NHL Canadian Corner – April 16, 2012.

The Canucks are on the verge of playoff elmination, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson uncertain for Game 3, rumors the Leafs goalie coach might quit, and more speculation over the future of former Flames coach Brent Sutter.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks are on the brink of playoff elimination, falling 1-0 to the Los Angeles Kings in Game Three of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. Critics are pointing out the Canucks downfall could be seen during their performance down the stretch, as undisciplined play and a decline in offense since Daniel Sedin was sidelined by concussion has carried over into this series.

Alfredsson a game day decision for Game Three.

OTTAWA SUN: The good news is Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was feeling better Sunday after being knocked from Game Two of the Senators-Rangers series by an elbow to the head by Rangers forward Carl Hagelin, who was suspended three games for the incident. The bad news is he’s uncertain to play in Game Three in Ottawa. Senators defenseman Matt Carkner, meanwhile, received only a one-game suspension for assaulting Rangers forward Brian Boyle early in Game Two, sparking outrage among fans, bloggers and pundits, who rightly believe Carkner – a repeat offender – deserved a stiffer sentence.

TORONTO STAR: Rumor has it Maple Leafs goaltending coach Francois Allaire might retire as an active NHL goalie coach and turn to running his goaltender school full time. Allaire recently received a vote of confidence from Leafs GM Brian Burke, but may be growing frustrated over the media criticism over his handling of Leafs goalies James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: More speculation the Oilers might hire former Calgary Flames coach Brent Sutter, depending on how well he does coaching Team Canada at the upcoming World Hockey Championships.


  1. Schneider wasn’t the problem and i’d start him in the next game (partly hoping that Luongo would demand a trade because of it although neither goalie is the reason they lost). if toughness is the new NHL then stop with the phony “we’re going to take the predatory hits out of the game” drivel that the league is spewing, if they’re serious then go absolutely nuclear on the next offense no matter who the player is or his history and make 20 games the standard for intent to injure hits. Gillis needs to stop trying to take shortcuts and draft players of size and attitude.

  2. With Cory Schneider in net and playing lights out hockey the team in front of him still couldn’t find a way to get one puck in the net, never mind their team average in their last eleven games of two. You could put Lupngo and Schneider in goal and ice the five best players on the team and it wouldn’t help. For whatever reason the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight can’t score.
    Along with that the defensive lapses by players with too much experience to be making them is killing the team. No other way to put it. When players are missing defensive assignments it’s a sign that their head isn’t in it and there is no excuse for that.
    As I predicted at the beginning and now more than every I see no sign of changing it…Kings in 5, if not 4.

    What do you call an optimist on Toronto?
    Someone who thinks the Leafs can’t get any worse.
    Although I don’t see losing their goalie coach as a bad thing, but getting a public vote of confidence from Burke is like getting free tickets for a sea cruise … on the Titanic. You know you are doomed.

    What is it with Shanahan and his discipline?
    One guy gets three games, a repeat offender gets one game and a star has to buy a round of Starbucks Lattes for Bettmen and the boys for $2500.

    How desperate must you be to consider hiring Brent Sutter to coach the Edmonton Oilers?
    On the verge of what could become another dynasty Kevin Lowe is rumored to be considering blowing that up before it can happen by hiring another recycled, couldn’t get the job done with his former team coach. I am tired of the Old Boys Club. Recycling is great for the earth’s environment but not for winning hockey games. Why not wait until the playoffs are over, there will be more to choose from.

  3. I watched all 3 Kings/Canucks games, and for the Canucks, the story is the same every time. Skate, skate, skate, dive, skate, skate, skate, dive. Kesler is an alternate captain, one of the team’s leaders. He’s got to stop this childish rat-like BS. He’s an excellent hockey player, with skills most players would kill for. If this is his idea of leading by example, you’ve got to pull that A off his sweater right now, and let him be the “rat” he wants to be.

  4. Bottom line is:
    If you are missing your best player, you have no chance against a real team. Without D. Sedin, the Canucks were done before this began.

    On another note:
    It wasnt the poor play of Luongo that cost the Canucks the first 2 games. Then he doesn’t get the start in Game 3… I wonder if that ust pushed him over the edge to want out of Vancouver this offseason….

    • Sedin is the best offensive player, no doubt. Daniel was in the line-up last June and Bruins didn’t have Savard or Horton and you know how that turned out, very little offensive output by the twins. The Nucks are, or at least should be, more than one player. Even before the horrible Keith hit the Nucks were struggling offensively and that is the biggest reason they’re in trouble. How is it there was no room for Hodgson and now Malholtra is 4th line? Couldn’t Hodgson be used as 3rd C now, adding some O depth. The Nucks are simply being outplayed, admit it. Are you watching Dustin Brown? Are any Nucks putting forth that kind of effort?

