Shorthanded Capitals win over Bruins…Alexander Ovechkin to skip All-Star Game…Predators on a roll…Sabres down Devils to snap losing streak…Blue Jackets struggles testing fans patience…Scott Hartnell to play in All-Star Game…Panthers blueline suffers big loss…Update on Lighting defenseman Victor Hedman and Hurricanes Joni Pitkanen…Matt Cullen recently honored.
WASHINGTON POST: Mathieu Perreault netted his first NHL hat trick as the Capitals, missing Alexander Ovechkin (suspension), Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green (injuries) downed the Boston Bruins 5-3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was relegated to backup duty for that game, and his controversial decision to skip the White House ceremony honoring the Bruins championship led one Boston sportswriter to suggest the Bruins played as though their minds weren’t fully engaged.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin has decided to skip this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, citing his recent three-game suspension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems a childish reason for Ovechkin to skip the ASG, but if other players are allowed to do it for issues other than injury, then so should Ovechkin. Evidently, the league has no problem with it.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Predators 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks was their twelfth in fourteen games, pulling them into a tie with Blackhawks in the Western Conference standings for fifth overall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that’s why the Predators won’t trade Ryan Suter or Shea Weber at the trade deadline. When you enter the All-Star break winners of 9 of their last ten games, you don’t ship out your star players.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres snapped a five-game losing skid and 12 straight losses on the road, edging the New Jersey Devils 2-1.
NJ.COM: Devils goalie Martin Brodeur suggested his team’s loss to the Sabres indicates they’re not yet an elite team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodeur should know, he played for a few in his day. The Devils are a good team, certainly a playoff contender at this point, but they need to improve their performance if they’re to join the ranks of the Conference elite.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets failures are testing the patience of their long-time fans.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Scott Hartnell will be playing in the All-Star game after all, as he’s been named the replacement for injured Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews.
MIAMI HERALD: Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov will miss 6-8 weeks following recent knee surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant blow to the Panthers blueline core, one which will be difficult to replace.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Injured Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, sidelined with a concussion, resumed full workouts last week and appears close to returning to the lineup.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen might not return to action until March.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Wild center Matt Cullen was overwhelmed by the team’s recent ceremony honoring his 1,000th NHL game.