Concern over Claude Giroux’s health, Zdeno Chara sidelined for a week, Jimmy Howard playing like an All-Star, Blackhawks edge Sharks in OT, Rangers pound Panthers, Sabres struggling on the power-play, Cam Ward vowing to stay calm, the reason behind the Lightning’s struggles, and Keith Tkachuk enters US Hockey Hall of Fame.
PHILLY.COM: While Flyers star Claude Giroux is apparently feeling better after being accidentally kneed in the head by a teammate during Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay, his status remains uncertain as he’ll be re-evaluated today.
BOSTON.COM: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is expected to miss a week due to a leg injury suffered against Columbus on Saturday.
DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard may not be on the All-Star ballot, but is getting votes as a write-in candidate. Howard’s numbers this season rank among the league’s top goaltenders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the write-in campaign proves unsuccessful, Howard is leaving little doubt he’s among the best in the league this season. If Howard keeps it up, he won’t be left off the ballot for the 2013 ASG.
SUNTIMES.COM: Patrick scored netted the winner as the Blackhawks edged the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in overtime.
NEW YORK POST: Derek Stepan had a three-point night (2 goals, 1 assist) as the Rangers thumped the Florida Panthers 6-1 on Sunday, winning their 14th game in their last 18.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl on the Sabres recent offensive woes, particularly on the power-play, which over the past couple of weeks has plummeted from seventh to 19th overall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Is it me, or have the Sabres gone into a funk since Ryan Miller was run over by Boston forward Milan Lucic? I’d love to hear from Sabres fans on this. One has already written in claiming the Sabres lack grit, believing they could benefit from an Andrew Ladd-type forward.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward is vowing to be calmer, following a private chat with head coach Kirk Muller. Ward was visibly upset after being yanked midway through Friday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a tough season for Ward, to the point where it boiled over in that game. It wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular, and he’ll be fine the rest of the way after speaking with a sympathetic Muller. It’s not Ward’s fault the team in front of him lacks depth, which is something Hurricanes management must address, if not this season, then certainly next summer.
TAMPA TRIBUNE: Erik Erlendsson reports the Lightning’s sputtering offense is to blame for the club’s recent struggles.
STLTODAY.COM: Former Blues star Keith Tkachuk will be inducted tonight into the US Hockey Hall of Fame, joining fellow inductees Chris Chelios, Gary Suter, broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick and Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider.