In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Tomas Vokoun off to his best start in years…Martin Havlat makes good early impressions with Sharks…How the Penguins have played .700 hockey without three of their best players…A goalie controversy could be brewing in St. Louis…Avalanche rookie Landeskog draws favorable comparison to a former Avs great…Ex-NHL center Glen Metropolit pines to return.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun is off to his best start since 2005-06, going 6-0-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appeared there would be a goalie controversy with the Caps when Michal Neuvirth started their home opener and Vokoun looked shaky in his first game, but he’s since settled down and has left no doubt he’s the man between the pipes in Washington. He currently leads all NHL goalie in wins this season, is seventh in GAA, and sixth in SP, and is one of the main reasons the Capitals are off to a 7-0-0 start.
MERCURYNEWS.COM:Martin Havlat has played only two games for the San Jose Sharks so far, but he’s made a positive impression, which included a nifty behind the net backhand pass to Logan Couture, who subsequently scored during the Sharks 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once Havlat is fully back in game shape, and if he can stay healthy for the rest of this season, he’ll be a strong replacement for Dany Heatley, the player for whom he was traded for by the Minnesota Wild.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: A look at several reasons why the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing .700 hockey despite the absence of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik. Among them, James Neal rediscovering his scoring touch, their league-best penalty-killing, and agitator Matt Cooke currently having more points (7) than PIMs (2).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The biggest reason is head coach Dan Bylsma. The Penguins have totally bought into his system, and that’s why they’re playing so well despite missing two superstar forwards and their best physical blueliner.
STLTODAY.COM: Brian Elliott’s back-to-back victories over Carolina and Philadelphia has vaulted him into the starter’s role (for now) over struggling Jaroslav Halak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how long Elliott can continue his strong play, but as long as he does, he’ll get more starts over Halak, who has looked lost since preseason.
DENVER POST: Rookie Gabriel Landeskog is drawing favorable comparison to former Avalanche great Peter Forsberg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Landeskog can turn into half the player Forsberg was, the Avs will have a terrific player on their hands.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens forward Glen Metropolit, currently playing pro hockey in Switzerland, still pines to return to the NHL.