In this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines: Sabres Ryan Miller suffering concussion and whiplash-like symptoms…NHL GMs want a crackdown on goalie crashers…Blues Chris Stewart could face the music for hit on Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall…The Blackhawks-Canucks rivalry…Panthers upset Stars…Penguins rally past Avalanche…Pekka Rinne shines in Predators win over Capitals…Another Wild player sidelined by possible concussion…Flyers Max Talbot on pace for career year.
BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said he’s suffering from headaches and whiplash symptoms, which he attributed to the hit he received last Saturday by Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic. There’s no timetable for Miller’s return.
TORONTO SUN: Around 20 of 30 NHL general managers weren’t happy with Lucic’s running over Miller, and it is possible a similar future incident could result in a suspension. League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said players shouldn’t get the perception it is open season on goaltenders. Sabres GM Darcy Regier said he was satisfied following a conversation with Shanahan there’s a need to protect goaltenders. Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke called the Lucic-Miller incident a stand-alone one and doesn’t believe it’s indicative of an epidemic of running goalies.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the fact two-thirds of the league GMs didn’t like what happened to Miller and expressed concern about future incidents, it may be enough to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t turn into a problem. It should certainly give the perception to players that the next time it happens, the offender could face suspension, which might be enough to make them think twice.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Chris Stewart will soon find out if he faces supplemental discipline for checking Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall from behind into the boards during the Blues 2-1 victory over the Red Wings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stewart received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Kronwall was able to return to action later in the game. Stewart has never been suspended during his NHL career or have a history of this sort of thing, so it’ll be interesting to see what the league rules on this.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns reflects on the last time the Blackhawks visited the Vancouver Canucks, which was Game Seven of the 2011 Western Conference semi-final, a game the Canucks won in overtime. Jahns considers the Blackhawks-Canucks rivalry the best in hockey right now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree, the level of intensity between these two teams reminds me of the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry of the 1990s, and the Canadiens-Nordiques rivalry of the 80s and early 90s. The Blackhawks and Canucks just plain hate each other, and that hatred fuels the rivalry’s intensity.
MIAMI HERALD: Stephen Weiss had a goal and two assists, and Scott Clemmensen got the shutout, as the Florida Panthers upset the Dallas Stars 6-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In my opinion, there’s a lack of attention toward what’s happening with the Panthers this season. While the focus on surprise starts has been upon Toronto and Edmonton, the Panthers have quietly built a 9-5-3 record, and currently have the best road record over the past ten games of all NHL teams over the same period (7-3-0). Take heed, folks, the Panthers aren’t to be taken lightly.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: James Neal had a goal and two assists, and Brooks Orpik scored a rare goal, as the Pittsburgh Penguins scored four unanswered goals to rally to a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
THE TENNESSEAN: Pekka Rinne stopped 39 of 40 shots, backstopping the Nashville Predators to a 3-1 comeback win over the Washington Capitals.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild blueliner Marek Zidlicky suffered a head injury after he was checked last night by Derek Dorsett of the Columbus Blue Jackets. If he is diagnosed with a concussion, he’ll be the third Wild player in five games to suffer such an injury.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers forward Max Talbot is on pace for a career-best 29 goal season.