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NHL Morning Papers

Saturday Morning NHL Papers (Eastern Conference): Martin Brodeur surpasses a Patrick Roy record, Habs nightmare December, Sens look to improve woeful road record, Crosby & Staal teach pugalism 101.

Sabres break streak; Habs December schedule fright; Leafs play solid in 3rd; Tortorella finds it weird in visitor room; Bolts get focussed; Legace alone with his thoughts. These stories and more after the jump.

Northeast Division

  • Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff couldn’t speculate about the injuries suffered by Craig Rivet and Paul Gaustad but neither looked very good although his team did beat the Flyers.
  • Tuukka Rask brought his successful road show home to a capacity crowd of 17,565 yesterday at TD Garden but unfortunately for Bruins fans it wasn’t good enough as the home team fell, 2-1 to the visiting Devils.
  • Despite the small crowds at home for the Senators they have been pretty good at Scotiabank Place but they are hoping to improve on their poor road record.
  • Even though Halloween has been over for quite some time, if you take a look at the Habs December schedule, it is downright scary.  Matt D’Agostini isn’t feeling any ill will towards Chicago’s Andrew Ladd, whose hit knocked him out of the lineup and he even takes responsibility for his own injury.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are finally playing some solid hockey in the 3rd period and it paid off again as they topped the Panthers 6-4 last night.  If Nik Hagman keeps this up, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke will be hanging up the phone when his brethren from around the league call to talk trade.  At the other end of the spectrum the way things have been going for Jason Blake this season, he might have trouble putting a puck in the Atlantic Ocean.  Along with his proven goal-scoring ability, Phil Kessel is bringing some wow factor to the Maple Leafs.

Atlantic Division

  • The New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur surpassed Hall of Famer Patrick Roy for the most minutes played after the puck was dropped to open the third.  The 37-year-old Brodeur now has 60,280. Roy played 60,235.
  • A topic for discussion lately has been Sidney Crosby being on pace to surpass 100 penalty minutes for the first time since he received 110 during his first NHL season.  Jordan Staal is not a fighter but he is not one to stand by when he believes a teammate has been the victim of a suspect hit, either, which is why Staal went after Islanders enforcer Nate Thompson
  • Rangers coach John Tortorella admitted it was “a little weird” stepping into the visitor’s locker room of the St. Pete Times Forum, a place where he led the Lightning for seven years and won a Stanley Cup.
  • For the Philadelphia Flyers, a Black Friday matinee has become – in just a short time – a tradition on the schedule but they suffered a rare home loss to the visiting Sabres.

Southeast Division

  • When the Washington Capitals informed Mathieu Perreault that he was going to join the NHL squad, he was told it might be only for two games but – just in case – to pack for a week, and three weeks later, he is still up with the team.
  • Bolts coach Rick Tocchet said a team meeting Friday morning focused on shoring up the mental lapses and sloppy play which seemed to have helped the tema, while goalie Mike Smith felt “this was the best 60-minute hockey game we played all season”.
  • The Panthers sent Ville Koistinen to their AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., on Friday morning, saying the little-used defenseman needed playing time.  Meanwhile new Panthers owners Stu Siegel and Cliff Viner are expanding their search for new fans, and they are targeting young fans as they grow up around hockey.
  • Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Manny Legace sat in the weight room at the RBC Center, head down, alone with his thoughts.