Canadian Corner – November 28, 2011.

Roberto Luongo adjusting to backup role…Jason Spezza reaches a notable milestone…Max Pacioretty awaits his fate over Letang hit…Magnus Paajarvi could replace Hall…Leafs easily beat Ducks… Shuffled Flames lineup beats Wild…Jets facing a critical homestand.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks starting goalie Roberto Luongo is adjusting to the backup role while his team rides the strong performance of Cory Schneider in goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll ride the hot hand for as long as possible, but at some point, Luongo will once again take over the reins. Riding the pine could motivate him to play even better when he returns to action.

Spezza pots 200th career goal.

OTTAWA SUN: Jason Spezza’s scored twice, one of them his 200th career goal, as the Senators downed the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty will have a telephone conference today with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan regarding his blindside hit on Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The automatic assumption is he’ll be suspended, and it’s quite possible he could, but Letang appeared to see Pacioretty coming on the play, Pacioretty apologized to Letang before the end of the game for the hit, and while Letang suffered a broken nose on the play, he returned to action and scored the game-winning goal. Those factors could result in lesser punishment for Pacioretty. We’ll find out later today.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Swedish forward Magnus Paajarvi could get a chance to get his game back on track if he’s tapped to replace injured Taylor Hall on the Oilers top line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paajarvi showed considerable promise last season, but has only one point in 19 games this season. If he replaced Hall, this could be his best opportunity to prove his worth.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs dispatched the struggling Anaheim Ducks by a score of 5-2. Former Duck Joffrey Lupul had two assists in the Leafs victory.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames head coach Brent Sutter decision to shake up his forward lines worked, as they downed the Minnesota Wild 5-2.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets commence an important homestand which could have significant bearing on the outcome of this season.

19 Comments

  1. Pacs hit isn’t suspendable in my opinion. no different then malone on campoli. he was bent over from shot only reason any contact to head. but with shannys inconsistency would not surprise me for him to be suspended.

  2. I will get ripped for this comment but here goes;

    My prediction is the Leafs get smoked against Boston again and by the end of the second game Wilson will realize Bozak is way to easy to push off the puck when they play a decent cup bound team. Connelly or possibly Grabo will be centering the top line by the end of game two against the B’s. Say what you want about Bozak’s sudden scoring streak centering the top line, but the fact is Kessel isn’t scoring because Bozak isn’t opening up lanes for him so he isn’t getting a ton of opportunities and if Lupul wasn’t doing all the dirty work standing in front, crashing the net and using his strength on every Bozak goal that line would be all but useless. Grabo centering Dupuis and Rosehill? What an embarrasment for Grabo. Grabo, Kuli and MacA worked so well last year because (2 out of 3 guys on the line) Kuli and MacA will crash the net, stand in front and take the body when nessessary along with being a threat to score, while Grabo uses his slick hands and many talants. Kessel is all skill and talant (like Grabo) which leaves only (1 of 3 guys) Lupul crashing the net, standing in front and taking the body. Bozak thinks he’s Kessel and does none of what is required to open lanes for Kessel to utilize his skill which is why Kessel hasn’t scored in 4 games. Connelly is the only center the Leafs currently have that can play like Lupul which the B’s will expose over the next two games.

    Just my two cents after watching every game this season.

  3. I’ll rip you. You’re hate-on for Bozak is laughable. How long does a guy have to center the league’s top 2 scorers before you give him some credit? You are no doubt trying to justify a previous opinion that Bozak “is only a third liner”, despite the fact that he is playing solid 2-way hockey against top lines and generating a tonne of scoring.
    I’ll rip you again. Stop with the nicknames.
    And again. The coach has earned himself some breathing room…..can you possibly think they should fire a coach on a winning streak?

  4. The fact you called Bozak a solid two way center tells me that you aren’t worth having an intelligent conversation with.

    Anyone else out there care to comment?

  5. Lupul certainly had motivation going into the Anaheim game.
    Since Shanny has decided to start handing out fines lately, my guess is Patch will be fined as it’s his 1st offence. But an elbow to the head should always draw supplemental discipline. How the refs missed this on the ice, I have no idea.

  6. @FireWilson -I’ve read your comments the last little while- Are you twelve?

  7. Although I would agreed with your take on the Van goalie situation Lyle, I also see some parallels to the Thomas/Rask situation 2 seasons ago. But in this situation, as much as the team will always claim it’s all about winning, all things being equal Lu will always have the edge given his contract.

  8. FireWilson. First of all, nice name.

    I’ll comment on what you’re saying about Bozak. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this year but he has been a lot more solid on the puck. And granted, against a big tough team against Boston, I don’t like the match up too much. However, against most of the league its a good fit because of his speed and his skillset. A great example of what he can do was in last night’s game on his 2nd goal when he took the pass from Lupul at the blueline and made a 1-touch pass, batting the puck across to Kessel, then drove to the net for the rebound. I’m not a huge Bozak fan either, but I will give credit to him, he’s performing well.

  9. @fire Wilson
    First off…….it’s okay to be a bozak hater but you have to admit his play has increased 10 fold over last year, so suggesting that tux is wrong for saying so is a little off
    Second….. I have conversed with tux before and his comments are always good and if someone calls his bluff, he will always back it up- if this is not intellegent enough for you, then you are probably a Mensa initiate, and therefore probably stuck up or something.
    Point is: don’t knock someone’s opinion unless you plan on backing it up with something other than your weak comment above
    Go bozak go!!!!!!

