Evander Kane picks up his offense at the right time…Canadiens blow another lead, this time to Canucks…Colby Armstrong returns to Leafs lineup…Oilers Andy Sutton suspended indefinitely…Flames stage comeback win over Avalanche…Senators blow lead to Devils.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Evander Kane is in the final season of his three-year entry-level deal, and he acknowledged the importance of having a strong performance in his contract year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s improvement is largely due to his continuing development as a player, as well as adjusting to the new coaching staff. Still, being in a contract year doesn’t hurt the motivation to pick up his production.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks overcame a 3-0 deficit to down the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shootout.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Boone of “Hockey Inside/Out” examines why the Canadiens have blown so many leads, as well as their poor home ice record this season. Head coach Jacques Martin chalks it up to the younger players in the lineup still learning their game at the NHL level, expecting things to improve as time goes on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not gonna sit well with impatient Habs fans, who aren’t impressed with their club’s sluggish performance this season. Those calling for Martin to be fired, or a management overhaul, aren’t likely to see their hopes fulfilled, at least not during this season. The front office rationale for the poor play is injuries to key players, combined with the inexperienced youth in their lineup, which means no major changes in the near future in the front office or behind the bench for the Canadiens.
TORONTO SUN: Colby Armstrong is hoping his return to the Leafs lineup will be for a much longer period. He’s been in and out of the lineup since last season due to injuries.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton has been suspended indefinitely by the league (pending a hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan) for his leaping headshot on Carolina forward Alexei Ponikarovsky in a recent game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sutton already was suspended five games for an earlier incident this season, and could face 10 games for his latest infraction.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames scored three goals in the third period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators blew a 3-0 lead and fell to the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout.