Canadian Corner – October 7, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: A call to cut Roberto Luongo some slack this season…Harnessing the talent of Dustin Byfuglien…Matthew Lombardi scores in his first game back from post-concussion symptoms…Jordan Eberle unconcerned about sophomore jinx…Canadiens knocked off their game by Maple Leafs…Senators new coach Paul MacLean on his plans for the club…Flames honour Mark Giordano.


“Are they saying, ‘Looooooo’? Or ‘Boooooo’?”

VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre asks Canucks fans to cut Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo some slack this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Figure the odds of that happening.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy compared defenseman Dustin Byfuglien’s willingness to roam to Oilers great Paul Coffey, whom Huddy played with for years on Edmonton’s championship teams in the 1980s. Huddy doesn’t want to rein in Byfuglien’s offensive skills, but hopes to work with him to improve his defensive play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Byfuglien can play as well in his own end as he does in the offensive zone, he would be a finalist for the Norris trophy.

TORONTO SUN: Matthew Lombardi made a triumphant return to action last night, scoring the game-winning goal in the Maple Leafs 2-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the Leafs home-opener. Lombardi missed all by one game last season to post-concussion symptoms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good for Lombardi, whose career appeared to be in jeopardy. Here’s hoping he remains healthy and has a long, productive NHL career.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers sophomore Jordan Eberle isn’t concerned about the dreaded “sophomore jinx” as he prepares for his second NHL season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle has considerable promise, and could become the leader of the Oilers “young guns” over the next several years.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs reports the Canadiens became unglued midway through the second period of their season-opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, when Matthew Lombardi scored the eventual game-winner shorthanded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs dominated the first period and a half, but failed to cash in on several glorious scoring chances, thanks in part to Leafs goalie James Reimer, who looked shaky at times but still played well enough for the shutout victory.

OTTAWA SUN: New Senators head coach Paul MacLean discussed his plans for the team for the upcoming season, saying he’ll be keeping lines of communication open with his players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Senators players, as MacLean’s predecessor had a reputation for being distant with them.

CALGARY HERALD: Honoured heart-and-soul defenseman Mark Giordano by making him an alternate captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honour. Giordano is one of the most under-rated defensemen in the league.


  1. I’ll be the first to say it… Good for Toronto. They needed that. Signed: Habs fan

    Ok, now to bitch a bit… Why wasn’t Eric Cole playing on Pleks line? He was on the third and didn’t get any chances. If he was in AK’s place last night he probably would have had 5-6 primo chances to use that shot of his but instead we had AK miffed shots and passes and a couple skate without the luck moments. Ugh. Also, the Canadiens hit two posts in that first period and, I daresay, that should one or both of those shots goes in and it’s a different game completely. Oh well, I just hope that if they look like this after 10 games then they have to change the coaching staff. Nobody looked motivated last night except the top two lines. I like JMartins system come playoff time, but he needs to open these guys up a bit to generate offence. I know it’s only one game, but after watching it after work it appeared as though that game was montreals for the taking but no one could finish, no Cole on the 2nd line, and no powerplay threat (which used to be the strongest part of their game). Ok, I’m done whining. Lol.

  2. The Cole/Desharnais/Darche line has some offensive touch and more heart than the line would have with Kostitsyn on it. I don’t agree with the move either, but I can see some logic in it. Keep in mind, though, as ice time would have it, Cole and Kostitsyn got about the same.

    I’ll bet the Habs regret losing Woywitka to waivers after what happened with Campoli.

  3. Got any Habs rumors ? Is it me or you are only reporting habs news, no habs rumors ? But still you do a pretty good job covering “other teams“, I’ll give you credit for that.

  4. And who cares about Campoli, i’m pretty anxious to see what Emelin has in store. We miss that physical presence in front of the net, I can’t see Price being tost around like that all the time without pay back… To many soft and short player upfront. Gomez 5ft 11 Plekanec 5 ft 11 Gionta 5 ft 7 Cammalleri 5 ft 9. How can you possibly do something withe so many underchieving small players like that i mean come on. In my opinion Gionta and Gomez should be odd man out to be replace by some Bigger Tougher players. I think that we can still get some good offensive season from Pleky and Cammy, but they need to way better surrounded. God i wish we could get THAT BIG PHYSICAL #1 CENTER.

  5. Roberto wasn’t responsible for the Vancouver losing the Stanley Cup, in fact in 2 of the wins he shutout the Bruins but he couldn’t score (neither could anybody else apparently). as Luongo himself said he shouldn’t have let the first and third Pittsburgh goals in last night but he owned up to it and he’s acknowledged that his salary and playing in a hockey mad city means that he will face criticism and he’s up to the challenge. as for the game last night, for the life of me i can’t understand why in this day and age they can’t embed a chip in the puck so they know without question when the puck has crossed the line, to rule out a goal by saying it’s inconclusive is bush league.

  6. Get ready to curse Cole all season, the one handed, no jump, not ready for a pass routine will be featured in three quarters of his games, regardless of what line he’s on. But you gotta be glad to have Martin, I love how much puck movement this team has. Maybe Desharnais will figure out how to bury it too.