Canadian Corner – November 2, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Five Leafs who need improvement…Lars Eller improves his defensive game…Manny Malhotra leads by example…Oilers demote Linus Omark…Senators winning streak snapped…Flames head coach unhappy over his club’s lopsided loss to Canucks…Jets Ondrej Pavelec happy over strong second start.

TORONTO SUN: Listed Luke Schenn, Phillipe Dupuis, Jonas Gustavsson, Nikolai Kulemin and Tyler Bozak as five Leafs who need to “pull up their socks”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, these five need to shake off their poor starts to this season and step up their performances.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin believes young center Lars Eller could be a player like Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal or Chicago’s Dave Bolland, who are renowned for their strong two-way play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eller has shown more consistency to his play so far this season, and if he continues to improve, he’ll become a vital part of the Habs lineup.

Malhotra leading by example for Canucks.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Center Manny Malhotra has been a strong leader for the Canucks, battling through injuries to remain among the league’s top faceoff men.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In only one year, Malhotra has become an important part of the Canucks roster. Looks like he’ll be in Vancouver for a long time.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have demoted Linus Omark to the minors, in part because he hasn’t played much this season, and because he doesn’t have to clear waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Omark could become trade bait later in the season if the Oilers feel they need to bolster their depth elsewhere, like on defense.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators six game winning streak ended last night, losing 5-3 to the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sens actually led 2-1 at one point and rallied back to tie it at 3 before the Bruins got two quick goals in the third by Johnny Boychuck and Dan Paille to put it away.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames head coach Brent Sutter professed to be at a loss for words to describe his club’s humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The phrase “We sucked on toast” springs to mind. Or “Ugly, with a capital “Ugh”.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec is pleased to have two strong outings against Tampa Bay (a 1-0 loss) and Florida (a 4-3 victory).


  1. Cody Franson for Omark good deal both ways

  2. Eller is a good player, but not anywhere near Jordan Staal. Lets not call a prune a plum.

  3. All around worst effort i’ve seen from the flames since 2002. Wow it was like the nucks were playing a midget AAA team that had been drinking the previous night. No one showed up, kipper was probably their best player and he got shelled for 5 goals, Iggy has looked disinterested for acouple games now. And yes Jay Bowmeester might not be worth 6.8 or whatever but look at the talent he has/ had playing with him over the past couple years, give the guy some credit, i dont think lidstom could look good playing with players with the likes of Butler or Babchuk. Butler is the worst player out there, I cant believe it but i would LOVE to bring back anders erickson as it would be an improvement, anyone but BUTLER. Sabers were smart to ship him out. Feester, I had high hopes for him, now its dwindling along with the playoffs aspirations, and the fanbase.

  4. Wow, none of the players listed by the Toronto Sun have been playing bad. Schenn hasn’t been getting as much ice time as he usually gets but that has more to do with the emergence of Gunnarsson and Gardiner plus the additions of Liles and Franson than the play of Schenn. Gustavsson has played above expectations so far and is the only reason the Leafs beat Pittsburgh. Kulemin started out somewhat slow but he has really picked up his play in the last few games and his line is starting to play as good as they did last year. Bozak looks much improved from last season and played well alongside Kessel while Connolly was injured. Dupuis doesn’t have any points yet but he has been a solid 4th liner and penalty killer.

    I guess this shouldn’t surprise since the Toronto Sun may very well be the most useless rag in the country but maybe they should save the ridiculous, completely baseless criticism for when the Leafs inevitably start playing bad.

  5. From a Vancouver perspective it certainly appears (between this and the last game v Washington) that the Canucks are regaining their stride – PP and PK efficiency, general ice control, sound goaltending, etc. Last night’s game was a fairly overwhelming display.

    From a Flames perspective you’d have to feel for the fans. This season doesn’t bode much hope and nothing in the youth pipeline suggests that the next several years will be much different. Above all, the players currently in the squad that the org (and fans) would love to jettison hold as little value to the rest of the NHL as they do to the Flames. A few more weeks of this will surely usher in a change. Will it be Feaster?