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NHL: Pluses and minuses around the league

Cheers to the new Hockey Hall of Fame class, but jeers to the Sabres for their lack of support for goalie Ryan Miller.

November 14, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • Hockey Hall of Fame inductees (from left) Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour pose with their rings during a news conference in Toronto on Monday.
Hockey Hall of Fame inductees (from left) Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk… (Mike Cassese / Reuters )

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the last week:

+ Congratulations to Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk on their Hockey Hall of Fame inductions Monday. Congrats also to Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun, winner of the Elmer Ferguson Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Detroit's Mickey Redmond, winner of the Foster Hewitt Award for outstanding contributions as a broadcaster.

+ Boston center Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, has 11 goals, matching the total from his rookie season. He has eight goals and 11 points in his last six games, a key factor in the Bruins' five-game winning streak.

+ The Detroit Red Wings have won four straight games, the last two over Edmonton and Dallas on consecutive days. That's a solid turnaround after a six-game winless streak. And the Chicago Blackhawks are looking like the 2010 Cup team again, though the apparent leg injury Brent Seabrook suffered Sunday could be a problem because they have been getting a lot of contributions from their defense.

- The Buffalo Sabres didn't stick up for goaltender Ryan Miller after he was slammed by Boston forward Milan Lucic on Saturday, and that's probably worse than the hit itself. Lucic wasn't suspended by the NHL, though the reasoning was shaky. Lord of discipline Brendan Shanahan said he asked Lucic about his intent and was "satisfied with his answers." As if Lucic would have admitted he could have stopped or lessened the impact?

-The injury-depleted Tampa Bay Lightning played a 1-3-1 trap against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday and didn't pursue the puck, trying to get the Flyers to turn it over. It was deadly dull, but cries to ban it are hasty. If that's worth a ban, so were the New Jersey Devils for 15 years. Knee-jerk reactions are rarely wise, but a discussion of the topic is likely to come up at the general managers' meetings Tuesday in Toronto.

- A lost weekend at Pittsburgh and Detroit gave the Dallas Stars their first consecutive defeats of the season. Their reaction to their first encounter with adversity should indicate if their fast start was a mirage, or they're for real.

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