Canadian Corner – December 8, 2011.

Chris Neil upset over spear from Alexander Ovechkin…Canucks lose David Booth for 4-6 weeks…Dustin Byfuglien simplifying his defensive game…Colby Armstrong’s return to the Leafs imminent…Flames lose Henrik Karlsson six-to-eight weeks…Oilers playing uninspired hockey…Canadiens seeks solutions for sluggish power-play.


Neil fuming over Ovechkin spear.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Chris Neil was fuming over getting “pitchforked” by Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin, but adding insult to injury was Neil was called for diving on the play!

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether or not Ovechkin’s spear was intentional or accidental, it was a penalty the officials missed, but calling Neil for diving just compounded the error. It’s been suggested Neil got screwed by the officials because of his pesky reputation, but I believe it was just a case of poor officiating.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger David Booth will miss four-six weeks to a knee injury following a knee-on-knee hit by Colorado Avalanche forward Kevin Porter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Porter will have a hearing today with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, and could face a suspension as a result.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has simplified and improved his defensive play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Credit goes to defense coach Charlie Huddy.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong is expected to make his return this Friday against the Washington Capitals. Armstrong’s been sidelined since October 19th to a high ankle sprain.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames backup goalie Henrik Karlsson will miss six-to-eight weeks to an MCL tear in his right knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a tough season for Karlsson so far, as prior to his injury he’d yet to win any of the few starts he’d received.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers are playing listless, uninspired hockey, going 1-4-1 in their last six games.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens are trying to find solutions to bolster their once-potent power-play, which is currently 26th overall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs miss Andrei Markov’s skills, and they let hard-shooting James Wisniewski walk to free agency last summer. Perhaps the imminent return of Jaroslav Spacek and Chris Campoli might provide an additional spark from the blueline.


  1. Great to see Armstrong returning to health, he seems to add some upmh to the Leafs line up.

  2. For a tough guy Chris Neil folded fasted then Semin in the playoffs, it was a a good diving call but they also should have called the mild spear from Ovie.

  3. Neil is washed up anyways, who cares what he says, Ovie I dont care for either, cant play two way hockey as its a requirement these days in the NHL.

  4. Byfuglien plays defense???!! I just assumed they invented a new position for him – The Roamer

  5. Did you watch ovi last night? he doesn’t need to play two way hockey. He needs to be fired up and shoot 8 pucks to the net. Last night was a glimmer of how he use to play it was awesome to watch. As a fan of hockey I want to watch ovi in the opposition zone all night long, it’s like watching a tiger in a rabbit pen.

  6. No, Joe Jets! They’ve reinvented the “rover” position for Byfuglien…;)

  7. Glad to have Armstrong back tomorrow, will make for an even more solid 3rd line! Also Armstrong has scored a goal almost everytime he comes back from injury!!

  8. Montreal losing….Yawn!

  9. Of Campoli and Spacek, Spacek will likely have the most impact. He will repalce a young rookie with his experince. That is what happeden earlier in the season and should continue. That said, I do not think Campoli will be a magic cure for the PP, but he certainly won’t hurt.