Analysis of the Ducks, Canucks, the stagnant NHL trade market, World Cup of Hockey exhibition schedule released and more in your NHL morning coffee Goaltender Braden Holtby records his 20 win of the season backstopping the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, while Tuukka Rask has a 34-save shutout as the Boston Bruins blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby makes one of his 26 saves against the Senators.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby makes one of his 26 saves against the Senators.

THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is trying to find his offensive spark this season. He’s currently on pace for only 28 goals this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All the attention over Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s offensive woes has overshadowed those of Stamkos, who’s in a contract year and the subject of considerable hype over his future. For a player who could seek top dollar in free agency next summer, the decline in his production this season is troubling. 

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Sharks center Joe Thornton (four goals, 13 assists) is also hoping to regain his scoring touch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton, 36, is on pace for only 45 points, the lowest in a non-lockout season since his sophomore campaign back in 1998-99. Age has been catching up with him for several seasons now. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has a chuckle over a French-language protection group having an issue over how French broadcasters pronounce his name.

THE SCORE: Speaking of the Canadiens, they demoted winger Zack Kassian after he cleared waivers yesterday.

OTTAWA SUN: Center Kyle Turris moves into second place on the Senators Ironman list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 293 consecutive games played, Turris needs only 19 more to break Chris Phillips’ club record of 311.

THE DENVER POST: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov’s improved play has the Colorado Avalanche moving up in the standings.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks could be as bad as they look this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of observers (myself included) picked the Ducks as Stanley Cup champions this season. They look anything like Cup contenders. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile believes limited salary-cap room and league parity is why the NHL trade market is stagnant so far this season.

THE VANCOUVER SUN: Cam Cole explains why Canucks fans should be patient as the club goes through its “draft-and-develop” rebuilding plan.

NBC SPORTS: The NHL has released the exhibition schedule for next fall’s World Cup of Hockey.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins founder Peter Block passed away on Sunday at the age of 82.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to his family and friends.