NHL Canadian Corner – April 2, 2012.

Senators clinch playoff berth, Oilers defeat Ducks, Canucks poised to take first overall in the Western Conference, the Maple Leafs are squandering Phil Kessel’s offense, Flames coach pained by team’s failure, Jets stick to the blueprint and Lars Eller continues his improvement.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators capped their surprising performance this season by clinching an unexpected berth in the playoffs with a 5-1 win over the NY Islanders, doing so without Daniel Alfredsson (flu) and Jason Spezza (birth of child).

EDMONTON SUN: In what may have been Teemu Selanne’s final game on Anaheim home ice, the Oilers downed the Ducks 2-1.

VANCOUVER SUN: First overall in the Western Conference is there for the taking for the Vancouver Canucks.

Leafs squandering Kessel's talent.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle makes a convincing case on how the Maple Leafs have squander Phil Kessel’s offense. They need not to try to turn him into more of a two-way player, but build their offensive game around him.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames inability to clinch a playoff spot pains head coach Brent Sutter.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Despite missing the playoffs, the Jets front office won’t deviate from their blueprint of building their roster for the long term, with the focus on the draft and player development. Doesn’t sound as though they’re going to be among the bidders for this summer’s top free agents.

LA PRESSE: Canadiens sophomore forward Lars Eller intends to build upon the lessons he’s learned this season, which includes maintaining a high level of competitiveness in every game. Eller recently stated he was sick of the club’s recent losing skid, so he’ll likely use that as motivation for next season to improve.


  1. I think any hockey player Phil Kessel or Marian Gaborik can and should learn to become solid 2 way players as scoring droughts are inevitable and helping your team defensively is always a good thing if you are in a scoring slump.

    As for the Leafs squandering Phil Kessel’s talent,the Leafs have a multitude of problems to address and acquiring a top line centre for Kessel and Lupul is one of those solutions

  2. Durt McHurt, sorry to have to bring this up but I believe some time ago you promised to cut off one of your legs and kick yourself in the nether regions if Ottawa was to make the playoff’s and Toronto didn’t… For the record I truly hope you don’t keep that promise!

  3. we gave up some pretty good draft picks to get a goal scorer, let him score goals.the leafs want to highlight defence because they don’t have any.when was the last time you saw a player decked in the crease area.oppostion teams know that the leafs won’t manhandle them,so they park in front and interfere with the goalie.we need to get some defencemen who will abuse the other team.we need forwards who will ride herd on players coming into our end and who will go to the boards first.we need to get tougher to compete with the big boys.we need to come out of our own end together and not count on the home run pass.if that pass connects,the player is on his own while the rest of the team wears itself out trying to catch up.finally,why is it in amateur sports that coaches eatablish systems based on their players talents whereas in the pros it is the players that have to adapt to the coach.what an asinine system.

  4. Aren’t the leafs currently doing the same with Kadri? He to seems to be a very offensive minded player and the leafs have spent what 3 years trying to make him play defense. I agree with the first comment players do need to play both ends because at some point you aren’t going to be able to out score what your team has let in. Now is that fully responsible to one player on a line? No the leafs need a play making centre with size and can allow kessel more time to take those offensive chances. As for kessels offense squandering, they guy was on pace for what 45 goals before the team totally fell off, and with lupul hurt for the past month give the guy a break, he still has 37 goals

  5. The Leafs need to part with Riemer and Gustavson bring in a legit # 1 goalie and have Ben Scrivens as the back up moving forward !

    It is apparent that Riemer is not capable of carrying the load with preasure as a true number 1 goalie can do he will not be a goalie to be counted on to win a tight playoff series or any Stanley Cup potential in the future.

    Scrivens is the fastest and most mobile of all the Leaf future Goalies and seems to be the best at facing adversity!

  6. Keep in mind that he idea of a player being a complete 200ft type player isn’t meant to be in a shut down role but rather if said high scoring player isn’t scoring isn’t hurting the teams chances at winning with that player being a defensive liability. It’s more about making sure the line you play with doesn’t score, not so much as being a defensive minded player, which in the case of Kessel, I think he’s just as underrated in his defensive play as he is in playmaking/passing…not saying he’s a defensive force but rather he’s nt as bad defensively as people think he is.