Game recaps, updates on your favorite Canadian NHL teams, and a poll of prominent NHL agents reveals most Canadian teams are on their clients’ “no-trade” lists.
OTTAWA CITIZEN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Call-up goalie Andrew Hammond made 42 saves to win his first NHL game, backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. It was a costly loss for the Habs, as Alexei Emelin left the game early with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. P.K. Subban was hobbled by a Bobby Ryan slapshot but did return in the third period. The Canadiens have recalled defenceman Jarred Tinordi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again the Canadiens played like crap against one of the weakest teams in the league. It was a notable change from their strong performance in their previous game against the Detroit Red Wings. No word yet on how severe Emelin’s injury is but it can’t be good if they’re calling up Tinordi. It’s a good thing for the Habs that Subban wasn’t seriously injured. They can cover for Emelin’s absence, but losing Subban would be catastrophic.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Martin Marincin scored the game winner in a marathon shootout as the Edmonton Oilers upset the visiting Boston Bruins 4-3. It was expected the Bruins would start call-up goalie Malcolm Subban in this game but they instead went with starter Tuukka Rask.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That shows how desperate the Bruins have become in their efforts to retain hold of the last wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. Teams comfortably seated in a playoff spot usually don’t employ their starter against one of the league’s worst teams.
CALGARY SUN: The Calgary Flames staged another third period rally to force overtime but the Minnesota Wild defeated the Flames 3-2 on a goal by Mikko Koivu.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets center Mathieu Perreault will miss the remainder of the regular season to a lower-body injury. Winger Drew Stafford, injured in a recent game against Edmonton, is expected to be in the lineup for their upcoming game against Washington.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perreault’s absence could be a serious blow to the Jets playoff hopes. He’s been one of their best forwards this season.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs Peter Holland, Joffrey Lupul and coach Peter Horachek spoke about how they’re trying to cope with the negative atmosphere surrounding the club in recent week.
THE PROVINCE: A profile of Latvian Ronalds Kenins path to the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: A recent poll of 10 prominent NHL agents reveals most NHL players prefer not to be traded to Canadian teams. Edmonton was the top team players don’t want to be dealt to, followed by Winnipeg and then Ottawa and Toronto. The Buffalo Sabres were third. Of the seven Canadian clubs, Vancouver is the most desirable. Montreal is either love it or hate it. Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg are no-go destinations largely because of the climate, though the Oilers years of futility is also a factor. Years of losing and the intense media spotlight have made Ottawa and Toronto a less-than-desirable trade destination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A team’s record certainly plays a significant part. Despite Detroit’s cold climate and the city’s financial woes, the Red Wings winning legacy makes them a desirable trade destination. It certainly doesn’t help that most of the Canadian teams have sucked on toast over the past decade. Over ten years ago, Toronto was a popular destination because the Leafs were among the league’s best teams.