In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Red Wings struggling to score, Kings and Ducks don’t want to profit at expense of NBA lockout, Ducks top line not finding the back of the net, Blues Chris Stewart have scoring woes, Jacob Markstrom makes case to stick with Florida Panthers, Cal Clutterbuck accidentally strikes an official, Sabres Patrick Kaleta suspended for four games, Hurricanes get good news on Jussi Jokinen, and Dominik Hasek ponders a comeback.
DETROIT NEWS: Despite shaking up their lines, the Red Wings have been struggling to score of late. Their six-game winless skid continues last night, falling 4-1 to the Calgary Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After winning their first five games of the season, the Wings have been in free-fall of late, giving rise to concern among their fans. It may be too early to panic, but this kind of lengthy losing skid is unusual for the Wings.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks avoid attempting to profit at the expense of their NBA rivals during their work stoppage.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Part of the reason is an unspoken camaraderie among these teams, but I also daresay the Kings and Ducks understand the futility of it, for whatever new fans they might gain from the NBA lockout, they’re bound to lose most of them once the NBA returns. Basketball fans remain basketball fans, and hockey fans remain hockey fans. The NBA didn’t make any significant gains at the expense of the NHL during the latter’s work stoppage in 2004-05.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan have been unusually quiet for most of the first month of this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rival teams could be paying more attention to shutting down that line than in the past, considering the Ducks essentially a one-line team. Still, I daresay the trio will snap out of their early season scoring doldrums in the near future.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Chris Stewart is hoping to find the remedy to get out of his early season scoring funk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues had high expectations for Stewart when they landed him as part of a multi-player deal last season with Colorado. Stewart’s had previous slumps, plus it doesn’t help the Blues as a team haven’t played particularly well to begin the season. It’s only a matter of time until he finds his groove again.
MIAMI HERALD: Goaltender Jacob Markstrom made another strong case to stick with the Florida Panthers, making 31 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be the height of stupidity to demote Markstrom now. No, Scott Clemmensen will be the one spending some time in the minors, and I expect he’ll be shopped at some point in the season.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck accidentally punches veteran linesman Darren Gibbs during a skirmish with Vancouver’s Maxim Lapierre.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t happen often, but something like this is still a hazard of the trade for on-ice officials.
KUKLA’S KORNER: The NHL has suspended Buffalo Sabres right wing Patrick Kaleta for head-butting Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Headbutting someone is bad enough, but doing it while wearing a helmet? I can think of harsher language to describe Kaleta’s action, but I’ll stick with disgusting and disgraceful.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Forward Jussi Jokinen, originally expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a leg injury, might not miss as much time as previously expected.
NHL.COM: Former NHL superstar Dominik Hasek is staying fit, taking on interesting challenges, and isn’t ruling out a comeback with a European team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to regular contributor GJ Berg. Don’t expect to see “The Dominator” back playing in the NHL.