In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Five Leafs who need improvement…Lars Eller improves his defensive game…Manny Malhotra leads by example…Oilers demote Linus Omark…Senators winning streak snapped…Flames head coach unhappy over his club’s lopsided loss to Canucks…Jets Ondrej Pavelec happy over strong second start.
TORONTO SUN: Listed Luke Schenn, Phillipe Dupuis, Jonas Gustavsson, Nikolai Kulemin and Tyler Bozak as five Leafs who need to “pull up their socks”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, these five need to shake off their poor starts to this season and step up their performances.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin believes young center Lars Eller could be a player like Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal or Chicago’s Dave Bolland, who are renowned for their strong two-way play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller has shown more consistency to his play so far this season, and if he continues to improve, he’ll become a vital part of the Habs lineup.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Center Manny Malhotra has been a strong leader for the Canucks, battling through injuries to remain among the league’s top faceoff men.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In only one year, Malhotra has become an important part of the Canucks roster. Looks like he’ll be in Vancouver for a long time.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have demoted Linus Omark to the minors, in part because he hasn’t played much this season, and because he doesn’t have to clear waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Omark could become trade bait later in the season if the Oilers feel they need to bolster their depth elsewhere, like on defense.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators six game winning streak ended last night, losing 5-3 to the Boston Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sens actually led 2-1 at one point and rallied back to tie it at 3 before the Bruins got two quick goals in the third by Johnny Boychuck and Dan Paille to put it away.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames head coach Brent Sutter professed to be at a loss for words to describe his club’s humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The phrase “We sucked on toast” springs to mind. Or “Ugly, with a capital “Ugh”.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec is pleased to have two strong outings against Tampa Bay (a 1-0 loss) and Florida (a 4-3 victory).