Latest on Nicklas Backstrom, Rick Nash, Jimmy Howard, Tanner Pearson, Steve Mason and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks won a laugher against the fading Minnesota Wild, downing the Wild 4-1.
NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: The Capitals are puzzled over teammate Nicklas Backstrom being snubbed again for the All-Star Game. Despite leading the Capitals in points this season and amassing 535 points in 536 NHL games, Backstrom has never been selected to participate in the All-Star Game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another example of the farce that is the All-Star Game.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Rangers star Rick Nash is one of the front-runners (with Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne) for this season’s Hart Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Nash carries over his dominant first-half play over the remainder of this season, he could certainly merit consideration as a Hart finalist.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Poor goaltending is killing the Stars this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s something management must address, if not this season then certainly this summer.
MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard has a slight groin tear and will undergo an MRI today to determine its severity. GM Ken Holland speculates he could miss 2-4 weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Howard was selected to participate in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. This injury could force the league to find a replacement.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Bad luck for Kings forward Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. Pearson suffered a fractured left fibula while Toffoli is sidelined by mononucleosis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli will be back sooner than Pearson, who could miss six weeks.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers goalie Steve Mason will be sidelined at least two weeks with an apparent right-knee injury.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Cody McCormick has been sidelined indefinitely by a blood clot in one of his calf muscles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McCormick is the third NHL player to suffer from blood clots this season, joining Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen and Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis.
BOSTON HERALD: Defenseman Adam McQuaid, recently returned from injury, is providing some much-needed grit to the Bruins blueline.