Tim Thomas’ boycott of the White House panned…Alexander Ovechkin suspended…Penguins still lacking secondary scoring…Updates on Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn, Tomas Fleischmann and Peter Mueller…Red Wings win another at home…Kings Kyle Clifford has a big night in win over Senators…Dainius Zubrus looks into charges against former youth coach.
BOSTON GLOBE/BOSTON HERALD/CSNNE.COM/ESPNBOSTON: panned the decision by Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas not to attend the White House ceremony yesterday honoring the Bruins Stanley Cup championship. NBCSPORTS.COM has a roundup of reaction amongst the punditry, most of which also wasn’t supportive of Thomas’ stance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas has the right to his political views, but his stance overshadowed what was the celebration of a team accomplishment. I’ve read a few of Thomas’ supporters comparing his stance to that of Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be inducted into the US Army in the 1960s. Folks, there is no comparison. Ali sacrificed nearly four years of his professional life, risked prison, and suffered personal persecution for years for refusing to serve in the Army based on his religious beliefs. Thomas has risked nothing, except perhaps a scolding behind the scenes from the Bruins front office, and maybe a chiding from a few teammates, for putting personal politics ahead of the team.
KUKLA’S KORNER: The NHL has suspended Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin three games for his hit upon Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Zbynek Michalek in a recent game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise, as his previous suspension history was taken into account.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: The Penguins may be rolling along with a six-game winning streak, but their lack of secondary scoring has them walking a fine line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s likely to keep the Penguins in the rumor mill heading toward the trade deadline, especially if it appears Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal might be sidelined beyond February 27th.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss tonight’s game and perhaps the All-Star game to an arm injury, but it’s hoped he’ll be ready to return to action when the All-Star break is over.
DALLASNEWS.COM: Dallas Stars injured forward Jamie Benn is expected to play in the upcoming All-Star Game, while a contract extension might have to wait until season’s end.
DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings won their seventeenth straight home down, downing the St. Louis Blues 3-1.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Tomas Fleischmann has rebounded from a medical condition to become one of the Florida Panthers top scorers.
DENVER POST: Peter Mueller, recently returned from a lengthy absence to post-concussion symptoms, continues to improve as his ice time and shots increase.
NJ.COM: Devils forward Dainius Zubrus is concerned over the arrest of his former youth coach for sexual acts with a teenage boy. “It makes you sick to your stomach that things like that could happen”, said Zubrus. “I’m a father myself. If anybody is guilty of that type of thing, he should be in jail.” Zubrus said nothing like that happened to him, or to anyone he’s spoken with who also played for that coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coaches can become like father figures to many players, or at the very least, respected authority figures, so obviously Zubrus is shaken up by this news.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kyle Clifford had a Gordie Howe hat trick as his Kings downed the Ottawa Senators 4-1.