Latest on the Blackhawks, Red Wings, Sabres, Kings, Stars, and Devils, plus updates on Sidney Crosby, Derick Brassard, Scottie Upshall, Matt Cullen and more.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Corey Crawford made 30 saves to shut out the St. Louis Blues 2-0. Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa were the goalscorers.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Jimmy Howard made 22 saves and Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist as the Detroit Red Wings blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0. The win propelled the Wings back into eighth overall while the loss pretty much assures the Predators will miss the playoffs this season.
BUFFALO NEWS: Jhonas Enroth picked up his second consecutive win, kicking out 32 shots to backstop the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: A 7-2-2 streak has the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings peaking at the right time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are currently fourth overall in the Western Conference with a three point cushion over the fifth overall San Jose Sharks. Barring a total collapse in their final six games, a high post-season berth is assured.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: With the Stars playing themselves back into playoff contention less than two weeks after dealing away Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr, Mike Heika asks Stars fans, “So, when do you start to believe in this fairy tale team?”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For me, it’ll be if they clinch a playoff berth.
NJ.COM: The struggling New Jersey Devils are trying pretty much every hockey superstition they can think of to change their luck.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll take more than changing wardrobe, diet and routine to save the Devils season. They need a talent infusion, or those currently on the roster to step up. They desperately need Ilya Kovalchuk back in the lineup, but he’s still recovering from a shoulder injury. Barring a miracle, the Devils are done.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Despite being out for the remainder of the season to a fractured jaw, Sidney Crosby’s numbers this season are still good enough for the Hart Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s as may be, but Crosby’s old rival Alexander Ovechkin is making a strong late push.
NEW YORK POST: Derick Brassard has proven a welcome addition to the NY Rangers.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers may be officially eliminated from playoff contention, but struggling forward Scottie Upshall hopes to finish the season on a high note.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Matt Cullen, sidelined for the past six games to a lower-body injury, could return to the Minnesota Wild lineup in their upcoming game against the Calgary Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have been slumping in Cullen’s absence, so his return could provide a much-needed boost to their struggling lineup.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Four NHL GMs – “Darcy Regier of the Sabres, Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers, Greg Sherman of the Colorado Avalanche and perhaps Jay Feaster of the Calgary Flames” – are sitting in the hot seats as this season draws to a close.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the four, I’d say Regier and Sherman could lose their jobs. Then again, their employees could decide this shortened season didn’t give them enough time to rebuild their respective clubs. We’ll find out soon enough how many retain their jobs.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Colorado Avalanche have been officially eliminated from this season’s NHL playoff race.