killing unit, which went from 20th to 2nd in less than a month.
  • The Boston Bruins Dennis Wideman called last night’s loss to Montreal “our worst game of the year,” as the B’s suffered an all too familiar fate in what was the final night of celebration of 100 years of Habs hockey.  Tim Thomas actually made some nice saves before the B’s imploded, although he has a less than stellar record against the Canadiens.
  • What in the world has happened to the Ottawa Senators? The road struggles continue, it appears as if Brian Elliot cannot stop a puck and the forwards have forgotten how to score.  The Senators prediction panel seems to think that the Sens will be able to handle the Coyotes in Phoenix tonight. 
  • Habs fans have to be happy with the way their team celebrated the 100th anniversary as Carey Price played sensationally and Mike Cammalleri scored a hat trick.  One writer wonders where has the glory gone?  There was a two hour ceremony that preceeded the actual hockey game and many Montreal greats from the past took part in the festivities
  • While it remains a he said/he said battle between Phil Kessel and his former team in Boston, it is clear that hard feelings remains between them.  Besides moving up the standings, the Leafs recent winning streak has given the players a huge bounce as was evident in the mood at yesterday’s up-tempo practice at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Atlantic Division

  • Penguins left winger Matt Cooke is off suspension and will return to his position on the team’s 3rd line as they face the high flying Hawks at Mellon Arena tonight.  With all the injuries that Pittsburgh has suffered on defence this season the team has come to really rely on soft spoken Mark Eaton.  If you are into collecting memorabilia Trib Total Media and the Pittsburgh Penguins are offering collectible medals featuring 18 members of last year’s championship team.
  • You don’t always deserve to win every hockey game says Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner, but sometimes you are lucky enough to come away with two points.  Rookie defensemen Matt Corrente and Mark Fraser are showing opposing teams that they are two tough customers.  In injury news, it appears that Colin White will be a game time decision after sustaining a “lower-body injury” while both Jay Pandolfo and Johnny Oduya are set to return tonight against the Red Wings.
  • The Islanders’ franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro returns to action, although it won’t be for New York, as he starts for the team’s AHL squad, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ tonight. (registration required).
  • The Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren describes having to fire John Stevens as “it might have been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do”.  On the other end of the emotional spectrum new Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is excited to be joining his third NHL team.
  • Finnish rookie defenceman Ilkka Heikkinen is set to make his Rangers debut tonight and knows to expect a “high tempo” game. (registration required).  Now that New York has called up Chad Johnson to serve as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup, the question is how will this affect his development?

Southeast Division

  • It seems like the entire Washington Capitals team believes in the talent of Alex Semin and when asked what his goals are he said “score more goals than Ovie,” which some think is possible.
    Semin & Ovechkin
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning fell apart again last night and are now winless in four games (0-3-1).  Vincent Lecavalier, who seemed to be a lock for Team Canada, is mired in a slump and says “I’ll take anything” to get out of the scoring slump”.  Here is tonight’s Islanders-Lightning scouting report.
  • Long time fans of the Florida Panthers always have had high expectations for forwards Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton.