In this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines: Media reaction to the imminent return of Sidney Crosby…Flyers Matt Read an early Calder candidate…Blaming management for Avalanche’s woes…Blues might be without Oshie for Kings game…Ducks and Rangers struggling power-plays…Marleau nets hat trick in Sharks win over Avs.
TRIBLIVE.COM: A roundup of reaction from the hockey world on yesterday’s report Penguins captain Sidney Crosby would finally return to action, after 10 1/2 months recovering from concussion symptoms, tonight against the NY Islanders. Dejan Kovacevic believes Crosby will be just fine in his return.
QMI AGENCY (VIA CALGARY SUN): Chris Stevenson reports Crosby’s return is a shot in the arm for the NHL.
TORONTO STAR: Cathal Kelly on why Crosby’s return is both cause for celebration,and discussion of head injuries in the NHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sorry, Crosby haters, but this is big news and will be treated as such by the sports media. It remains to be seen how well he’ll perform, but I concur with Kovacevic he’ll be fine. If any good has come from Crosby’s injury and nearly year-long recovery, it’s the heightened awareness now in the league regarding concussions, both prevention and treatment.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers rookie Matt Read is an early candidate for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. If he wins, he’ll be the first player in Flyers history to be so honored.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hard to believe no Flyer has ever won rookie of the year honors. Read’s been very good, but he’ll face stiff competition from Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nashville’s Craig Smith.
MERCURYNEWS.COM: Patrick Marleau potted his fourth career hat trick as the San Jose Sharks downed the Colorado Avalanche 4-1.
DENVER POST: Dave Krieger faults management for the struggles of the Colorado Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be fair, the Avs have been a budget team in recent years, meaning management cannot afford to go out and add big name talent to their roster as former GM Pierre Lacroix used to do under the previous CBA. Still, I agree the current management deserves its fair share of blame. The Avs, however, have some very good players on their roster, and I think they might be better off with a head coach who can find the right balance with their swift forwards and slower defense.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues could be without forward T.J. Oshie tonight when they square off against the LA Kings. Oshie suffered a wrist injury on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild.