Chris Pronger out for the season…Injuries mounting for Wild…Predators rally to beat Red Wings…Marc-Andre Fleury steadies the Penguins…Kings get first win since their coaching change…Hurricanes get first home win under Kirk Muller…Mattias Ohlund could be sidelined for the season…Devils to honor Scott Niedermayer…A look at what the NHL is doing to address concussions…Ilya Bryzgalov an HBO star.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers captain Chris Pronger is out for the season, including the playoffs, to post-concussion syndrome.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation has begun over how the Flyers might fill Pronger’s absence on the blueline. I’ll follow that further in my “Rumors” section.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The injuries are piling up for the league-leading Minnesota Wild. Captain Mikko Koivu suffered a leg injury in the Wild’s 4-3 loss on Wednesday to the Chicago Blackhawks, though early reports suggest it’s not serious. Second line winger Casey Wellman suffered a wrist injury, forward Guillaume Latendresse is out with post-concussion syndrome, Devin Setoguchi has missed four games with a leg injury, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard is out with what’s believed to be a broken nose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That the Wild have continued to play well (7-2-1 in their last ten) despite losing key players to injury is impressive, but at some point this could take a toll.
THE TENNESSEAN: Shea Weber scored twice as the Nashville Predators rallied to down the Detroit Red Wings 4-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Predators are in playoff contention, Weber won’t be shopped at the trade deadline. Sorry to disappoint the rumormongers, who’ll try like hell to keep his name in the rumor mill (Latest dumb rumor: Weber to Philadelphia to replace Chris Pronger. Not this season!).
PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been the rock of the Penguins injury-ravaged lineup this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’re seeing a new level of maturity in Fleury’s game this season, which is why the Penguins remain among the league’s best despite missing key players.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings got their first victory since firing Terry Murray as head coach, downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article also reports former Flames coach and GM Darryl Sutter is expected to take over as head coach of the Kings on Tuesday.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes got their first home victory under coach Kirk Muller, edging the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on a power-play goal by Jaroslav Spacek, the fourth straight game the Hurricanes have scored a power-play goal.
TAMPABAY.COM: Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund might not return this season due to knee surgeries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect Ohlund’s career may be over.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils will bestow a rare honor upon former Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer, retiring his number in a ceremony tonight before their game against Dallas.
TORONTO STAR: As a growing number of star players are sidelined by concussions, the NHL is engaged in ongoing procedures to better protect its players.
FACEOFF.COM: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov emerged as the star of the opening episode of this season’s 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bryzgalov is one of the most refreshingly candid players in the league.