Tuukka Rask unhappy in Boston?…Brenden Morrow still suffering with nagging neck injury…Blackhawks tailspin continues…Red Wings notch 19th straight home win…Sabres still win against the Stars…Jordan Staal returning to action today…Ilya Kovalchuk shining with the Devils…Patrik Berglund learning not to battle himself…Michael Del Zotto playing well on Rangers blueline…Dominic Moore fined…”Nordiques Nation” set to invade Ottawa.
ESPN.COM: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask clarified a translated report he recently gave to a Finnish news site which suggested he was unhappy in Boston, claiming that, while he’d prefer more playing time, he’s happy to be a Bruin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some rumormongers have seized on that Finnish report to suggest Rask could be traded at the deadline. That won’t happen.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars captain Brenden Morrow continues to suffer from nagging pain in his neck, shoulder and upper back, which will need another couple of weeks for recovery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has bothered Morrow for some time. I know his name is in the rumor mill, but if I were an NHL GM, I wouldn’t touch Morrow if he’s still hampered by this problem come deadline day.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks dropped their seventh straight game, falling 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: When the Blackhawks offense was rolling it was able to compensate for their defensive and goaltending issues. Now that teams have focused on shutting down that offense, those issues are costing them games.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 for their 19th home victory, one shy of the NHL record.
BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres extended their unbeaten streak to six, beating the Dallas Stars 3-2 in a shootout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres last season rallied in the second half from a mediocre first half to make the playoffs. Could another second half charge be in the works?
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jordan Staal returns to the Penguins after missing 15 games to a knee injury.
NJ.COM: Ilya Kovalchuk is enjoying his best season so far with the Devils and emerged as a complete team player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Folks point to his reduced offensive numbers and that lengthy, expensive contract and scream “epic fail”, but those who’ve paid attention have seen Kovalchuk evolve from a one-dimensional offensive player into an all-round one. BTW, he’s on pace for 81 points, which would mark the seventh time he’s reached 80 or more points.
STLTODAY.COM: Patrik Berglund is learning under coach Ken Hitchcock not to be down on himself if he doesn’t produce.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is earning praise for his play at both ends of the ice.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s made significant improvement this season. I doubt he’ll have to worry about being demoted to the AHL again.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forward Dominic Moore was fined $2,500.00 by the league for his shoulder-to-head hit on Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko.
OTTAWA SUN: More than 2, 000 fans from Quebec City will be in attendance for today’s Edmonton Oilers – Ottawa Senators game to send a message to the league they want the NHL back in their city.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their prayers could be answered in the near future, depending on how things go with the Phoenix Coyotes ownership, and the efforts to get a new arena built in Quebec City.