NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2012.

Capitals down Bruins amid ongoing concerns over Alexander Ovechkin’s performance…Sidney Crosby won’t debut against Bruins today….Blues tie franchise record with win over Blue Jackets…The Kostitsyn brothers power Predators to victory over Red Wings…Stars shut out fading Ducks…Ilya Bryzgalov backstops Flyers to shutout, shoot-out victory over Maple Leafs…Coyotes snap five-game losing skid against Sharks…..Hurricanes down Lightning.

WASHINGTON TIMES: The Capitals struggling power-play showed life in their 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. Concerns persist, meanwhile, over the declining production of Captials captain Alexander Ovechkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of theories about as to Ovechkin decline over the past two years, from his attitude to his inability to adjust to changes in the way opponents play him. Whatever it is, Ovechkin, at only 26, appears to be facing a crossroads in his NHL career, leaving more than a few fans wondering if his best days are behind him.

Crosby won't face Bruins today.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will not be making his return to the lineup in today’s game against the Bruins, though speculation now suggests Crosby could target this Thursday’s game against the NY Rangers for his comeback.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks, like HNiC’s Don Cherry, believes Crosby should just shut it down for this season, and not attempt to come back in time for the playoffs, because he’s not “battle tested” enough. Ultimately, it’s up to Crosby to make that choice, and to deal with the potential consequences.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues tied a franchise record with their 29th home win of the season, downing the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As strong as they’ve been at home, the Blues have been average on the road this season, though since the New Year, they’ve gone 8-5-0 on the road, showing some improvement in that category.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Kostitsyn brothers combined for two of the Predators 3 goals in their 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves as the Stars extended their unbeaten-in-regulation streak to 9-0-1 with a 2-0 win over the fading Anaheim Ducks.

PHILLY.COM: Ilya Bryzgalov record his third shutout in four games, backstopping the Flyers to a 1-0 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After an up-and-down season, Bryzgalov appears to be getting hot at the right time, which bodes well for the Flyers down the stretch and into the playoffs.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Coyotes snapped a five-game losing skid with a 3-0 shutout victory over the slumping San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are in real trouble, winning only three of their last fifteen games, sliding to ninth overall in the Western Conference. There’s still enough time to rally, and they have 3 games in hand over the eighth place Avalanche, but they must step it up soon, or face the reality of missing the playoffs.

NEWSOBSERVER: Jeff Skinner scored twice and Cam Ward got his 199th NHL victory as the Carolina Hurricanes downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2.

1 Comment

  1. Hopefully Skinner is starting to get back to his old self after that concussion.

    The Sharks should be in for some big changes this year if they miss the playoffs or even if they just sneak in and do nothing. They have all the talent there, just does not seem to amount to anything.

    The one thing about Bryzgalov is that he always seems to make things interesting. If he’s able to keep this up or even turn it up another notch going into the playoffs the Flyers are going to be crazy tough to beat.

    Smart of Pittsburgh to not bring him back against Boston, but the Rangers are no slouch either. But only 4 points back of the conference lead is makes them want to push for that to leap frog both Florida and Boston also to get home ice advantage. I have looking at the standings and seeing Florida there in 3rd with 75 points while Ottawa, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Philly all have at least 6 more points than they do.