NHL Canadian Corner – December 14, 2013.

The Canucks blank the Oilers,  updates on David Clarkson, Alexei Emelin, Mark Scheifele and Codi Ceci, and possible GM candidates for the Flames.

Ryan Kesler hits Ales Hemsky during theCanucks 4-0 win over the Oilers.

Ryan Kesler hits Ales Hemsky during the Canucks 4-0 win over the Oilers.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/EDMONTON SUN: Ryan Kesler and Chris Tanev were the standouts for the Canucks in their 4-0 shutout of the Edmonton Oilers.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs winger David Clarkson faces a disciplinary hearing for a blow to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I realize Clarkson’s only two months into his tenure with the Leafs (on one of the most ridiculous contracts in the league), but I’m wondering if Leafs GM Dave Nonis is having buyers remorse?  Clarkson’s been a big disappointment so far this season.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle explains why the Maple Leafs are in free-fall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not picking on the Leafs here, just wanted to note (as Mirtle does) how proponents of hockey analytics were spot-on earlier this season when they predicted the Leafs drop-off in performance.  They were mocked back then, but their critics have grown silent in recent weeks.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson with a list of possible GM candidates for the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Breathe easy, Flames fans, Darcy Regier isn’t among them.

LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin will not face supplemental discipline for elbowing Philadelphia’s Steve Downie.  Emelin received a match penalty for the incident.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets young forward Mark Scheifele is starting to show the glimpses of greatness which prompted the Jets to select him with their first round pick in 2011.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators defenseman Cody Ceci is getting used to finally playing with his hometown team.


  1. Tonight’s leaf game, I would hope that there is a response from the leafs from there play in the last game. Would like to see the d pairings switched up a bit with phanuef paired with gardiner with this maybe forcing phanuef to keep things simple and play more defensive. Also Reilly paired with Franson and Liles with Fraser. Ranger is done or should be as I see no aspect or his game that is equal to any other guy on d. I think this is where bernier takes the lead in goal.

    • With rebound Riemer and five hole Bernier I don’t see why Bernirr would be given the keys. Both goalies have pluses and minuses in their game. I’d like to see Fraser and Franson paired up a few games to see if they can rekindle last years performance. It’s worth a try since both players took a big step back this year. So try Phaneuf and Gardiner top pairing minutes then Franson and Fraser (just for a few games as a trial period) followed by lyles and Gunnar. Reilly needs to go to The world juniors.

      • I just think a goalie needs to get a rhythm and how do you do that when your in and out play a steady 5 games in a row and those little mistakes work themselves out… Reiner has been good but the basic game bernier plays is better less rebounds… Reiner made 4 or 5 great saves against St. Louis but 2 or 3 were a direct result of the big rebounds he lets out with the other team in close

        • I agree with your assessment of the goalies but I think the reason they keep going back and forth is because they are facing 50 shots per night and also because neither has supplanted themselves as a clear number one so until both things change we are likely to keep switching them up. At the end of the day defence is a team game the the forwards are just as guilty for not keeping the shots and chances lower by back checking. Maybe that’s a coaching problem or maybe the blue and white disease has returned.

          • @ LEAFS 24/ 7

            @ AKI BERG

            Its not the Goalies fault at all….they have wone games for the Leafs this year they had no business winning ….the players have yet to win 1 game for the goalies ….this defense is disgusting ….Fraser , Ranger are GOD AWEFUL …sorry …Gardiner is not a defender first type player and you have a rookie who is playing really well within himself …anyone who says BUT HE MAKES MISTAKES ….your an idiot as Ive seen more bonehead plays this year by veteran D men that make Reilly look like an ALL STAR …he needs to stay where he is and the Leafs need to 2 new defenseman AT LEAST ….once again bring up Leivo …try Grandberg and MCWilliams and get Liles in there and Fraser and Ranger on waivers NOW!!
            ANY CHANGES CANT BE AS BAD AS THIS GROUP …so why not what are you worried about Carlyle & Nonis …your emberassing yourself and your Hockey sense by keeping this going with the D you have right now !!

          • P . S.

            I wish Franson played with the heart and soul of the little Galaghar on the Habs …he would be unstoppable at 6 foot 6 if he played that way ….

            I wish Galaghar was a Leaf ….the Leafs should watch this kid play and adapt some balls as it all seemed to go out the window in pre season against the Sabres ….I thought we were going to see that type of team this year …and make teams and players pay a price ….LMFAO …instead they have lied down and let most teams walk all over them every game !!!

            They say its only called being insane if you allow for the same thing to happen over and over again …well ….its happening over and over again !!…… AGAIN !!!

          • No Clarkson for two games. Oh dear what will we do?

          • @BC I don’t disagree with you that the goalies haven’t been the problem I was jjust stations that picking and sticking with a goalie for a longer period could have some benefits for both the goalie and the team. Just some constiency in some for for a change with the amount of in and outs of player from suspensions or injuries no wonder the team can’t find some constituent play … Also I disagree on gardiner and think he too is a young d man and with offensive d men it takes longer to develop your full game. I’d like to see his role expanded to top line with phanuef and 1st power play with Franson. I think again in order for him to grow and develop its ice time and putting him in the position to play.

      • Bernier to start and Im thinking as long as he is not terrible Randy is going to see if he can run with it. On the other hand if he drops the ball Reimef goes back in for awhile. Its time to see who can string some games together.

  2. In all fairness to Clarkson he has only been in uniform or games with the Leafs for 2 months, but he has not brought any part of his game that the Leafs were hoping for…toughness, hard on forecheck ,secondary scoring, we all know this is his dream to be a Leaf and Wendle Clark is his idol ….but I wish he played more like David Clarkson of old right now, he is skating around aimlessly and is taking way to many soft outer perimeter shots.

    • His shootiing % is less than half of what its been his whole career and as bad as he has been still has the best corsi (bad word I know) on the team….just like the Leafs fall was kinda somewhat predictable so is Clarkson getting better. (Still not worth the contract tho) I agree give it time he will be better.

  3. Suspend ’em all. Accidental elbows included. That way Shanny can stop making excuses for Seidenberg. Is there anybody who gets away with more elbows to the head resulting in injury in the post-Pronger era?

    • Yeah, I don’t get it with Seidenberg…he should have been suspending at least once or twice already this year. A number of questionable hits from him so far.

  4. Ahhh there we go, no Smithson Ashton Orr Ranger Fraser Clarkson very little FML and a big win with skill and speed. They caused turnovers in the neutral zone and counter attacked carrying the puck over the blue line instead of chipping and chasing, it’s almost like Carlyle was fired already, its a christmas miracle! A talented team played a game with talent and to its strengths and beat the defending champs.

  5. Still fire Carlyle

  6. Caught the final 10 minutes of the 3rd period of Leafs/Hawks..The score?What happened? I missed it guys. Help a fan out..Aberration/fluke or did the Blue n White deserve it? Hey n Randy is still the coach too?

    • it was a fluke 1 win in the last 10 regulation games is nothing to brag about the leafs play pittsburgh next and wil lose then they play florida and wil likely lose that one too