Recaps of all Saturday’s games featuring Canadian NHL teams.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE/CALGARY SUN: Jordan Schroeder scored twice and Cory Schneider made 33 saves as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 5-1. Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, and Alex Burrows all had two-point nights for the Canucks. Lee Stempniak scored the Flames only goal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s two straight wins for Schneider, which should heighten media calls for the Canucks to trade Roberto Luongo. Don’t expect management to be swayed by this. Until GM Mike Gillis gets his asking price, Luongo isn’t going anywhere.
TORONTO STAR/MONTREAL GAZETTE: James Reimer made 37 saves and Phil Kessel scored and set up two others as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the hapless Montreal Canadiens 6-0. A bit of controversy erupted late in the game, when Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty claimed Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski bit him on the arm in a scrum.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A week ago, Maple Leafs fans hated their roster and wanted half of them (including Kessel) traded. Three straight wins later, they’re positively giddy over the club’s improvement. A week ago Canadiens fans were entranced by their club’s strong start, but three straight losses later, they’re now complaining their club is too small and too soft and half the roster should be traded. Tune in next week around this time to see if the roles reverse again!
WINNIPEG SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: Al Montoya won the battle of the backups over Ben Bishop, as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the Ottawa Senators 1-0. Montoya made 33 saves for the win, while Bishop turned aside 36. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the game’s only goal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hate to say it, but that game was the least exciting of all those involving Canadian teams yesterday. It was hockey at its dullest.
DETROIT NEWS/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Niklas Kronwall’s third period power-play goal lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, which suffered its fifth straight loss. Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made his season debut and couldn’t be faulted for the loss, looking sharp as he made 28 saves.