Canada survives a scare against Latvia, plus updates on seven Canadian NHL teams as they return to practice.
NHL.COM: A third period goal by Shea Weber lifted Canada to a 2-1 victory over Latvia and a trip to the semifinal against Team USA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again the Canadians dominated their opponents everywhere but on the scoreboard. They’ll need to do better against the Americans or they can forget about repeating as Olympic champions.
SPORTSNET: Matt Duchene will replace John Tavares, who is out of the tournament with a knee injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares’ injury not only hurts Team Canada but also his NHL team, the NY Islanders. He’s their best player and losing him could make their final few weeks of the schedule a miserable experience.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: With a week to go until the NHL returns to action, the Canucks are still battered by injuries and face questions about their scoring.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canucks cannot get healthy and/or bolster their scoring, they could miss the playoffs.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jordan Eberle feels like he’s starting a new season as he returns to practice after enjoying ten days off.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, faces an uncertain future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Senators will shop Phillips before the trade deadline as they’re close to playoff contention and need his experience and leadership. As for his future beyond this season, I think they’ll re-sign him to an affordable short-term deal, no more than two years.
TORONTO STAR: Dave Bolland (ankle tendon surgery) is practicing with his Maple Leafs teammates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He could be ready to return when the Leafs return to action following the Olympic break.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets coach Paul Maurice plans a smooth return to action for his players following their ten-day Olympic break.
CALGARY HERALD: Former Flames draft pick Brent Krahn filled in between the pipes during Flames practice.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens 2009 first round pick Louis Leblanc still working on his game with their farm team in Hamilton.