In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Fallout from the league’s decision not to suspend Boston forward Milan Lucic…Avalanche finally name a captain…Devils could have Ilya Kovalchuk back tonight…Blues look solid in goal…Ian White’s injury could hurt Red Wings defense…Flyers win despite giving up short-handed goals…Michal Handzus still grieving death of Pavol Demitra…50-50 odds of Coyotes leaving Phoenix.
BOSTON HERALD/THE BUFFALO NEWS: have reaction from Bruins forward Milan Lucic , Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff, and NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan regarding Shanahan’s decision yesterday not to suspend Lucic for his hit on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller last Saturday, which sidelined Miller with a concussion. While Ruff stood by his comments the league’s decision means it is “open season” on goalie, Shanahan chided Ruff, calling the coach’s comments “irresponsible” and forewarning players not to take liberties on goaltenders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I admit to being surprised Lucic wasn’t at least fined for his action, given his history of borderline reckless play (yes, he is borderline reckless, Bruins fans, just accept it), though I can acknowledge Shanahan’s rationale given the current rules. I don’t blame Ruff for being angry, and this likely means the next meeting of these two teams, on November 23rd, should be interesting, one I daresay Shanahan and league officials will be watching closely. I don’t expect the Sabres to run the Bruins goalie, but I do expect someone will challenge Lucic.
DENVER POST: announced yesterday they’d name Milan Hejduk their new team captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To which I ask, why wasn’t this announcement made two months ago? Because they needed to determine the best choice? He should’ve been named captain weeks ago.
NEW YORK POST: Good news for the New Jersey Devils, as winger Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to return from injury tonight against the Boston Bruins. Kovalchuk had been sidelined since November 3rd with a “lower body” (groin) injury.
STLTODAY.COM: Jaroslav Halak has made the most of the recent coaching change by the Blues, as his performance has improved, while Brian Elliott continues his strong performance.
DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings defense suffered its first serious blow of this season, as Ian White is out at least 1-2 weeks with a broken cheekbone.
PHILLY.COM: The Flyers were able to overcome two short-handed goals by Carolina’s Patrick Dwyer to down the Hurricanes 5-3.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: San Jose Sharks forward Michal Handzus has been a quiet leader, despite playing with a heart heavy over the recent death of his friend Pavol Demitra, who was among those who perished in the Russian plane crash which killed the entire roster of the Lokomotiv hockey team.
TORONTO STAR: Damiex Cox reports sources claiming the odds of the Phoenix Coyotes relocating or finding a new owner after this season are “50-50″.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At the risk of being flippant, haven’t they been under those odds since they were first put up for bankruptcy by their former owner?