In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring at a point-per-game pace…Canucks coach reaches team milestone…Brian Gionta clinches comeback win for Canadiens over Hurricanes…Ron Hainsey jumping back into action for Jets…Flames play better, still lose…Leafs hoping youngsters keep playing well…Senators players getting hight number of votes for All-Star Game.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is scoring at a point-per-game clip, a rate of scoring rare for most rookies.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remember the critics at the start of the season who said the Oilers were making a mistake keeping Nugent-Hopkins in their lineup this season, that he was still too small to play well at the NHL level, and he needed another year in Junior? Whatever happened to them? I ask because we don’t hear much from them anymore.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche last night was a milestone for head coach Alain Vigneault, who surpassed Marc Crawford for most wins by a Canucks head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Vigneault on reaching this milestone.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was -3 in regulation against the Carolina Hurricanes, but redeemed himself by potting the game-winning goal in a shootout as the Habs downed the Hurricanes 4-3.
WINNIPEG SUN: Defenseman Ron Hainsey had little time to ease back into the lineup after returning from injury, playing over 23 minutes in the Jets 4-3 OT loss to the Washington Capitals.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames had a strong effort against the Detroit Red Wings, but penalties cost them in their 5-3 loss.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Flames can continue to put forth the same effort, but with more discipline, in their future games, they might be able to turn things around this season.
TORONTO SUN: The Leafs will hope youngsters Joe Colborne, Matt Frattin and Jake Gardiner continue to play as well as they did in the club’s 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have no problem with fans stuffing the ballot box for the All-Star Game in their favor. Defenseman Erik Karlsson was leading in the first round of votes, while Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza are also near the top of the list.