In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: Miikka Kiprusoff one of the few positives for Flames…Oilers drop their third straight…Leafs coach unhappy with his team’s performance of late…Senators place Chris Neil on IR…Cody Hodgson establishing himself with Canucks…Peter Budaj doing solid work as Canadiens backup…Jets hoping to turn things around at home.
CALGARY SUN: Miikka Kiprusoff has been one of the few positives for the Flames this season, the key reason the low-scoring Flames have kept so many of their games close.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for “Kipper”, the Flames would be wallowing in the bottom of the Conference standings with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s give them a chance to win every night.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers hot start appears to have cooled, as they dropped their third straight game, falling 6-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks to end their six-game road trip with a 2-4 record.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s certainly not time to panic, but this recent road trip exposed the holes in the Oilers offensive depth and their defensive game, serving as a sobering reminder there’s still work to be done to improve this team.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs GM Ron Wilson is hoping to avoid another November meltdown and intends to crack the whip on those he considers underachievers, like Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur, as well as their overall sloppy defensive play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Oilers, the recent games of the Leafs have exposed their weaknesses, especially their scoring depth and overall defensive play.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have placed forward Chris Neil on IR due to an ankle injury.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: In the recent past, losing their physical leader Neil would’ve been a serious blow for the Senators, but given their depth in physical players this season, they should be able to adjust to Neil’s absence.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Cody Hodgson enjoyed a multi-point game in the Canucks victory Sunday over the NY Islanders, and has established himself as an NHL player this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good to see Hodgson persevere and prove himself NHL-worth this season.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Peter Budaj has been strong in his only two starts for the Canadiens this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While starter Carey Price will see the bulk of the action in goal for the Habs, Budaj in my opinion has shown enough in his only two starts to warrant more playing time, rather than only one or two games per month.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets hope to snap their recent losing skid with their return to home ice, where they’ll play 14 of their next 18 games, after playing 12 of their first 17 on the road.