Latest on the Leafs goaltending, Canadiens still reaping rewards from former GM Gauthier, concern over the Canucks recent performance, the Senators shake up their lines, Oilers coach understands fans frustration, plus updates on Tobias Enstrom and Mikael Backlund.
Jonathan Bernier (l) and James Reimer are key to the Leafs strong start.
SPORTSNET.CA: Chris Johnston on how the Maple Leafs goalie tandem of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer are key to the club’s strong start.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Leafs are among the league leaders in shots-against per game, they need strong performances from their tandem if they want to avoid lopsided losses. They must address this issue or risk burning out their goalies come playoff time.
SPORTSNET.CA: Ryan Dixon explains how the moves of former Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier (acquiring Lars Ellers and Michael Bournival, drafting Brendan Gallagher) have paid dividends for the Habs this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dixon isn’t saying the Canadiens were wrong to fire Gauthier, merely pointing out that not all of his moves were horrible.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher wondered if the Canucks latest lethargic loss was a “one-off” or a sign the club is tiring under John Tortorella’s demanding system.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: The Canucks are probably still adapting to Tortorella’s system. More time is needed to determine if they’ll better adjust as the season progresses or if their conditioning has become a problem.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators coach Paul MacLean is shaking up his lines in hopes of snapping his team out of its early season funk.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom has decided to pass on playing for Sweden’s Olympic team in Sochi, preferring to put his focus on this season with the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable. Enstrom is coming off two injury-shortened seasons and said he wants to use the Olympic break to rest and be better prepared for the final stretch of the regular season.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames center Mikael Backlund is once again dealing with adversity, this time becoming a healthy scratch following a so-so start to the season.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers coach Dallas Eakins says he understands the fans frustration over his club’s poor start, but insists he and his players aren’t giving up.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For most frustrated Oilers fans, action speaks louder than words.