NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 19, 2011.

Evgeni Malkin a prolific scorer again…Claude Giroux easing his way back from concussion…Martin St. Louis to consider a visor…Capitals still struggling to score…Sabres growing frustrated…The reason for Devils rookie Adam Larsson’s tough stretch…Blackhawks coach gets 600th win…Reasons for hope for the Blue Jackets…Panthers down Hurricanes in OT.

 

Malkin regaining his scoring touch at right time for Penguins.

PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: Over ten months after knee surgery, Penguins star Evgeni Malkin is regaining his prolific scoring touch .

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It takes time for a player to fully recover from knee surgery. Fortunately for the injury-ravaged Penguins, Malkin is regaining his touch at an opportune time, keeping the club among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Claude Giroux is easing his way back to action from a recent concussion, participating in no-contact drills.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giroux has to be careful not to overdue it and rush back too soon.

TAMPABAY.COM: Lightning forward Martin St. Louis considering wearing a visor when he returns to action. St. Louis has been sidelined by facial injuries suffered in a recent practice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have a lot of respect for St. Louis, but it’s sad that it took a serious injury to make him consider wearing a visor.

WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals changing coaches hasn’t done much to improve their offensive game, as they’re continuing to struggle putting the puck in the net.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That a team with scoring stars like Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom is struggling to score indicates a very real problem within its ranks. Perhaps new coach Dale Hunter’s system isn’t working? Could there be a rift among the players? Maybe the speculation Ovechkin is “past his prime” is true? Whatever the reason, the Capitals are a better team than their current record, but simply haven’t played up to expectations.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres are a very frustrated team, struggling at nearly every aspect of the game in recent weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They entered this season having spent big in the UFA market but that hasn’t translated into a better team. There’s now talk of trades, and one has to wonder how long Lindy Ruff will remain head coach if this skid continues.

NJ.COM: Devils rookie Adam Larsson’s recent tough stretch is attributable to the passing of his grandmother.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The death of a loved one is a traumatic experience for anyone, especially a young NHL rookie.

DETROIT NEWS: The Chicago Blackhawks downed the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-2, which was the 600th career victory for head coach Joel Quenneville.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH:  Dr. Mark Rosentraub, former dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State, offers up his opinion on the possible positives for the Blue Jackets.

MIAMI HERALD: The Panthers rallied to down the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime.

2 Comments

  1. The big splash over the summer (Leino, Erhoff, Regehr) was never going to vault this team into the NHL elite but ironically some of the biggest impacts have come from rookies (Adam, Kassian, Graniani). Given his tenure at the helm you’d almost have to think Lindy Ruff is the most untouchable of all, although all things come to an end. From the recent coaching swaps it’s tough to see who might bring in instant improvements into the squad (Carlyle?)

  2. Re Washington, I’m fresh out of ideas as to what may be the issue with this squad. I don’t envy McPhee who seems to have done all the right moves in the offseason