By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• UPDATE: Top-notch piece by Rob Rossi on Brendan Shanahan and the inner workings of the NHL Player Safety room.
• The Washington Capitals don’t have to look far for motivation ahead of today’s pre-Super Bowl game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
• The rehabilitation of Raffi Torres began in Saturday night’s 2-0 win over the Stars. “Lots of nerves out there,” he said, hopefully talking about the emotional impact of his first game in 10 months, and not Dallas players who feared a repeat of the head shot he landed on Marian Hossa last spring.
• Get to know hockey’s Honey Badger. Plus, what to do when you hook a pelican!
• Better grab an early lead if you want to beat the Ottawa Senators. Goaltender Craig Anderson hasn’t given up a goal outside of the first period yet this season.
• So apparently this was the Rick Nash that the New York Rangers thought they were getting.
• Maybe it was because Nashville forward Craig Smith finally figured out how to play Barry Trotz hockey. Or maybe it was Martin Havlat’s premature goal celebration. Either way, the San Jose Sharks’ dreams of a 48-0 season came to an end Saturday night.
• Is it too early to start evaluating teams? All the usual touchstones are off the table in this shortened season.
• Road woes continue for the Winnipeg Jets thanks to a penalty kill that’s zipping along at a 52.9 percent clip. Guess that Friday morning team meeting about disciplined play hasn’t clicked in just yet.
• Referees Chris Lee and Ian Walsh had another bad night in Boston’s 1-0 win over Toronto. That the same dynamic duo that managed to miss John Erskine’s blatant elbow to Wayne Simmond’s head on Friday night. Meanwhile, Brad Marchand was held out of the third period after a rough collision with James Reimer.
• Jack Johnson never came off the ice and the Jackets finally put together a “feisty and determined” effort to beat the Red Wings, 4-2.