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NHL Morning Papers

Saturday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Sharks trio worries opposition defence, Columbus fans eager for Adam Foote’s return, Flames dead last in faceoff percentage.

Luongo takes day off; Wild coach discusses head injuries; Brent Seabrook says Keith worth the money; Nationwide doing what it can for Jackets; Wings get some good news; Blues hoping for ‘Boston’ effect; Sharks try to clarify; Ducks in a vicious cycle. These stories and more after the jump.

Northwest Division

  • The Calgary Flames might be a hot team right now (6-3-1 in last 10) but there is one area where they sit dead last in the league, faceoff winning percentage.  The Flames defence will have their hands full as they roll into San Jose to take on the Sharks high powered offence.
  • “It is what it is,” Adam Foote said in reference to his return to Columbus and the fan response it will elicit, as his Avalanche, who haven’t been playing particularly well, look to stop their skid.
  • For the Vancouver Canucks Roberto Luongo, afternoons are for napping, not playing.  Backup Andrew Raycroft will get the start today against Carolina.
  • Perhaps the old Minnesota Wild couldn’t have come back from a two goal deficit in the 3rd period but that’s exactly what they did on the strength of the Miettinen-Koivu-Brunette line and won 5-4 in a shootout.  It is a very different era, and Wild coach Todd Richards cannot believe the head injuries that he sustained that were brushed off.
  • Edmonton goalie Jeff Deslauriers recovered from his thrashing in Vancouver, played well in Detroit and will be tested again in Dallas while coach Pat Quinn is hoping for some consistency out of his young goalie.  Ryan Stone is very good for the Oilers, as they are 6-2-1 with him and 5-11-3 without him.

Central Division

  • All the good vibes in the city of Chicago have disappeared along with the good weather as the Hawks fell to the fast rising Nashville Predators last night 4-1.  The Hawks defensive core continued to work together as Brent Seabrook says that Duncan Keith is worth the money that Chicago will be dishing out for the next 13 years.
  • While Preds goalie Dan Ellis might not be the smoothest operator he sure got the job done in Chicago stopping 34 of 35 shots.  Preds beat writer John Glennon didn’t think the performance was dominating but was nonetheless impressed with the team’s effort in his postgame notes.
  • In a bid to keep the main tenant of Nationwide Arena afloat, they have hired  John Rosenberger, the former executive director of Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corp.  It has been almost two years since former Jackets captain Adam Foote left and now fans get to “welcome him” back.  Fedor Tyutin, who has been arguably the best defencman on the team, has shown an unusual penchant for giveaways.
  • The Red Wings arrived in New York on Friday with good news to report on Jonathan Ericsson, whose knee scare in Thursday’s game won’t prevent him from playing tonight against the Devils.  Before people start counting the Wings out, there are still 55 games remaining, but the players are wondering about the hole they’ve dug.
  • The St. Louis Blues are hoping they have had their ‘Boston’ moment, which last season saw the team start a big run to the playoffs, and they are hoping that the 3-2 victory over the Sharks might have the same effect.

Pacific Division

  • Evgeni Nabokov wanted to clarify, Marc-Edouard Vlasic wanted to move on, and coach Todd McLellan wasn’t necessarily displeased with the whole affair but collectively it appears the Sharks want to move past finger-pointing gate.
  • The Coyotes continue to win and tonight they will be going for their fourth consecutive victory as they try and equal their season high.
    Sharks Coyotes Hockey
  • The Dallas Stars’ Marty Turco used to be much more concerned with game day routines but when you are playing an afternoon game, all that gets tossed out the window.
  • It is a vicious cycle the Ducks are caught in, and a season of high expectations could be headed down the drain if they don’t change their ways soon.