Don Cherry defends Phil Kessel, Max Pacioretty leads Habs to preseason victory over the Devils, Zack Kassian suspended eight games, plus the latest on the Senators, Oilers, Jets and Flames.
TORONTO SUN: Hockey Night in Canada star Don Cherry defended the stick-swinging of Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel in defending himself against hulking Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott. Cherry said he was surprised Scott tried to fight the smaller Kessel, saying it violated the enforcer’s “code”. While saying he didn’t agree with Kessel’s second slash and acknowledged the league will deal with it, Cherry said he understood it. “The guy is 6-foot-8 so what he is supposed to do?” said Cherry. “At 5-foot-10 or (5-foot)-11, Kessel did the right thing by not fighting him.”
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier explained his participation in the Sabres-Leafs brawl on Sunday when he tangled with Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel has a hearing with the league slated for today. He received a match penalty for his actions and could receive a couple of more games. He has no suspension history, which could work in his favor.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators winger Milan Michalek and goalie Craig Anderson are taking “maintenance days” but are expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. Both players missed significant time last season to injuries.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks thumped the visiting Phoenix Coyotes 6-1 in preseason play. They did so without Zack Kassian and Dale Wiese. Kassian was suspended 8 games (three preseason, five regular season) for injuring Oilers center Sam Gagner by recklessly swinging his stick, while Wiese is suspended three games for an illegal hit to the head of Oilers center Taylor Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner recently tweeted the gruesome aftermath of Kassian’s stick massage to his jaw. He’s sidelined until November.
WINNIPEG SUN: Edmonton Oilers edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: A three-year contract has taken pressure off Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is MacIntyre’s third tenure with the Oilers.
CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN: A strong performance against the NY Rangers has likely solidified the starter’s role for Flames goalie Karri Ramo, backstopping the Flames to a 4-1 win over the Blueshirts.