The Maple Leafs down the Penguins, the Canucks defeat the Flames, plus the latest on the Canadiens, Oilers, Senators and Jets.
TORONTO STAR/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: James van Riemsdyk scored twice and James Reimer made 28 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. The win proved costly, however, as Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul suffered a fracture forearm and is out indefinitely. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant blow for the Leafs offense. It’ll be interesting to see how they cope with Lupul’s absence.
VANCOUVER SUN/CALGARY SUN: Goaltender Cory Schneider rebounded from his poor season-opening performance with 34 saves to backstop the Canucks to a 3-2 shootout victory over the struggling Flames. Zack Kassian scored one of the regulation goals for the Canucks, as well as the shoot-out winner. Mikka Kiprusoff also made 34 saves, which allowed the Flames to steal a point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s solid performance so far this season has been lost in the hubbub over the Canucks goaltending and the absence of injured forwards Ryan Kesler and David Booth. He seems to have made considerable improvement so far compared to last season, and if he keeps this up, he’ll make Canucks fans forget about Cody Hodgson.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs provides an in-depth analysis of P.K. Subban’s contract negotiations with the Canadiens, dismissing many of the wild rumors regarding how much he’s seeking and the trade rumors which have surfaced in recent days.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban won’t be traded. It’s going to take time to get a deal done, but as Stubbs’ article pointed out, there appears to be some wiggle room on both sides. If the Habs were to trade Subban, they won’t get equal value in return. Moving him would leave a significant gap on their defense. And no, they won’t get Jamie Benn from the Dallas Stars. Mark my words, if Marc Bergevin were to trade Subban, he’ll be continuing the Canadiens two-decade tradition of bad trades.
EDMONTON SUN: The Edmonton City Council has approved an arena deal with the Katz Group which appears similar to the original one proposed in October 2011.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Told you a new arena deal would get done! OK, that’s not worth crowing over, as anyone with brains could see Katz was bluffing (badly) about relocating the team if the city didn’t give in on changes he wanted from the original deal. Thankfully, this circus is finally over, and construction can begin later this year on a new arena which is expected to be ready by 2016.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The third line of Zack Smith, Chris Neil and Colin Greening have been instrumental in the Senators early success.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets coach Claude Noel was pleased with his club’s 4-2 road win over the Washington Capitals, but continues to keep things in the right perspective.