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The Daily: Filppula Chases Swiss Scoring Title; Tocchet in Vancouver?

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Rick Tocchet, NHL coach
Is Rck Tocchet next in line to become coach of the Vancouver Canucks?

Valtteri Filppula is only a couple of months from his 39th birthday and yet he is in the hunt to win the scoring title Switzerland’s National League.

Filppula, who last played for the Detroit Red Wings two years ago, boasts 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points playing with Geneve Servette. That places Filppula second, two points behind former Ottawa Senators player Chris Didomenico who leads the NLA with 43 points.

Czech player Roman Cervenka, who played a partial season with the Calgary Flames, is tied with Filppula with 41 points.

Filppula did not practice Thursday because of an undisclosed injury and may not able to play tonight’s Geneve Servette game. He is officially listed as day-to-day

What keeps Filppula competitive? He’s a smart two-way player who understand how the game should be played. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman always liked him.

NHL Rumors

The NHL is a tough business. Imagine how Bruce Boudreau hearing reports that the Canucks are close to replacing him with Rick Tocchet.

Tocchet has said he hasn’t signed any contract. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The Sportsnet report is here: 

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

Bob Duff writes that the Red Wings are confounding Detroit fans because they can perform like a playoff team one day and look like a basement dweller the next.

GM Steve Yzerman made a couple of trades that should help create more minutes for Jakub Vrana with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

With the NHL trade deadline coming, it’s time to consider who might be dealt.

Red Wings’ Next Game

The Red Wings (19-17-8) will be home Saturday to face the Philadelphia Flyers (19-20-7). Coach John Tortorella has the Flyers playing better than expected. Even after losing 4-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday, the Flyers are stil 7-3 in their last 10.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: David Pastrnak, to no one’s surprise, is an NHL All-Star. Boston Bruins. 

Colorado:  Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon will represent the Avalanche at the All-Star game. Colorado Avalanche. 

Florida: George Richards writes that the Panthers are playing their best hockey of the season right now. Florida Panthers. 

Montreal: The Canadiens have a surplus of left-shot D men and may move one. Montreal Canadiens.

New York: All-Star Ilya Sorokin’s strong play wasn’t enough to save the Islanders against Buffalo. New York Islanders 

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Philadelphia: The Flyers lose to the Blackhawks in Philadelphia for the first time since President Bill Clinton was in office. Philadelphia Flyers. 

Pittsburgh: It hasn’t been clear sailing for the Penguins. The boat has holes. It’s taking on water. It needs help. “Where is Ron Hextall,” asks PHN’s Dan Kingerski. Pittsburgh Penguins. 

San Jose:  Radim Simek is being extra cautious with his second concussion this season. San Jose Sharks.