Canadian Corner – Halloween 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news:  No suspension for hit on Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson…Jarome Iginla eyeing another high-scoring November…Oilers defense a pleasant surprise…The reason for the Canadiens win on Saturday over the Bruins…Christopher Higgins and Maxime Lapierre teaming up well for the Canucks…Jets still a work in progress…Maple Leafs fall to Senators.

OTTAWA SUN: NY Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski won’t face suspension for his apparent blindside hit on Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson during Saturday’s game between the two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve been supportive of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s efforts so far, but this time, he got it wrong. Here’s hoping Alfredsson didn’t suffer a serious injury.


Looking forward to another hot November.

CALGARY SUN: Flames captain Jarome Iginla hopes he’ll have another high-scoring November. Iginla has been a slow starter through his career but always picks up his offensive pace every November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla may be in his mid-thirties but so far he’s shown little indication of slowing down. I wouldn’t bet against him having another strong November performance.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: John MacKinnon points out the Oilers stingy defense has been a pleasant surprise so far this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite nagging injuries to Ryan Whitney, their best puck-moving defenseman, the Oilers defense has indeed been a surprise. I’m not sure how long they can keep this up, but so far they’ve proven the naysayers (like me) wrong.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Checking line forwards Christopher Higgins and Maxim Lapierre led by example in the Canucks 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals, and have been one of the few constants in an otherwise forgettable start to the Canucks season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Higgins and Lapierre seem rejuvenated playing in Vancouver under head coach Alain Vigneault.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets continue to be a work in progress.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs blamed “mental mistakes” for their 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens credited playing a better disciplined game for their 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.


  1. No suspension for Wolski???? Another example of how the NHL is a joke when it comes to dealing with discipline! Its ridiculous. Sadly, this type of thing will continue until the NHL implements a standardized policy. Right now there is no standard, so players continue to do things like this hit. They probably think… “I may not get suspended, so I’ll make this hit”. A lot of people say the players need to smarten up and be more accountable for their actions, but until the NHL shows consistency in handing out supplemental discipline, its not going to change and we’ll continue to see garbage hits like this. And unfortunately, continue to see garbage hits like this go unpunished.

  2. I don’t think players are weighing the possibility of getting suspended when their going in for a hit the problem is their not thinking when they make them

  3. Shanahan knows what he is doing. He can’t please everyone.

  4. Oh and Alfredsson is normally on the other end of this type of hit. I remeber when he hit the leafs player from behind in the playoffs into the boards and then Ottawa scored to win the game. Again, Shanahan knows what he is doing.

  5. The rules have changed about 16 times since the Leafs were last in the playoffs…

  6. GoWingsGo, you’re kidding, right? The play you refer to happened over 10 years ago and the player on the receiving end was poor little innocent Darcy Tucker. I’m sure if we were to look into Nick Lidstrom’s past there would likely have been an infraction or two as well but no-one would suggest he’s a dirty player.
    You sound more like a Leaf fan than a Wings fan with that comment.
    Fact is the Wolski hit should have been reviewed but wasn’t and for reasons we can only speculate on.

  7. I was just joking about the Alfredsson Tucker hit. Wolski isnt a dirty player either. He just hit Alfredsson with his head down admiring his pass. The player being hit has to have some onus. If we take these hits out of the game knowone will ever get rocked becasue the big hits are normally ones that players aren’t expecting or don’t see coming. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t disagree with the blindside hits or checks from behind being suspended. It’s these open ice ones where the player makes a pass and just keeps watching the puck and then gets hit that are fine. If this is a suspension, then as a player I would always have my head down and not worry becasue it will get to the point where no one will hit me becasue they will be scared to get suspended. You have to expect to get hit evertime you have the puck or just after you pass/shoot it!

  8. @GOWingsGO

    Did you even watch it? He skates by the guy and takes an elbow to the head? I am a Leafs fan and as much as that hit on Tucker was a dirty that was a long time ago. Plus has nothing whatsoever to do with this. Anyone gives an elbow to the head like that should get slapped with a couple games.

  9. My thoughts are if there is an elbow to the head then regardless of where it is on the ice there has to be a suspension. If the head is targeted. I like an open ice hit as much as the next guy but it should be a body check not a hit to the head. To me there should be an automatic 2 games for any hit to the head that is a target hit. Then it goes up from there. The more severe hits you get up to 15 games.

  10. You are never completely going to stop players from getting concussions, it is the nature of the game, but players purposely targetting the head need to be sent a severe message and there should be no question, an elbow to the head is a hit to the head regardless. If the elbow is above the chest then it has to be called regardless, that is my opinion. Right now the players are all confused because they do not know what is allowed and what is not allowed, that is why it has to be automatic.

  11. Wolski didnt even have to lift his elbow becasue Alfredsson was bent over admiring his pass. The player making the pass/shot has to take some responsibility for putting himself in a vulnerable position. Have any of you actually played contact hockey? You can’t be admiring your passes or your gonna get rocked everytime. Just let Shanahan do his job and quit thinking you know more than him about what should/shouldn’t be a suspension.