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Pluses and minuses around the NHL

The Blues are hitting the right notes since a coaching change, but the Ducks are missing a lot.

November 21, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • St. Louis forward Kris Russell, front, is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against Tampa Bay on Nov. 12. The Blues have been on a hot streak since hiring new coach Ken Hitchcock.
St. Louis forward Kris Russell, front, is congratulated by his teammates… (Jeff Roberson / Associated…)

+ The St. Louis Blues are 4-0-2 since Ken Hitchcock took over as coach. Even better, forward David Perron, who suffered a concussion on Nov. 4, 2010, was cleared last week to practice with full contact.

+ Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke is on twitter (@LeafsBB20). That should be entertaining. But can he fit his favorite words — truculence, belligerent and obstreperous — into 140-character slices?

+ On the upswing: The Boston Bruins are riding a nine-game winning streak. The Minnesota Wild's 27 points in 20 games marked its best-ever total at that stage, and the team ranked first in the NHL through Sunday. The Florida Panthers lead the Southeast, the latest they have led their division since March 10, 2000.

- The Ducks are 2-9-4 since a 4-1-0 start. General Manager Bob Murray has said he still has faith in Coach Randy Carlyle, but it's clear that something is missing on the ice or behind the bench. Murray hasn't developed any depth up front and with the top line of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry struggling, there's no one to pick up the slack.

-Capitals General Manager George McPhee declined to comment when asked if he would give a vote of confidence to Coach Bruce Boudreau after a 7-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday, according to the Washington Post. Uh-oh …

-The Colorado Avalanche is a league-worst 3-7-0 at home and overall hasn't won two straight games since Oct. 15-17. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov, acquired for a 2012 first-round draft pick and a second- or third-round pick in 2013, has put up abysmal numbers: a 3.30 goals-against average and .890 save percentage.

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