In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Nikolai Khabibulin ignoring rave reviews of his recent performance…Phil Kessel mired in goalless slump…David Booth nets first goal with Canucks…Olli Jokinen calls for teammates to play better…Could Scott Gomez be demoted to fourth line? …It could be expensive for Senators to re-sign Erik Karlsson…Jets grounded in New York.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin isn’t paying attention to the rave reviews of his current play, as he’s just focusing on his team’s overall performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how long Khabibulin will continue his stellar play, but there’s no question he’s a big factor in the Oilers strong start to this season.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel is hoping to snap out of his current four-game scoreless skid.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The knock against Kessel is he tends to be a streaky scorer, so it’ll be worth watching to see if he can bring more consistency to his offensive output this season.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Winger David Booth finally scored his first goal since joining the Canucks in a trade from Florida last month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Booth was brought in to bring more scoring depth to the Canucks second line, so they’ll be hoping this goal will be the start of many more to come this season for him.
CALGARY HERALD: Veteran Flames forward Olli Jokinen is calling for himself and his teammates to step up their performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jokinen pointed out the Flames were one of the oldest teams in the league and not a bunch of 20-year-old kids, but the Flames problem is they don’t have enough of the latter in their lineup.
LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Pierre Durocher wonders where the Canadiens will place veteran center Scott Gomez when he returns from injury later this week, suggesting it wouldn’t be fair to younger centers like David Desharnais and Lars Eller to be demoted down to the lower lines when he returns.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, it shouldn’t matter how much Gomez is earning, or how long he’s been playing in the NHL. If the kids are playing better, they should be on the second and third lines.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren on why re-signing Erik Karlsson will be an expensive proposition for the Senators.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: A weary Jets team had little to give in a 3-0 loss to the NY Rangers.