In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Phil Kessel’s emergence as a scoring star…Canucks Mason Raymond close to a return…Kyle Wellwood a steal for the Jets…Calling on Brendan Shanahan to crack down on Canucks…Flames coach unhappy with team’s loss to lowly Blue Jackets…Canadiens lose a close one to Bruins…Oilers lose to Stars.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel’s impressive start to this season suggests he’s emerging as a superstar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how long Kessel can continue his torrid scoring streak, but barring a serious mid-season swoon, he could be in contention for the Richard and Art Ross trophies this season.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Mason Raymond is getting closer to returning to the lineup.
WINNIPEG SUN: Considered merely an off-season depth addition, center Kyle Wellwood has turned into a pleasant early season surprise for the Jets, leading the team in scoring.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d say the Jets have so far received full value for the $700K they invested in Wellwood. Also, he has not heard many of those boring, stupid fat jokes lately.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch wants league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to crack down on Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre for checking Jesse Winchester of the Senators into an open bench door.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames head coach Brent Sutter wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance in their 4-1 loss to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sutter can growl all he wants, the bottom line is this Flames team simply isn’t very good, and if things don’t improve soon, they’ll be out of the playoff picture by the trade deadline, just in time for GM Jay Feaster to begin the rebuilding in earnest.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens dropped a 1-0 decision to the Boston Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins can thank goalie Tim Thomas, who was outstanding in this one.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers stumbled in Dallas, as the Stars outplayed them en route to a 4-1 victory.