In this morning’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: More on Phil Kessel hearing the boo-birds in Boston…The Canadiens off to their worst start since 1995…Flames too charitable in loss to Rangers…Mikael Samuelsson plagued by post-surgery soreness…Decision time nearing for Senators’ Mika Zibanejad…Derek Meech finally gets his shot with Jets…Oilers derrick good to go.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel continues to receive derision from Bruins fans, who last night serenaded him with chants of “Thank you, Kessel” during the Bruins 6-2 thumping of the Leafs last night, referring to the trade two years ago which sent Kessel to Toronto for the Leafs first round picks in 2010 and 2011, which turned into sophomore center Tyler Seguin and prospect defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel gets rattled every time he plays his former team in Boston, and the Bruins fans, who have never forgiven him for basically engineering his trade with salary demands Bruins management considered excessive, will do their bit to keep him that way.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Boone on the Canadiens worst start since the 1995-96 season, and while he doesn’t expect head coach Jacques Martin and GM Pierre Gauthier to be fired, suggested the pair could feel the heat from ownership if the club doesn’t soon turn things around.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boone does a terrific job breaking down the Habs woes thus far. The Canadiens have played with a surprising lack of passion and energy thus far, and displayed a considerable lack of defensive discipline which had become their hallmark the past two seasons under Martin. It’s still too early to panic, of course, but another couple of weeks of lackluster play and things could start getting interesting in Montreal.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames left Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh uncovered with just seconds remaining in overtime, and he made no mistake, burying the winning goal with just 0.5 seconds left to give the Blueshirts a 3-2 victory.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A disappointing end for an otherwise solid performance by the Flames.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson missed Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators, still feeling soreness from the sports hernia/adductor surgery he underwent last spring.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Decision time is looming for young Senators center Mike Zibanejad, who has two more games until the club has to decide if they’ll retain him or send him back to Sweden.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s on the bubble, and I daresay he’ll likely be returned to Sweden.
WINNIPEG SUN: Derek Meech is finally getting his chance to play with the Jets, replacing the sidelined Ron Hainsey.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers prop oil derrick, used for Oilers players to skate through during pre-game ceremonies, has been inspected and found good to go after a slack cable prevent it from being fully elevated during Monday’s game.