Patrick Kane tries to regain his scoring touch…Mike Green goes on LTIR….R.J. Umberger concussed…Scott Hartnell snubbed for ASG….Rangers five-game win streak ended by Senators…Red Wings win achieves milestones for Jimmy Howard and Mike Babcock…Brenden Morrow knocks Anze Kopitar out of game…Stars lose another road game…Panthers open contract talks with Versteeg…Lightning limping to the bottom.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had only 10 goals in his last 43 games prior to Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, but he’s hopeful of regaining his scoring touch.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Blackhawks weren’t riding so high in the Western Conference standings, Kane’s sputtering offense would garner more headlines.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals defenseman Mike Green has been placed on LTIR for a nagging groin injury, and isn’t expected back until February 1st at the earliest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green has missed most of this season because of that injury. It might be best for him to shut it down for this season and get the treatment he needs to make a full recovery.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger has been diagnosed with a concussion from a hit to the head he received in a recent game against the Anaheim Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been that kind of year for the Blue Jackets.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell admitted to being a little disappointed he was passed over for selection to the All-Star Game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s too bad. Hartnell has certainly been playing like an all-star this season.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers five-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday, as they were shut out 3-0 by the Ottawa Senators.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard got his 100th career victory, and head coach Mike Babcock his 400th victory, as the Red Wings edged the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout 3-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar left the game, but reportedly only suffered “a bloody nose”. It appeared to be a shoulder-to-shoulder hit, which under the rules should not be worthy of a suspension.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo isn’t happy as his club suffered their eighth straight road loss, falling 5-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The wheels certainly seem to be falling off for the Wild. If they don’t arrest their slide soon, they’ll miss the playoffs again.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon has opened contract talks with Kris Versteeg (RFA) and Jason Garrison (UFA).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one should be surprised Tallon hopes to re-sign Versteeg, who’s been the Panthers top scoring player this season.
TBO.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes moves them to within two points of the 15th overall NY Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t appear a major season-saving trade is in the works for the Lightning.