NHL Canadian Corner – April 18, 2014

Canadiens prepare for Game Two against the Lightning, plus the latest news on the non-playoff Canadian clubs.

The Canadiens hope to improve their defense against the Lightning.

The Canadiens hope to improve their defense against the Lightning.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens look to tighten up their defense for Game Two against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Habs hold a 1-0 series lead over the Lightning on the basis of a wild 5-4 overtime victory in Game One.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks player salaries for next season from first to worst.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are still determining if they’ll join Team Canada at the upcoming World Championships.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless they’re recovering from nagging injuries or beset by personal issues, this trio should follow the example of now-retired teammate and “Captain Canada” himself, Ryan Smyth. Besides, they might enjoy the feeling of playing with talented teammates for a change.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators coach Paul MacLean has gone from being feted as NHL coach of the year to being passed over to coach Team Canada at the Worlds.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s what happens when your team is among the worst defensively in the NHL this season.

CALGARY SUN: Mikael Backlund, Joe Colborne, Sean Monahan, Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Joni Ortio provide reason for optimism for the Flames and their fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of this six, I’m most impressed with Giordano, Monahan and Backlund. Giordano’s come into his own as an elite NHL defenseman, Monahan made a big splash in his rookie season while Backlund went from expendable to invaluable within the span of this season.

TORONTO SUN: The reasons why the Maple Leafs didn’t call up defenseman T.J. Brennan this season.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets ownership is considering the addition of extra seating at the MTS Centre.

1 Comment

  1. I personally think that the season in the AHL for Brennan was needed, he is going to have a heck of a lot more confidence now and feels more accomplished. I personally believe this opens up a great opportunity for the Maple Leafs with their defense. They should be letting Paul Ranger walk as he is garbage and Franson has proven himself expendable so he is probably on his way out the door. But Brennan to me opens up the possibility of moving Jake Gardiner to address the need for either a shutdown D or a package for a top center.

    The Leafs have had terrible defense (but as an Ottawa fan) I am really impressed with what it could be. Reilly is going to be great, Brennan shows a lot of potential, plus Granberg, Finn, Percy, and MacWilliams are all guys that will be getting looks over the next few years. Package Gardiner to get a shutdown D for Phaneuf, call up Brennan for next year and then give some of your kids a look before decided what to do for a 7th defenseman.