In today’s collection of notable NHL Canadian team news, the Canucks end the Canadiens nine-game winning streak, plus updates on Flames forward Sam Bennett and much more.
THE VANCOUVER SUN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jared McCann scored twice and Ryan Miller made 25 saves as the Vancouver Canucks thumped the visiting Montreal Canadiens 5-1, snapping the latter’s nine-game season-opening win streak. Former Hab Brandon Prust had two assists for the Canucks, who picked up their first win at home this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a case of a team overdue for a loss falling to a team overdue for its first home win. The Canucks definitely earned this one, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the first. Miller was particularly sharp in goal for Vancouver.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/WINNIPEG SUN: Third period goals by Tyler Toffoli, Milan Lucic and Trevor Lewis (the latter two into an empty net) lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The win was the sixth straight for the Kings. Nikolaj Ehlers scored the Jets’ only goal in what was a close game until the final minute of the third period. Earlier in the day, Jets players (including captain Andrew Ladd) were dismissive of former teammate Evander Kane’s claims he was never supported by them or the organization.
TWINCITIES.COM/EDMONTON SUN: Two quick third-period goals by Ryan Suter and Charlie Coyle rallied the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, handing the latter their third straight win.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poor defensive play is killing the Oilers right now. Their goaltending is better, they’ve got plenty of scoring punch and their overall performance has improved, but defense remains their Achilles heel. That’s a depth issue, something management will have to address at some point.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is bringing the pain to his club in practice following their poor performance in a
4-1 4-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s nothing Babcock can do about the lack of talent on the Leafs, but what he expects from every player is they bring their best effort in every game. Despite their 1-5-2 record, the Leafs for the most part are a more competitive club than they were last season, but their effort against the Coyotes was lackluster. That’s something the ultra-competitive Babcock won’t accept.
CALGARY SUN: Flames rookie forward Sam Bennett’s offensive struggles is among the reasons behind the club’s poor start to this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After watching Bennett’s feisty performance in last spring’s playoffs, I predicted he’d be among this season’s top rookies. While there’s still a lot of time for the youngster to pick up his game, it can’t come soon enough for the struggling Flames. Their lack of secondary scoring is a major contributing factor to their early-season woes.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators prospect Mikael Wikstrad, who is currently suspended for his abrupt departure from their training camp last month, claimed he did so to be with his family, as his brother has leukemia.