In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: Flames hope to step up their physical game…Canadiens center Scott Gomez sidelined…Mike Komisarek in lineup for Leafs game against the Canadiens…Sami Salo delivering for Canucks at both ends of the ice…Oilers must soon decide Ryan Nugent-Hopkins future for this season…Senators forward Peter Regin sidelined again by should injury…Jets struggling to snap out of their losing ways.
CALGARY SUN: Led by captain Jarome Iginla, the Flames finally reached their anticipated level of physical play in their recent game against the NY Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll have to maintain that style throughout the season if they’re to remain in playoff contention, as well as convince GM Jay Feaster to stop working the phones and listening to offers from other teams
RDS.CA: Montreal Canadiens center Scott Gomez will be sidelined by a lower body injury from tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The much-maligned Gomez won’t be missed by Canadiens fans, who’ve been very unhappy over the decline in his offensive game since joining the club two years ago. His huge salary cap hit (over $7 million per season) has only exacerbated the situation, with Habs fans calling for Gomez to be demoted to the minors to free up cap space to pursue a true first line center. The Canadiens are likely stuck with Gomez’s salary until the end of this season, when they’ll likely hope the next CBA will once again provide a one-time-only, penalty-free buyout of contracts.
TORONTO SUN: After being a healthy scratch against the Boston Bruins, Mike Komisarek will be in the Leafs lineup against his old team, the Montreal Canadiens, tonight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs coach Ron Wilson is likely hoping the combination of playing the Habs and determination to avoid being a healthy scratch again will light a fire under Komisarek to elevate his game.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks veteran blueliner Sami Salo has been providing his team with solid play at both ends of the rink, off to the best start of his career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 37-year-old Salo has always been talented, the problem has been his lengthy injury history. If he can stay healthy this season, he should continue to be an invaluable presence on the Canucks blueline.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers head coach Tom Renney floated the notion the Oilers could sit promising center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for a game or two in order to determine how well they can play without him. The Oilers will soon have to decide if they’ll keep Nugent-Hopkins on their roster, or send him back to junior this season and avoid paying out the first season of his entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That might not be a bad idea.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Peter Regin recently re-injured his surgically repaired left shoulder in a recent game against Winnipeg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a serious blow to Regin and the Senators. Here’s hoping this isn’t something which keeps him out for long.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets slow start to this season has the players second-guessing themselves