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NHL Morning Papers

Sunday Morning NHL Papers (Western Conference): Daniel Sedin rejoins Canucks, Wings suffer another injury, Avery vs. Phaneuf fizzles but Flames roar, should Gretzky be at the HOF induction ceremony.

Canadian Women win Four Nations Cup; Hits to the head will be discussed at this week’s GM meetings; Jackets continue to lead central; Are the Hawks actually getting healthy; Martin Havlat watches himself to get out of slump; Sharks dominate Stanley Cup champs. These stories and more after the jump.

General NHL:

  • Forward Sergei Zinoviev scored twice to help a speedy Russia outclass Sweden 4-1 Saturday in the second round of the four-nation Karjala Cup, ruining Peter Forsberg‘s 100th game for the national team.
  • The Canadian women’s hockey team snapped a four-game losing streak in international finals with a 5-1 victory over the U.S. on Saturday to take the Four Nations Cup.
  • When they are enshrined together Monday in Toronto, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman could represent the most gifted class in the history of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • If Wayne Gretzky chooses to pass on tomorrow night’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, what an embarrassment that will be for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his fellow owners.
  • A rash of injuries has swept through the NHL and junior hockey, and Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry says they can easily be prevented if the league and its players make some tweaks in their game.  The issue regarding hits to the head will be among the topics raised this week at the GM’s meetings in Toronto.

Central Division:

  • The Blue Jackets faced a classic “trap” game tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.  And sure enough, the Jackets wandered into a danger zone and spent the first two periods trying to yank their pant leg out of the Hurricanes’ clench.
  • The Blackhawks are getting healthy, or are they?  With Dave Bolland’s bad back a potentially long-term problem, the injured Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Ben Eager can’t play soon enough.
  • Detroit Red Wings forward Jason Williams left early in the second period of Saturday’s game at Air Canada Centre after suffering a fractured fibula.
  • Brett Hull still considers himself a true Blue, even after a messy separation from the team, as he’s on the eve of enshrinement.
  • Predators defensemen continue to provide some of the team’s top scoring chances, as shown in Saturday’s win at Los Angeles.

Northwest Division:

  • The Avalanche on Saturday conducted what was termed an “optional” practice, but coach Joe Sacco said that might have been misleading.  The Avalanche are not alone with attendance concerns.
  • Jarome Iginla scored the go-ahead goal and Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves as the Calgary Flames beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Saturday night for its third win in a row.  The anticipation of the confrontation created an obvious stir of tension Saturday night among the seat-takers at the Pengrowth Saddledome but didn’t materialize in any significant fashion.
  • Wild prevailed in its best 60-minute performance of the season except they lost veteran Petr Sykora in the third period. after it appears he hit his head into the boards after being hit hard by Steve Ott.  In an attempt to revive the real Martin Havlat, the Wild winger sat alone in front of a television watching some of his goals from last season’s career year in Chicago.
  • Canuck winger Daniel Sedin, who has missed 14 games due to a broken foot, is rejoining the National Hockey League team in Dallas and is expected to practise with teammates here Sunday.

Pacific Division:

  • Just over a year ago at HP Pavilion, the Sharks schooled the eventual Stanley Cup champions, out-shooting the Penguins by a ton in an early-season win and Saturday night they repeated their dominance.
  • After building a 4-0 lead on goals by Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Brown, the Ducks surrendered three quick tallies to Phoenix in an 8-minute span of the third period. 
  • After the embarrassing loss to the Leafs two weeks ago, the Ducks have won 3 of their last 5 games and appear to be back on track.