Canadian Corner – December 14, 2011.

Senators may have lost Milan Michalek to injury, Jets beat Wild, Blue Jackets down Canucks, Flames offense sputters against Predators,Leafs Kulemin struggles to score, Canadiens checker comes through, Ladislav Smid’s dental work.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators lost leading scorer Milan Michalek to what appears either a shoulder or head injury after he collided with teammate Erik Karlsson during the Senators 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be a serious blow for the Senators offense if Michalek, who has an injury history, is out for a significant period of time.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets bounced back from a one-sided loss to Detroit with a 2-1 win over the league-leading Minnesota Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by the Jets, who’ve been steadily improving in recent weeks.

VANCOUVER SUN: The hapless Columbus Blue Jackets were able to slip past the Vancouver Canucks with a 2-1 shoot-out win.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames offense failed to come through in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators, spoiling a strong effort by goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Starting to become a recurring theme for the Flames.

Kulemin well off last season's 30 goal pace.

TORONTO SUN: Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin’s scoring drought reaches 53-days, his last one coming back on October 22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kulemin potted 30 goals last season so his drought this time around is a troubling one for the Leafs offense, though fortunately other players have stepped up offensively to cover off. Perhaps he could become trade bait later in the season?

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens grinder Petteri Nokelainen was the hero for the Canadiens, who blew a 3-1 lead against the Islanders until Nokelainen scored what would be the winning goal for the Habs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs have had a troubling habit this season of blowing leads.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid needed stitches and some teeth were chipped and knocked crooked after taking a stick to the mouth in a recent game against the Calgary Flames.


  1. I wonder if Toronto will consider trading Kulemin and who to and for what?

  2. I doubt very much the Leafs trade Kulemin. A valuable player at both ends of the ice. His goals will come.

  3. I like Kulemin and feel for his struggles as he certainly makes up for the lack of scoring by playing a solid game at both ends of the ice. My guess is if he hasn’t turned it around by the end of January, which seems to be Burke’s favorite time of year to shake things up, he may consider trading him out of the conference for safety’s sake as part of a package deal

  4. I hope the Leafs don’t trade Kulemin as it wouldn’t be smart. He is a valuable two way player and when he gets on his game even not scoring he can dominate the ice. He reminds me at times of a less talented Pavel Datsyuk. The Leafs just need patience for Kulemin and he will come around. I think if anything a reduced role with him playing a more defensive game for the time being could be what the doctor ordered.

  5. I’d have to agree that keeping Kulemin would be the best move, short of a great offer in return which given his current form they are unlikely to get.

  6. Y

  7. The Leafs would be insane to trade Kulemin. Sure he isn’t scoring but he is one of their hardest workers night in and night out and is good defensively, not to mention the fact that he is still young and has lots of room to grow as a player. If anything, Kulemin’s scoring drought has proven just how valuable a player he is to the Leafs considering he still somehow manages to be one of the Leafs most effective two way players even when he isn’t scoring.

    Trading a young 30 goal scorer with two way ability while his value is low would be just about the dumbest thing an NHL GM could do.

  8. Kulemin isn’t going anywhere with his stats this year. Burke knows well enough to trade guys at their peak value not at the bottom basement perceived value. Kule couldn’t be more under valued right now. He stays.

  9. Anyone else see Bolland call the twins sisters on a Chicago talk show and then Vigneault try and stick up for them. Pretty sad when the leaders of your team can’t even stick up for themselves. The Sedins are nice fantasy hockey players but nothing more. Bieksa should be Captain of that time, maybe then they would have some balls.