Canadian Corner – Thursday, October 27, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: Canadiens react to management’s firing of assistant coach Perry Pearn…Canucks sputtering offense…Tim Connolly looks forward to his season debut tonight against the NY Rangers…Taylor Hall’s Twitter account hacked…Why the Senators are sending Mika Zibanejad back to Sweden…No serious injury for Jets’ Slater…Flames down Avs 4-2.

RDS.CA: Montreal Canadiens players were shocked by the news prior to their game last night against the Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Perry Pearn had been fired. The Canadiens would down the Flyer 5-1, for their second win of the season, and their first on home ice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pearn has been called “the scapegoat” for the Habs struggles this season, but there may be something to the decision to fire him. He was in charge of the Canadiens defense and special teams, which have been weak points for the club thus far this season. Still, the timing of the move certainly caught everyone off guard, and has to be considered a “shot across the bow” by management toward the roster and the rest of the coaching staff.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks offense showed no life in their 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Currently, the Canucks are 16th overall offensively, and appear to have fallen into a pattern of taking it easy in the first two periods, then pouring it on in the third.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hey, you mean it’s not all Roberto Luongo’s fault? Gee, I’m shocked, shocked, I tells ya! 

TORONTO SUN: Tim Connolly will make his regular season debut against the NY Rangers tonight in the latter’s home opener.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans will be looking forward to his debut, hoping he’ll become that first line center and set up man Phil Kessel’s been lacking since the latter arrived in Toronto two seasons ago.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Taylor Hall apologized to Oilers fans after he discovered his Twitter account had been hacked and someone left disparaging remarks about Oilers fans.


Zibanejad heading back to Sweden.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan reports money had a lot to do with the Senators decision to send young forward Mika Zibanejad back to Sweden for the rest of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly did, as the first season of his entry level contract would’ve counted toward the Senators payroll had he played more than nine games this season. Given how Zibanejad appeared to struggle to adjust to NHL regular season play, it would do him some good to return to Sweden for another year of seasoning.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Jim Slater was relieved not to have suffered a concussion after taking an accidental hit to the head from Brandon Sutter during the Jets 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes last week.

CALGARY SUN: Miikka Kiprusoff made 19 save and rookie Roman Horak had two points (including his first NHL goal) as the Flames downed the Colorado Avalanche 4-2.



  1. Pearn Firing?
    There has to be more to this then we they are letting on….Assistant coaches don’t just fired to send a message, coaching staffs are very tight groups and they cover or watch each others back. Head coaches would usually never allow management to fire one of hand picked assistants unless he’s gutless or there’s a ideology problem. Me thinks there’s a problem here with how Pearn wanted to use his D and it is contrary to Martin’s wishes. Have never been a fan of Martin’s style but he has has limited success. There will be more to this situation I am sure.

  2. Quick correction Lyle kipper made 34 saves on 36 shots in last nights game, not 19. I wonder why its important to even put tim connolly in the line up, i think the guy is good but not an improvement on what seems to be a good T.O. lineup. His past health issues will never let him get back to the player he was/ projected to be in his early years( see Jeff Freisen as an example) I give him over/under 10 games before he gets hurt again. They should stick with what they have in order to create more chemistry.

  3. Regarding Pearn’s “release” …. given PG’s insistence that they tried to retain him in another capacity (and yeah, I know what that double-speak is worth) … most people seem to be glossing over the fact that the two Randys were hired as assistant coaches last summer making a total of three assistant coaches which, l believe, is one over the usual number for an NHL team. Thus Pearn’s firing may have been in the cards for some time. The fact that he was responsible for some of the poorer aspects of the team’s performance was the perfect reason to make the move. As for timing, clearly PG was maximizing impact. And Pierre MacGuire really, really needs to adopt a balanced view of the Habs organization because a decent hockey mind is losing credibility at a rapid rate. Even non-Habs fans are realizing that PM is more about a persona than hockey.

  4. Connolly may be back but James Reimer is not, and that is a worrisome thing.

  5. I was at the Canucks game last night, it was a very lackluster performance by pritty much every Canuck except Schneider. Line juggling from the coach didnt help. Whats more cencerning for me is the 3rd period comebacks. It leaves you questioning if there is any urgency in these players to get important points come playoff time, or is it the coach cannot get them psyched to come out of the gates on fire. Keep up the good work Spec!