Canadian Corner – November 21, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: Scott Gomez on his scoring woes…Flames inconsistency threatening their season…Jets average first quarter…Oilers on the road following big win over Chicago…Christopher Higgins pots OTs winner for Canucks over Senators…Hurricanes edge Leafs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Scott Gomez find his current goalless drought “surreal”. His last goal came 47 games ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gomez was always a playmaker more than a goal-scorer, but his current drought is troubling.

Can the Flames overcome inconsistency?

CALGARY SUN: The Flames inconsistency threatens to sink their season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This really shouldn’t be surprising, since this is pretty much the same Flames team which struggled throughout last season.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets rate a “C” after their first 20 games, but are showing recent signs of improvement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted yesterday, the Jets appear to be finally adjusting to their new coaching staff as well as their new city. The next twenty games should determine what type of season the Jets will have.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers begin their road trip on a high note, having thumped the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Saturday by a score of 9-2.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Christopher Higgins OT goal lifted the Canucks to a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Canucks goalie Cory Schneider had 28 saves in the loss win and bailed out his teammates more than once.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough loss for the Senators, but they should still be encouraged by their effort. 

TORONTO SUN: Phil Kessel’s two goals weren’t enough for his Maple Leafs, who were edge 3-2 by the Carolina Hurricanes.


  1. Kessel looked awesome again last night. If the Leafs can ever get healthy they should have a good chance at making the playoffs.

  2. Maybe I’m being naive, but I’m happy Gomez is sucking as bad as he is. The worse he plays, the easier it is to send him to Hamilton. It would be nice if Gomez was already in the AHL before the new CBA this summer, just in case they change the rule and grandfather it in.

  3. The Leafs have the worst goals against record in the NHL and have either been out shot (including in Washington) or out played in almost everyone of their last 10 games. Most of the injuries just occurred except for Reimer so I don’t see what injuries have to do with the majority of their aweful play. If the Leafs had of lost in Washington everyone would have been screaming this morning. Remove one lucky game from your memories and have a look at the last 10 games to realize this team is playing terrible under Wilson. They have enough good players that should allow them to make the playoffs but under Wilson this won’t happen. It’s so fustrating to watch another season go into the toilet with no franchise draft pick to show for it.

  4. @FireWilson

    Not a lucky game against Washington, just took advantage of a team that is really cooling off.

    Although I like when Canadian teams head into the playoffs (except maybe Vancouver, cannot stand the way their players act) is anyone really surprised that the Leafs are cooling off? The buds currently aren’t built to win a cup, or to be a real contender… There was no way Lupul/Kessel were going to keep up their ppg ratio the entire year… Kessel might finish the year with ~80-90 or so, it was ridiculous when I was reading he might put up Gretzky numbers (LOL, Kessel, the only man to put up +130 points since a real legend in Mario… only in Toronto would someone be suspected of doing something like that).

    Leafs will be a bubble team, once again, and will end up 7-10 in the East.

    As for Gomez. Time to bury that contract, one of the worst contracts in the league at the moment.

    As for the Flames, ridiculous team. One day they come out flat and look like they’ll never win a game this season, then the next game they blow out a strong team completely dominating them all game.

  5. @FireWilson, welcome to a rebuild. Something fans like yourself cried for since the JFJ days. This team will have its ups and down and may even need to be scratched and started over again… it happens. Now for some insight that you don’t quite see or fail to understand. Teams that lose their starting goalie and have to play a back-up or even worse a rookie is gonna have a lot of goals scored on them; and, to make things worse, when said team has one third of it regulars, not scrubs out of its lineup, you can expect more loses, more shots and goals against than normal.

    I wonder, if the Leafs were to fire Wilson because, you know, he is the problem (sarcasm), who do you think would be a better coach out there now available to “turn around” this team that is tied for 6th over all in the league – just 3pts out of 1st overall, playing without a majority of its key players for most of this season? What coach do yo think the Leafs would be better off with?

  6. How can Cory Schneider be the loosing goalie when he’s team won ?

  7. I really don’t care if Gomez doesn’t score again, as long as he puts in an effort like he did on Saturday and feeds his wingers, as Gionta, cammalleri and others. I heard Gomez’s name more often that I heard the Rangers’ 12 million dollar man’s name. Where was Richards on Saturday ?

  8. The Leafs are rebuilding that’s true and in the course of rebuilding, you have inconsistency. What I don’t see from them is effort. 2 needless points were lost yesterday because they played 1 period out of 3. Now add those 2 points lost yesterday together with the 5-1 no show loss to Florida and the likelihood that the Leafs will lose 4 of 6 games to Buffalo, Boston and the Flyers, that’s 28 points gone and we haven’t discussed any other teams. Playoffs? Nope..Is Wilson the problem? He’s part of it for sure if not most of it and having two players in Connolly and Armstrong who are always injured is not helping either not to mention an AHL goalie in net because the coach has no confidence in the Monster. Not good. !

  9. @ Donnybrook

    A rebuild is usually comprised of numerous top 5 draft pick franchise players which we did not get because Burke decided to build on the fly. I never agreed with this approach becuase I figured it would take just as long with a much different outcome. What’s the difference between wollowing in the bottom third of the NHL and missing the playoffs as opposed to finishing last. We had a chance at finishing last and drafting Stamokos, Tavares, and Hall or Seguin over the last 3 years but instead we finished in the bottom third of the NHL and have Kessel, Scheen, and Kadri to show for it. Burke has done a good job considering this has been on the fly but I bet the majority of fans would have been on board with a proper rebuild.

    You say that when a team loses their number one goalie they have a lot of goals scored on them which may or may not be true but how do you explain 40 shots a night on their backups and being consistantly out played over the past 10 games. Is it the back ups fault? Or would you like to blame the last 10 games on Grabo and MacA missing 3 games? If you say Wilson is so good then you can’t blame the brutal play on Connelly being injured because Wilson thinks he is better served on the second line and Bozak is the man to center Kessel and Lupul. Then again it could be the major loss of Komiserik for the last 3 games or maybe its the loss of Mike Brown’s 9 min per game in the last two games that has caused the poor play over the past 10 games.

    As for coaches to replace Wilson? I would take just about anyone at this point as I’m sure most of Leaf nation would.

    Yes, you are right the Leafs are 3 pts out of first overall but fail to mention they are also 3 pts out of 22nd overall. I guess your glass is half full and mine is half empty but then again I guess the past 3 years have made me just a little skeptical. I fear time will only prove me right…

  10. DLS, at the risk of suffering the wrath of blue fan’s I think you’ve summarized the situation very accurately. To me the re-build was done as short cut or quick fix. Anyways I prefer to not comment too much on rival teams when they are struggling, best of luck for the rest of this season.