Game recaps, updates on Carey Price, Michael Hutchinson and Zack Kassian, and the latest on the Maple Leafs and Flames.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Newcomers Derek Roy and Matt Fraser scored as the Oilers upset the visiting New York Islanders 5-2. Matt Hendricks also tallied twice for the Oilers.
OTTAWA SUN: Tyler Johnson scored twice to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators, snapping the Sens’ two-game win streak. Kyle Turris and Mark Stone scored for the Senators in a losing cause.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs charts the ongoing development of Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who is among the NHL’s elite goaltenders this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price is undoubtedly the bedrock upon which the franchise has built its success since last season.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle makes the case that a fatally-flawed core is a major factor in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ struggles, noting they lack a true first-line center and a No. 1 defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The results are there on the ice for all to see in every game. The stats don’t lie. The Leafs are still among the NHL’s worst puck-possession and defensive teams. If they don’t get superb goaltending and opportunistic scoring, they lose more than they win. A coaching change should help, but as Mirtle also notes, they need to improve their core. That doesn’t mean dumping Phil Kessel or Dion Phaneuf, but it does mean trying to acquire players who can take the pressure off these two.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets backup Michael Hutchinson is slowly prying the starter’s job away from Ondrej Pavelec.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I consider Hutchinson a dark horse to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year this season. If he indeed takes over the starter’s role over the rest of this season and backstops the Jets into a playoff berth, he will certainly merit serious consideration for the award.
THE PROVINCE: Struggling Canucks winger Zack Kassian should look to teammate Shawn Matthias to see what management wants from him.
CALGARY SUN: Among this week’s five burning questions for the Calgary Flames: Can they avoid a losing skid, and can goalie Jonas Hiller handle the heavy workload?