In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: A call to cut Roberto Luongo some slack this season…Harnessing the talent of Dustin Byfuglien…Matthew Lombardi scores in his first game back from post-concussion symptoms…Jordan Eberle unconcerned about sophomore jinx…Canadiens knocked off their game by Maple Leafs…Senators new coach Paul MacLean on his plans for the club…Flames honour Mark Giordano.
VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre asks Canucks fans to cut Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo some slack this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Figure the odds of that happening.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy compared defenseman Dustin Byfuglien’s willingness to roam to Oilers great Paul Coffey, whom Huddy played with for years on Edmonton’s championship teams in the 1980s. Huddy doesn’t want to rein in Byfuglien’s offensive skills, but hopes to work with him to improve his defensive play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Byfuglien can play as well in his own end as he does in the offensive zone, he would be a finalist for the Norris trophy.
TORONTO SUN: Matthew Lombardi made a triumphant return to action last night, scoring the game-winning goal in the Maple Leafs 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the Leafs home-opener. Lombardi missed all by one game last season to post-concussion symptoms.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good for Lombardi, whose career appeared to be in jeopardy. Here’s hoping he remains healthy and has a long, productive NHL career.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers sophomore Jordan Eberle isn’t concerned about the dreaded “sophomore jinx” as he prepares for his second NHL season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle has considerable promise, and could become the leader of the Oilers “young guns” over the next several years.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs reports the Canadiens became unglued midway through the second period of their season-opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, when Matthew Lombardi scored the eventual game-winner shorthanded.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs dominated the first period and a half, but failed to cash in on several glorious scoring chances, thanks in part to Leafs goalie James Reimer, who looked shaky at times but still played well enough for the shutout victory.
OTTAWA SUN: New Senators head coach Paul MacLean discussed his plans for the team for the upcoming season, saying he’ll be keeping lines of communication open with his players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Senators players, as MacLean’s predecessor had a reputation for being distant with them.
CALGARY HERALD: Honoured heart-and-soul defenseman Mark Giordano by making him an alternate captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honour. Giordano is one of the most under-rated defensemen in the league.