Flyers fans cheer Parent and Lindros…Jagr no fan of outdoor games…Rangers set for Winter Classic…Ovechkin powers Capitals to win over Blue Jackets…Ryan Suter’s time to step out of Shea Weber’s shadown…NHL concerned over concussion injuries…Lightning lose Victor Hedman to concussion…Cam Fowler searches for consistency…Injury ravaged Panthers down Habs.
PHILLY.COM: Bernie Parent stole the show at Saturday’s Winter Classic Alumni game between the Flyers and Rangers, while former Flyer Eric Lindros received a warm welcome from the Philadelphia fans. Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr is no fan of outdoor games.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are set for tomorrow’s Winter Classic game against the Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Alumni Game is anything to go by, the NHL should have another successful Winter Classic on its hands. It was great to see the Philadelphia crowd salute Parent, the hero of the Flyers two championship seasons in the mid-70s, and welcome back Lindros, their prodigal son.
Lindros was clearly happy to be back, and it was great to see he and John Leclair team up again for a goal like they used to back in their glory days. Lindros was also relaxed during his interviews, smiling and joking throughout, which he rarely did during his playing days. Of all the NHL superstars I’ve watched since 1970, Lindros was the only one who seemed uncomfortable in the role, as though he were something to be endured, rather than enjoyed.
WASHINGTON POST: Alexander Ovechkin scored twice as the Capitals rallied to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Ovechkin third straight 2-point game. Could it be he’s regaining his lethal scoring touch? If he is, the Capitals will be a much better club than they’ve been throughout the first half of the season. As Ovechkin goes, so go the Capitals.
THE TENNESSEAN: Shea Weber’s injury could allow Ryan Suter to step out of the former’s shadow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could also have bearing upon which one the Predators re-sign if forced to choose between the two.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lisa Dillman reports as the number of star players suffering concussions continues to rise this season, the league is trying to crack down with tougher penalties and suspensions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of particular note in this article are the comments by agent Allan Walsh, who believes lawsuits against teams and the league from players who have their careers cut short by concussions could push the league to become even more proactive in addressing the concussion issue. It remains to be seen if this happens.
TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is out indefinitely with a concussion, the result of a clean hit in which he fell awkwardly into the boards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hedman took some flak for a hit which resulted in a second, season-ending concussion for Sidney Crosby a year ago, but it must be remembered Hedman’s hit was not a targeted head shot, and Crosby was still suffering concussion symptoms when he was checked by the Lightning defenseman.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler is struggling to find balance in his game during his sophomore season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the article noted, Fowler’s offensive production is down this season, which doesn’t off-set his problems in the defensive zone as it did last season.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: The injury-ravaged Florida Panthers lost goalie Jose Theodore to injury, but still hung on to edge the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 with backup Scott Clemmensen replacing Theodore.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Theodore is expected to miss the next few games, so the Panthers will call up Jacob Markstrom. Panthers enforcer Krystopher Barch was ejected for yelling a racial slur at Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.