In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist and Tomas Vokoun come up big for their respective teams…Bruins early season frustration boils over against Hurricanes…No word on Martin Brodeur’s shoulder injury…Penguins lose Kris Letang to suspension…Erik Johnson silences his critics in Colorado…Enforcers soldier on despite risks and bad press…Architect of Jets roster moves on.
BUFFALO NEWS: Ryan Miller saved his teammates with a 40-save performance as the Sabres downed the Montreal Canadiens 3-1.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 40 shots in backstopping his team to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun helped his team to a franchise-best (5-0) start to the season with a twenty-save shutout of his former team, the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Certainly a big night for three of the NHL’s top goaltenders.
CSNNE.COM: The Boston Bruins frustration over their slow start to this season boiled over in last night’s 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, racking up 72 minutes in penalties, including 4 misconducts, plus a misconduct and an ejection for head coach Claude Julien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having won the Stanley Cup, the Bruins are now finding it difficult to get back into the regular season mindset. This, however, won’t last much longer, they’re simply too good a team to flounder as they have for much longer. This blowup against the Hurricanes might be just what they need to get back on track.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Devils veteran netminder Martin Brodeur is having his injured shoulder re-examined as he continues to experience pain. Brodeur had been hopeful of returning to action soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for the Devils, they have a terrific backup in Johan Hedberg, so there’s no need for Brodeur to rush back before he’s completely healed.
PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: The Penguins have no issue with the league suspending defenseman Kris Letang for two games for hitting Winnipeg Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov from behind during their 2-1 loss to the Jets on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No doubt about this one, and it’s good to see that not only was Burmistrov okay, but league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan won’t spare punishment for top players like Letang, who is among the league’s best defensemen.
DENVER POST: Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson’s performance thus far this season has silenced critics who believed the Avs got the worst of last year’s trade which brought Johnson to Colorado for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson is healthy, more mature and certainly more motivated this season. The trade could turn out to be a winner for the Avalanche in the long run.
TORONTO STAR: NHL enforcers like Tanner Glass, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, and Dale Weise continue to soldier on despite health risks and the growing criticism over their role in the game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The role of enforcer isn’t likely to disappear from the league, but it will be forced to evolve, as I believe they’ll have to be able to contribute in other areas besides fighting, resulting in a more well-rounded player who also happens to fight when needed.
TORONTO SUN (VIA CALGARY SUN): Former Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley, who is now the Toronto Maple Leafs director of player personnel, won’t be watching his old team (now the Winnipeg Jets) when they play the Leafs tonight. Dudley was responsible for acquiring Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, and Nik Antropov, as well as drafting Evander Kane and Alexander Burmistrov, but was fired after the club was bought by True North Sports and Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A new owner usually brings in their own people, but I have to agree with Steve Simmons, the author of this piece, who wrote that firing Dudley was “the first dumb move the Jets made”. Dudley was only in Thrashers management two years, one as GM, yet in that short time he did much to commence the rebuilding of the team, and in my opinion should’ve been given the opportunity by the Jets to continue.