By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning’s must-read stories around the NHL.
• In a perfect world — say, one where Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr chose to pursue family law instead of each other’s scalp — this would have been All-Star Weekend in Columbus. This hasn’t escaped the notice of team and local officials who already are pursuing a makeup date. We understand their urgency, but maybe they should want to wait until they, you know, have an All-Star caliber player on their roster to represent them.
• With a couple of beauty goals already to his credit, Swiss rookie Damien Brunner is making a quick adjustment to the NHL with the Red Wings. The 26-year-old says waiting until he was ready was critical to his development, but if he’d been ready to come over earlier, he’d be wearing a different shade of red today. Maybe he would have scored this goal for them instead last night.
• After letting Zack Kassian carry them through the first few games, the Sedins came to play last night in Anaheim. It was a statement game for the Canucks after blowing two goal leads in each of their last two contests.
• If the Calgary Flames have proven anything this season, it’s that they can go a full 20 minutes against anybody. Of course, they haven’t had the benefit of the summer’s two “key” acquisitions in the lineup. That changes tonight as Roman Cervenka and Jiri Hudler make their season debuts against Edmonton.
• Scott Niedermayer had his number raised to the rafters by his junior side, the Kamloops Blazers, on Friday night. He’s due for the same treatment in Anaheim, but someone is holding up the proceedings.
• The new 24/7-style series documenting the Montreal Canadiens debuts tonight. Which would be cool except it’s not 24/7 and the team has the final word on the edit and there won’t be any moments of hockey truth delivered quite like this . Note: Wildly NSFW.
• Usually, Phil Kessel waits for the important games to disappear. This year he’s getting his stick-squeezing skid out of the way early.
• Washington’s rough start stretched to four games after falling 3-2 in OT to the Devils on Friday night. Team captain Alex Ovechkin, still without a goal this season, made such a profound impact in this one that he doesn’t merit a mention in this game story. Probably didn’t help that he was skating with Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb.
• Nice piece by the always great Roy MacGregor on Ottawa teammates Kyle Turris and Patrick Wiercoch. “He had his name on the blade!”