In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: Carey Price is the NHL’s first star of the week…Daniel Alfredsson sidelined by concussion…Shawn Horcoff logging big minutes…Mark Giordano takes a larger role on the Flames blueline…Kyle Wellwood stepping up offensively for the Jets…Maxim Lapierre gets serious…Leafs learned valuable lesson in October.
RDS.CA: Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price was the NHL’s first star of the week for the last week of October, with three victories while compiling a 1.33 GAA and a save percentage of .950 during that period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens as a team played better in those three games, but it was Price who stood out the most. It appears he’s regained his form from last season, which will be good news for the Habs.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has been sidelined by a concussion.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Still can’t believe the league ruled that Rangers winger Wojtek Wolski’s hit on Alfredsson was “accidental”, in that he was only “bracing for impact”. That’s not how it looked to me. Overall I’m supportive of Brendan Shanahan’s efforts to crack down on head shots, but I still believe he blew this one.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Shawn Horcoff has logged the fourth-most minutes of all forwards thus far this season, and has been playing exceptionally well, with seven points in 11 games and a faceoff winning percentage of 54.1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Horcoff can avoid injury this season he could be on pace for one of his better performances, and could help power the Oilers into playoff contention.
CALGARY HERALD: Mark Giordano is stepping up and taking a larger role this season on the Flames blueline, earning praise from his coach and teammates, despite an unusually high number of giveaways so far this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The giveaways will decline as Giordano becomes more comfortable with his new role as alternate captain and his extra responsibilities.
WINNIPEG SUN: Forward Kyle Wellwood has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets this season, stepping up in key situations and currently leading the team in goals with 5.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wellwood’s shown a maturity to his game this season that was lacking in previous seasons. He obviously wants to make the most of this opportunity with the Jets.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre intends to cut back on his yapping and pesky antics, intending to pick his spots and save his energy for game play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe it’s me, but I find most “pests” are more effective when they focus more on their game and less on trying to drive opponents to distraction. Lapierre is a better player than his NHL stats to date suggest.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs have learned several lessons during the opening month of this season to avoid cooling off from a hot start, as they did a year ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have played much better as a team compared to a year ago. It remains to be seen how long this will last, but it’s a promising start.