      • You can’t compare last years team and the Bruins to this year. If the Bruins had Savard, they would have had no cap space for some of the key guys they picked up (horton, peverly, kelly), and Seguin would have been in the AHL. If any team loses a top line player, they are done like dinner. Take Gaborik, Datsyuk, Spezza, Thornton, Bergeron, Giroux out of the lineup and these teams all lose. Swap Daniel Sedin in and Kopitar out… LA is toast.

        • Wow, I don’t even know where to start with this. Savard is still being paid by the Bruins, LTIR, so his salary can be replaced. If Savard were still skating would they have needed all of Horton, Kelly, Peverly? The initial comparison was having a top player out for the Bruins last year to you’re whining about having Daniel out. Try to follow along. Seguin would be in the AHL, huh, what? As the President Trophy winner shouldn’t LA already be toast?

  5. The Canucks have had a hard time generating quality scoring chances with Daniel in the lineup. Kesler, Booth, Higgens have all looked decent at times and Henrik was inspiring to watch after taking that hit from Brown. But the problem is the Canucks don’t have quality secondary scoring. Burrows, Raymond, etc. are useless perimeter players in a series like this.

  6. Sorry, should read: “with Daniel NOT in the lineup.”

  7. Hi gravitymike:
    Not to nitpick but Hodgson can’t play on the Canucks 4th line, or any line for the Canucks for that matter, because he was traded to Buffalo. Even if we still had him the coach would find a reason to reduce his ice time. But we don’t have him and have Zach Kassian instead, who the coach chose to bench.
    I have never been a fan of the Canucks coach and his style of play. He never stressed putting people in front of the net nor did he demand that ayers drive to the net with the puck. That is the style of hockey that wins during the regular season and gets them conditioned to ramp it up even more in the playoffs.
    I can find fault with many of the Canucks but I am going to start with who decides how the team plays and who he wants on the ice. The Canucks have not scored more than 2 goals in their last 11 games and yer he continued with he same old-same old. The coach must go. No two ways about it. Yes, last year he managed to get the Canucks to game 7 of the cup final but had to have luck on his side to get through game 7 with Chicago before succumbing to Boston. Maybe his style would go over better in Montreal where the languages you speak come before coaching style.
    After going out in the first round this year (yes, I am writing them off) the explosion you hear will be the dynamiting of the Vancouver team as you now know it.
    I hope the person sitting on top of the powder keg, and the first to go is the coach.

    • Yup, completely aware Cody is gone. I guess the confusion may have been caused by my writing “couldn’t he be used now”, which is a hypothetical. I did however say “there was no room for” him. Sorry for the confusion.

      • Lets all be honest, Cody Hodgeson is not (at this point in his career) a difference maker. You might have a better chance calling up Lonny Bohonas.

        How’s that for a way-back play-back?

        • And how much is Kassian (the next Lucic) and Gragniani contributing now?

  8. Hey gravitymike:
    Sorry I misunderstood where you were coming from. While maybe Cody could help a bit, I do believe that it would be too little- too late, even if he were still in Vancouver.
    I believe it really comes down to the style of play that the Canucks use. Lots of cycling but no one in front of the net to pass it to. This team, and it’s very apparent now, was not set up to win in the hard going of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Too many lightweights, and by that I am not referring to how much thelayers weigh, but rather who has the stones to repeatedly drive to and set up in front of the net. This, along with too many players looking to the referee every time someone touches them rather than keep playing and let thi gs sort themselves out penalty wise.
    While I said it earlier, I am going to say it again…it all comes down to the man steering the ship and how he wants his team to play. Canucks coach AV is too nice and has allowed his team to wallow in a scoring drought and an anemic power play to go merrily along hoping that it would change once the playoffs came.
    Another school of thought is that very good goaltending throughout the year overshadowed a poor scoring team and the powers that be did nothing to address their limitations scoring wise.
    I know that hindsight is 20/20 but these GMs and coaches are supposed to be experts and how is it that the majority of fans bemoaned the Canucks lack of scoring and the so called experts couldn’t or chose not to see it?

    • I agree with all of this. Moves should have been made to address these problems. And the coach should have stepped in to address the other problems you mentioned. I also agree that AV is quickly losing the confidence of his bosses. Like you said earlier about Hodgson, they would have found a way not to play him, and had he been brought along properly, the story might be a little different.