Game recaps, changes coming to the Flames roster and an update on Leon Draisaitl in your NHL Canadian Corner.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price made 30 saves while Max Pacioretty and Tom Gilbert each had a goal and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. The win vaulted the Canadiens over the Penguins, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning into first overall in the Eastern Conference. It was also the Habs sixth straight victory, sweeping their five-game road trip, and their ninth in the last 10 games.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Dustin Byfuglien was a physical force at both ends of the ice as he led his Winnipeg Jets to a 5-1 thumping of the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. Byfuglien collected a goal and an assists while teammate Brian Little had a goal and two assists.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With four of the Jets defensemen sidelined by injury, Byfuglien has stepped up to answer the call. The Leafs, meanwhile, have lost seven of their last ten games and have slid to eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Ryan Miller made 29 saves and Henrik Sedin tallied his 200th and 201st career goals (both empty netters) as the Vancouver Canucks downed the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. It was Miller’s 20th win of the season.
OTTAWA SUN: Bobby Ryan was the overtime hero as the Senators edged the Boston Bruins 3-2.
CALGARY HERALD: The return of forward Mikael Backlund and defenseman Ladislav Smid could result in some roster changes for the Flames. Little-used enforcer Brian McGrattan and defenseman Corey Potter could be moved.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most likely they’ll be placed on waivers and demoted to the minors if they go unclaimed.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: As expected, the Oilers will return center Leon Draisaitl to the WHL, effectively ending his NHL season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers handling of Draisaitl is yet another example of their incompetent management. He’s now burned off a year of his entry-level contract (though it won’t count as an accrued season toward his UFA eligibility because he didn’t play 40 games this season) and he clearly wasn’t ready yet for the NHL.