Cory Schneider to start in goal for Canucks tonight against Blackhawks…Making the case for Erik Karlsson for the Norris trophy…Jets fans love Dustin Byfuglien…Mike Cammalleri hoping to pick up his game…Leafs eyeing the standings… Atmosphere in Canadiens dressing room improving…Oilers aim not to give up on season.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Cory Schneider gets the start in goal tonight for the Canucks as they face off against the arch-rival Chicago Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick, somebody start a rumor this is proof the Canucks are showcasing Schneider for a trade!
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch makes the case for Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson to become a nominee for the Norris Trophy after Karlsson shone at the All-Star game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will ultimately depend on Karlsson’s performance over the remainder of the season. So far, he leads all NHL defensemen in assists (40) and points (47) by a wide margin, and is tied for the lead in power-play assists for defensemen.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets and their fans love defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, but he’d get more love if he improved his fitness and became an elite defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injury and conditioning have hampered Byfuglien’s performance this season. I expect he’ll put forth a better effort of improving his conditioning in the off-season.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames forward Mike Cammalleri is looking forward to a playoff push by the Flames after a period of adjustment following his trade to Calgary from Montreal earlier this month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames will need Cammalleri to find his offensive touch if they hope to clinch a playoff berth this season.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs players confess to watching the standings, and hope their improved health will pay dividends as they hope to improve their positioning.
LA PRESSE: Canadiens Max Pacioretty and Mathieu Darche claim the atmosphere in the team’s dressing room has improved in recent weeks compared to a month ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens did show improvement in their final five games leading up to the All-Star break, going 3-1-1. It remains to be seen, however, if this is the start of a significant turnaround, or merely a blip.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers are determined not to give up on this season despite their lousy record.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not going to please those Oilers fans hoping the club will tank the rest of the season to secure another first overall pick.