Capitals exploit Oilers poor goaltending, updates on Daniel Briere, Morgan Rielly, Sean Monahan and Jacob Trouba, plus the latest on the Senators and Canucks.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers backup Jason LaBarbera gave up three goals on as many shots as the Washington Capitals downed the struggling Oilers 4-2. The Oilers have now given up a league-high 29 goals whilst scoring only 19.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Twitter was abuzz last night with Oilers fans practically pleading for management to do something – anything – to address their club’s goaltending woes. Trouble is, there doesn’t seem to be many trade options available, and it could cost them a good young player like Nail Yakupov to get it done.
The only reasonable free agent option is Ilya Bryzgalov, but his reputation as a flake hurts his value. If the losses keep piling up, however, Bryzgalov could start looking really attractive to the Oilers.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Daniel Briere finds himself demoted to the Canadiens fourth line when they face off tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere has only one point so far as a Hab, but it’s too early to panic about his performance so far. As the piece noted, Briere understands the reason behind the move and knows he has to improve.
TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs will soon have to decide if they’ll retain defenseman Morgan Rielly or send him back to junior.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames center Sean Monahan will face his toughest challenge over the next several games in his bid to earn a regular roster spot this season. The Flames face off against the LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks in an upcoming road trip.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Monahan proves himself against those clubs, it should guarantee him a permanent spot in the lineup for the rest of the season.
WINNIPEG SUN: Rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba hasn’t looked out of place so far on the Jets blueline.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators poor defensive play has been troubling for GM Bryan Murray, but he remains confident they will improve. Failure to do so, however, could result in some changes. Struggling centers Stephane Da Costa and Jean-Gabriel Pageau could face demotion. A trade, however, doesn’t seem likely as they’re very difficult to make at this time of year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since the ’11-’12 season, the Senators have been among the league leaders in shots-against,so this isn’t a problem isn’t limited to this season.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks hope to continue adjusting to their new system under coach John Tortorella during their upcoming seven-game road trip.