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Article:In the Crease: A weekly look at the NHL 1/14-1/20

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Sabres End Skid

The Buffalo Sabres lost 10 straight games in last 2 weeks. The Sabres had many chances over the 10 game streak to convert and maybe get a win or two. All that changed when the Atlanta Thrashers rolled into town. The Sabres scored one goal for every loss they took since December 22, winning 10-1. They outplayed the Thrashers in every possible way and made a good team look awful. The Sabres then took that momentum to Toronto and lost. They started a new streak and have now lost 11 of 12. The Sabres travel to Phoenix, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Florida, Atlanta, and Boston over the next week and a half.

Red Wings Up and Down

The Detroit Red Wings started this week by getting blown out by the Atlanta Thrashers, 5-1. The Red Wings, then beat the Canucks in a shootout, coming away from a match between possibly the two best western conference teams. The Red Wings then took care of business and took down the San Jose Sharks 6-3. This week they head to California to play the Kings and Ducks.

Ducks flying high

The Anaheim Ducks have had a great week, and it goes back to last Monday. As they won six straight games before dropping one to the Dallas Stars on Sunday. The Ducks have also won 8 of their last 10.

Toronto changes fortunes

The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped five straight and lost 11 of 13 going into this week. Then they caught fire. Wining three straight against the Hurricanes, Bruins and Sabres, before they dropped one to the Devils on Sunday. The streakiness has been the story for the entire season for the Maple Leafs. This week they play a home and home with the Capitals.

Rare trouble in Vancouver The Canucks dropped three straight games this week, losing to the Blue Jackets, Red Wings, and Kings. Dating back to the middle of last week the Canucks have lost five of six. This week they host the Wild, Blues and Stars. They have played really well on home ice this season and will look to rebound early this week.

Martin wins number 500, Naslund plays number 1000

The Florida Panthers beat the New Jersey Devils on Friday and gave their coach, Jaques Martin his 500th career win. Martin becomes the 10th coach to make it into the 500 club. Meanwhile the Vancouver Canucks captain Markus Naslund played in his 1000 career game this week and scored a goal during it. He has been the leader of the Canucks for a few years and will continue to be a great player and leader for many more years.

Three for Malkin

Pittsburgh Penguins second year forward scored a hat trick earlier this month. Well, he did it again, netting his second career hat trick and his second of this month.

Wild Sale

Bob Naegele the majority owner of the Minnesota Wild and the parent company, Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, announced a sale this week. The team was sold to Craig Leiplod, the sale amount was not released. Leiplod recently completed the sale of the Nashville Predators. He owned them since the expansion in 1997. Mr. Leiplod is a resident of Wisconsin and that could have played a role in the in his selling of the Predators and purchasing of a team closer to his home.

Capitals and Oilers have marathon shootout

The Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers ended overtime of their game on Thursday and looked towards the shootout. They did not expect that they would be sending 12 guys up to take shots. The only shooter to score was Matt Bradley. All 11 Capitals players to shoot before him were stopped. The game was and shootout was one of the most exciting since the shootout was added to prevent ties in the NHL.

History recognized

50 years ago this week Willie O’Ree took the ice for the Boston Bruins. He was the first black player to play in the NHL. He was honored this week by the Bruins and the NHL. All though he took great strides to help his race and his sport today there are only 17 black players rostered in the NHL today, they include Jarome Iginla and Anson Carter. O’Ree was an even more remarkable story because he was 95% blind in his right eye, due to a puck that hit him just under the eye two years before his NHL debut. O’Ree played most of his career in the minors but did make appearances in a few NHL games over his years, he finished his NHL career with 4 goals and 10 assists.

All Star captains named

The NHL announced the captains of the all star teams this week. Jorome Iginla will captain the west. And Vincent Lecavalier will captain the east.

Patrick Sharpe signs extension with ‘Hawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have benefited mightily from the contributions that Patrick Sharpe has made on the ice for them this season. So they rewarded him. They signed him to a 4 year $15.6 million contract. He will make about $3.9 million a year. He has set career highs this year in goals, with 20, and points, with 36.

Chicago and Carolina make a deal

The Carolina Hurricanes traded Craig Adams to the Chicago Blackhawk’s this week for future considerations. The six foot, 200 pound winger has played 42 games this years and put 2 pucks in the back of the night along with 3 assists. He has been a tone setter for the Hurricanes this year by making big hits and taking on big guys in fights.

Wade Redden gets 400th point

Wade Redden got his 400th point of his career on an assist of a Chris Kelly Goal. His Senators have had a rough week after losing Danny Heatley as they have dropped 4 of 5. This week they travel to Florida to take on the Panthers and Lighting.

Joseph returns, Kolzig may leave

Curtis Joseph returned to the NHL this week. He signed a one year deal worth $1.5 million with the Calgary Flames. He will be the back up to Mika Kiprusoff, who has played 47 of 48 games for the Flames this season.

Olaf Kolzig has stated that he may retire at the end of the season. The Capitals goaltender has played 37 games this year and picked up 16 wins, 16 loses and 4 overtime loses, with a 3.06 goals against average. The goaltender was the Capitals first round pick in 1989 and led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997-1998 where they lost to the Red Wings.

Injury’s

There were lots of big injury’s around the NHL this week. Many teams will now be with out some of their stars for a few weeks.

Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny will be out for at least three weeks after having his appendix removed. He will miss his first All Star game.

Mark Bell of the Toronto Maple Leafs had surgery to repair facial fractures he suffered in a fight against the Flyers on January 3rd. He will miss 8-10 weeks.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren will miss at least this week after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

Michael Nylander of the Washington Capitals will miss the remainder of the season following surgery to repair a torn rotor cuff.

The Edmonton Oilers sent forward Geoff Sanderson to injured reserves this week.

Sidney Crosby suffered his first injury of his career. He has been place on injured reserves with a high ankle sprain and will miss at least a month and possibly more. He will miss the All Star game.

Marc Andre Fleury, the starting goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, will miss at least another week or two following his ankle sprain which has kept him out of the net since December 6th.

Danny Heatley who was injured last week will remain out for at least six weeks following the separated shoulder. He will not need surgery.

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