  10. I have no problem with Tux disagreeing with my comment but when he insinuates that Bozak deserves to be centering the top line and is a solid two way center it tells me he hasn’t watched very many games this year. When the Leafs are in tough against a worthy opponent like you will see with Boston, Bozak is not the guy to center Kessel and Lupul. He is easily pushed off the puck, never lays the body, never stands in front to deflect shots, and never crashes the net intead he floats around pretending he’s got the talent of Kessel and therefore doesn’t have to do any dirty work. He obviously has some minor skill sets or he wouldn’t be in the NHL but so does Crabb, Lombardi, Steckle, and they are all on the third and forth line. Remember when Steckle was centering Kessel and Lupul for a few games? He was also scoring goals and racking up points. I understand Wilson trying to spread out the scoring/talent but not when Bozak is left on the top line once better players return to the line up. The Leafs need a top line guy that will do what ever it takes to win and let Kessel play at his best. I love Lupul and give credit to Burke for bringing him in because he totally stole him from the Ducks. Without Lupul the Leafs wouldn’t have a top line and Kessel would not be any where close to leading the league in scoring. This also goes the other way because without Kessel, Lupul wouldn’t be 3rd. Those two are a perfect match and without each other the line fails. Imagine the possibilities of having a top line center who does body check, who isn’t afraid to stand in front of the net, who does crash the net and is also a threat to score.

    Hey at least I don’t waiver my opinion everytime the Leafs get a win or a player gets a few goals. Most guys base their opinion on the last game the Leafs played. I prefer to look at the players real potential and what they have accomplished in at least the last 12 months. If, and that’s a big if, they can prove over the course of time that they are capable of handling their assignments night in and night out over the course of 82 games then I become a believer. I saw Bozak lay one body check last night and have never seen him stand in front of the net to screen a goalie in the past 12 months. He leaves that dirty work to Lupul.

    I am so confident that the Bruins will shut Bozak down, push him off the puck at both ends of the rink and make him disappear over the next two games that if I’m wrong I will hang up my name “FireWilson” and refrain from ever posting on this site again but only if Tux agrees to do the same if I’m right.

  11. gravitymike: I watched the the MaxPac hit again and I did not see an elbow. I saw a shoulder to the head. That said, I was surprised at the no call and I agree there will likely be a fine. I’m not sure it will be a suspension for the reasons keith menioned.

  12. Not to screw up the Leafs but I can’t believe no one has figured out the Leafs power play. I mean really? it’s the same play every time for the last 4 or 5 games.

    Kessel on the half boards passes it to Bozak in the center ice slot who one times the pass back to Kessel who then either shoots, passes it to Lupul or one of the defencemen. Why doesn’t someone just cover Kessel after the first pass to Bozak and the entire system fails? I guess I’m just stupid… lol

    It reminds me of the Kaberle pass to McCabe for the one timer until some figured out they better start shutting down McCabe

  13. A bold statement, @firewilson
    One that I can respect, putting yer stones on the table to back up your opinion.

    What will you change your hook to?

  14. Well I said I will never post here again but if I had said I’d just retire “FireWilson” then I would have no choice but to change my stage name to “Lov’nBozak” or something that worships Wilson. lol

  15. Habsfan1: you’re absolutely right. Don’t know why I typed elbow, he did hit him with the shoulder. My apologies.

  16. Well you should ditch the name until they aren’t on a winning streak.
    Look, you’re comparing Bozak to a top line center that you don’t have.
    For the last three years he has stood out as a bright spot, but gets totally ripped on by the fanbase. I’ve been sticking up for him for years and it just seems stubborn to continue to be down on him with the year he’s having. It goes without saying that the Bruins are gonna push the whole team around, like every other team. So perhaps I am blindly sticking up for this under-rated kid more than I am responding to your comments. Perhaps my dick-tone (familiar to some here) is cause of my pet-peeve about nicknaming players (unless it’s Wilson saying Stajey, Stempy, Whitey, and Blakey).
    Sounds like you’re a Connelly fan, though I don’t if he’s the guy to do “dirty work”.
    Anyway, congrats Leaf-nation…..welcome back.
    Durt……I think of you and smile every time they win. You guys got more passion than the rest of the league combined.

  17. I agree 100% with FireWilson…..100% on everything he has said. All you other clowns need to watch other good teams to see what it takes to win cups!

  18. If Bozak is playing on the top line while Connelly and Grabovski play on the second and forth lines then of course I will compare him to a top line center. We both agree that I believe he is a 3rd line center at best and if he was on the third line he might be still searching for his first goal. Look, the only reason I am a Bozak hater as you suggest is because of what I said previously ” He is easily pushed off the puck, never lays the body, never stands in front to deflect shots, and never crashes the net intead he floats around pretending he’s got the talent of Kessel and therefore doesn’t have to do any dirty work and leaves it all to Lupul a guy with way more talent that has had back surgeries and can’t afford to be injured”. If Bozak would stop being a pussy and would start doing some of these things mentioned above then I would have no issues with him and might not even have a problem with him centering Kessel and Lupul until the Leafs find a more worthy player with a higher skill set. Until such time as he stands in front of the net to deflect a point shot or hands out more then one body check in a game (if you can even call his a body check) I will bash and bash him as the pussy he is regardless of how many points he picks up floating around most nights and benefiting from playing with the leagues top two players.

  19. @ GoWingsGo I am a Leafs fan living on the boarder of Detroit so you have me pegged. I have endured the rath of the Wings for years and years watching a team that knows what it takes to win cups. I do prefer to reminisce about the early 90’s when the Leafs knocked out the Wings two years in a row when we were in the same conference. Thankgod they league switched it up and we didn’t have to face you in your formitable years. I can’t wait to see if the league sticks us back together in the same conference once again next year. I may even have to buy season’s tickets at the Joe to see my buds go head to head. lol