In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Ilya Kovalchuk getting more responsibility with Devils…James Neal rediscovers his scoring touch…The reasons for the Blues slow start…Jiri Hudler off to a better start…Flyers recall Brayden Schenn…Wearing a visor saves an eye for Francois Beauchemin…Bill Guerin offers labor advice for NBA players.
NJ.COM: Winger Ilya Kovalchuk is logging big minutes and playing in more situations for the Devils this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the highest paid Devil is on his way to becoming their most complete forward.
PITTSBURGHLIVE.COM: James Neal has rediscovered his scoring touch by opting to shoot low more often this season, as all his goals thus far this season have come on low shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Opposing goalies will start picking up on that, but Neal shouldn’t have any difficulty adjusting his shooting style to suit whatever situation.
STLTODAY.COM: Struggling goalie Jaroslav Halak isn’t the only reason the Blues are off to a slow start, as their offense – especially their power-play – has sputtered so far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of anticipation for an improved performance by the Blues this season. That pressure to reach expectations might also account for their lurching from the gate.
MLIVE.COM: Jiri Hudler is off to a good start to this season, with four points in as many games, looking quicker, stronger and more confident compared to a year ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last season was an anomaly for Hudler, who was expected to have a bounce-back performance this season. That’ll inevitably lead to trade speculation, but if he’s playing well, the Wings will have no reason to shop him.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin credits his visor with likely saving an eye after he was struck in the head by a puck during the Ducks-San Jose Sharks game on Monday.
PHILLY.COM: The Flyers have recalled center Brayden Schenn, demoting Harry Zolnierczyk and Zac Rinaldo.
STAR-TELEGRAM.COM: Former NHL star Bill Guerin has some advice for NBA players: it’s not worth potentially losing a season trying to get the CBA you want, urging them to get a deal done.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin should know, as he was among the NHLPA’s point men during the season-killing lockout of 2004-05. Ultimately, the players, who vowed they would never accept a salary cap, accepted one. Besides, team owners tend to be short-sighted, and the players often end up with deals which ultimately work out to their benefit. Once upon a time, it was worthwhile for players in every major sports league to force work stoppages because they truly were being screwed over by their respective leagues. No longer. Players are getting their fair share, raking in millions of dollars in lucrative contracts, and they can never win in the court of public opinion by forcing work stoppages. Best to follow the recent example of the NFL and get a deal done.