Canadian Corner – November 7, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Nikolai Khabibulin ignoring rave reviews of his recent performance…Phil Kessel mired in goalless slump…David Booth nets first goal with Canucks…Olli Jokinen calls for teammates to play better…Could Scott Gomez be demoted to fourth line? …It could be expensive for Senators to re-sign Erik Karlsson…Jets grounded in New York.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin isn’t paying attention to the rave reviews of his current play, as he’s just focusing on his team’s overall performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen how long Khabibulin will continue his stellar play, but there’s no question he’s a big factor in the Oilers strong start to this season.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel is hoping to snap out of his current four-game scoreless skid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The knock against Kessel is he tends to be a streaky scorer, so it’ll be worth watching to see if he can bring more consistency to his offensive output this season.

Booth finally scores with Canucks

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Winger David Booth finally scored his first goal since joining the Canucks in a trade from Florida last month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Booth was brought in to bring more scoring depth to the Canucks second line, so they’ll be hoping this goal will be the start of many more to come this season for him.

CALGARY HERALD: Veteran Flames forward Olli Jokinen is calling for himself and his teammates to step up their performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jokinen pointed out the Flames were one of the oldest teams in the league and not a bunch of 20-year-old kids, but the Flames problem is they don’t have enough of the latter in their lineup.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Pierre Durocher wonders where the Canadiens will place veteran center Scott Gomez when he returns from injury later this week, suggesting it wouldn’t be fair to younger centers like David Desharnais and Lars Eller to be demoted down to the lower lines when he returns.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, it shouldn’t matter how much Gomez is earning, or how long he’s been playing in the NHL. If the kids are playing better, they should be on the second and third lines.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren on why re-signing Erik Karlsson will be an expensive proposition for the Senators.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: A weary Jets team had little to give in a 3-0 loss to the NY Rangers.


  1. How big an albatross is Gomez anymore?

  2. While I agree that if the kids are playing better, let them play, I think they need to give Gomez a real chance this year. I thought he was showing some real promise on the line with Gionta and Paccioretty, before they moved Paccioretty. Then he got hurt a short time after. You could have made the same argument for Erik Cole who did nothing the first couple of games because they were not giving him a chance, then after Perry Pearn got fired, COle played on the power play and had more ice time and now he is playing really well. Gomez has been a force before, he had a bad season, but he worked hard in the off season and I think that he should be given a true chance and if that fails, then send him elsewhere.

  3. If Gomez wants to show his teammates that he is a true team player, he will accept to earn his way back on the top lines. Will he take that approach ? We shall see.

  4. Well between Kessel’s scoreless streaks that can run as high as 12 games and now Connolly being out again for 7-10 days with some kind of upper body injury suffered against Boston, I guess the Mac-Russian line will have to step it up and the team will have to start to defend better than they have as of late; otherwise we all know what direction the Leafs will be heading in.

  5. Shake it up. Play Gomez as a winger on line 2 or 3. Problem solved.