NHL Canadian Corner – December 15, 2013.

Game recaps, including the Maple Leafs upsetting the Blackhawks, the Canucks thumping the Bruins, and Sam Gagner struggling to elevate his game.

Peter Holland (center) is congratulated by teammates after scoring one of his two goals against the Blackhawks.

Peter Holland (center) is congratulated by teammates after scoring one of his two goals against the Blackhawks.

TORONTO SUN: Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond had four point games and Peter Holland scored twice as the Maple Leafs upset the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Is this a fluke or a sign of a long-awaited turnaround in the Leafs fortunes? Tune in this coming week to find out.

VANCOUVER SUN: Six different Canucks scored (including Henrik Sedin, Jannik Hansen and David Booth) as the Canucks downed the Boston Bruins 6-2 in the first matchup in Vancouver between the two clubs since Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.  Bruins forward Brad Marchand’s attempts to taunt the Canucks and their fans with references to the Bruins 2011 championship didn’t sit well with Boston coach Claude Julien.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Marchand spent as much time scoring as he did talking trash, maybe he wouldn’t be struggling so much this season. Yes, Brad, you’ve got a Cup ring, but what have you done for your team lately? 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Max Pacioretty scored in overtime and Carey Price made 21 saves as the Canadiens blanked the New York Islanders 1-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the win snaps the Habs two-game losing streak, it wasn’t much to get excited about. Since winning nine of ten, the Canadiens have struggled to score in their three games since.

CALGARY SUN: Paul Byron scored the game-tying goal and assisted on Matt Stajan’s OT marker as the Flames edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Craig Anderson was yanked after giving up two goals on his first four shots, setting the stage for the Senators falling to the LA Kings 5-2. Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks wonder why I consider Craig Anderson trade bait this season. This game gave a brief example why.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets dropped their sixth straight home game falling 6-4 to the Dallas Stars. Jets forward Blake Wheeler lashed out at his performance and that of his teammates during a post-game interview. “What I say doesn’t matter. It’s what you do out on the ice. You can blow smoke as much as you want out in the media, we’ve been blowing smoke for three years. Myself and everyone who has stood in front of a microphone for three years, we’ve said the same shit”, complained Wheeler.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things are getting ugly in Winnipeg. The Jets are losing ground in the standings and show no sign of the oft-anticipated improvement into a playoff contender. A team with the core of talent like the Jets shouldn’t be struggling like this. Changes could be coming, and they’ll have to come soon for this club to turn things around and save the season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Sam Gagner is struggling to retain his form since returning from a broken jaw earlier in the season.


  1. Starting to think Marchy’s time in Beantown is running out. If Chiarelli dealt Seguin because he was a distraction, what does he think of this after-whistle showboat garbage?

    • Agreed…garbage

    • I would agree, but with all the injuries the Bruins have right now, they need to stick with what they got. The second and third lines are having enough trouble finding chemistry with these injuries. Adding a new element, and removing a known one, would not be wise now.

  2. The Leafs success last night was due in part to second line scoring. I feel some what vindicated when I said twice last week that Mason Raymond should be on a line with Holland and Lupul to create a proper second line scoring trio and a second pp unit. The problem I see is that Carlyle did not envision this line and only resorted to this line combination because Clarkson was suspended so in other words he got lucky. The coach still has to go.

    • If they get some swagger back I fear he sticks around. If they lose a couple games and things start going south again I think last night points out that Randys ways are ridiculous even more. This team has talented guys play them and let them do their thing. Stop with the overload of 3 and 4 no skill grinder types, and get rid of Fraser and Ranger. Dont get me wrong a team does need a bit of that type thing but when your game plan revolves around trying to make guys like Ashton Smithson Orr FML Clarkson Fraser and Ranger look good instead of the top 6 types the Leafs have your doing things backwards.

      • One thing to add. Chicago looked slow and disinterested right from the puck drop. Not to take anything away from the Leafs but I don’t think they saw the real high speed, high intensity Hawks. We’ll take the two points and stay hopeful but I’m afraid St Louis was the real deal the last nights Hawks were a mirage of the real team they usually ice.

  3. Hey Shticky
    Could it be that we bamboozeled Anahiem out of another gem like we did with Lupul/Gardiner. Holland has size, skill, decent speed. he back checks and seems to be able to stick handle in a phone booth. Why did they let this guy go for Blacker? I’m still waiting for something to be wrong with this guy but all I see is a 100 times better version of Joe Colborne.
    Hear’s hoping Bozak doesn’t return for a long while so Holland gets tons of playing time with two skilled guys like Lupul and Raymond.

    • Depth…must be nice

      • +1

  4. clearly the Bruins can’t control Marchand, that makes him a liability much like what Tim Thomas was and we all know what happened to him. Boston wins by playing a tight game and limiting the other team’s opportunities and for that to happen they need everybody on board. a distraction like Marchand provides opportunities for other teams and frustrates his own teammates with his antics. the Bruins will only put up with his issues for so long, right now in addition to his issues he’s not scoring and his lack of production makes him expendable.

  5. Anyone think it was weird Burke and lupul talking after game last night