Some NHL teams could find it difficult to adjust post-Olympics, plus the latest on Pavel Datsyuk, Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson and more.
NATIONAL POST: Some NHL coaches, particularly those with a large number of players participating in the Sochi Olympics, are worried about a post-Olympic hangover.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks hope to continue their momentum following the Sochi Games.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: With ten player participating in the Sochi Olympics, the Chicago Blackhawks face a challenging Olympic break.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For players not selected for the Sochi Olympics, their respective NHL teams intend to stage mini-training camps starting on February 19 to get them back up to speed following their ten-day break leading up to the resumption of the NHL schedule. It’ll be toughest, however, upon those playing in Sochi. While they’ve been playing hockey throughout, they’ll need to adjust back to the NHL game and schedule.
WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals enter the Olympic break one point out of the NHL playoff standings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s why the Capitals are starting to pop up more frequently in trade speculation linking them to Buffalo’s Ryan Miller. Honestly, I don’t know why. The Sabres asking price is expensive, Miller’s remaining salary is a tight fit on the Capitals limited payroll and there’s no guarantee he’ll re-sign after this season. Yes, the Capitals need better goaltending but I don’t believe Miller’s the answerh.
CBS SPORTS: There’s concern Pavel Datsyuk might not be fully recovered from his recent injuries to play for Russia in Sochi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Datsyuk doesn’t suit up. Even if he’s still banged up you have to believe he’ll grit through it to play for his country. That being said, a nagging injury could hamper his effectiveness in the upcoming men’s hockey tournament.
USA TODAY: Slovakian captain Zdeno Chara has become an early hit at the Sochi Olympics.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: How often do you get to pose with hockey’s equivalent of the Jolly Green Giant?
CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins winger Loui Eriksson, who’s been hampered by injuries this season, looks forward to a fresh start following the Olympics.
NBC SPORTS: Alex Pietrangelo became the first defenseman in St. Louis Blues history to record at least 40 points in each of his first three full NHL seasons (the lockout doesn’t count). Teammate Kevin Shattenkirk is poised to follow.