NHL Canadian Corner – December 18, 2013.

Canadiens the only Canadian club to win in last night’s games, plus an update on Senators defenseman Cody Ceci.

Max Pacioretty (center) celebrates one of his two goals against the Coyotes.

Max Pacioretty (center) celebrates one of his two goals against the Coyotes.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Max Pacioretty scored twice (including an empty-netter) as the Canadiens rallied in the third to down the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of missed scoring chances for both clubs in this one with shots clanking off goalposts and players missing wide-open nets.

VANCOUVER SUN: Jason Pominville’s shootout goal lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, snapping their seven-game winning streak. The Canucks are now 2-for-18 in shootouts this season.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs were left looking for answers after falling 3-1 to the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Toronto is still holding onto a playoff berth, but they won’t be for much longer if they don’t snap out of their funk.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets blew a 2-0 lead and fell 4-2 to the bottom-feeding Buffalo Sabres. The loss spoiled Mark Scheifele’s first multi-goal game in his NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on the Jets in my “Rumors” section.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames fell 2-0 to the Boston Bruins.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: LA Kings goalie Martin Jones collected his third shutout in six starts blanking the Edmonton Oilers 3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t help but wonder if the Oilers might have interest in Ben Scrivens, who’s been relegated to backup duty by Jones’ solid play. Most likely the Kings will demote the waiver-exempt Jones when Jonathan Quick returns to action, but Scrivens is a UFA next summer and thanks to Jones it looks like he could become expendable.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators intend to stick with defenseman Cody Ceci, who set a franchise record by scoring his first NHL goal in overtime.


  1. Gee Ive come to the conclusion that Getzlaf Perry Selanne 2 Norris winning D-men and a good goalie can make even a bad coach look good. Fire Carlyle while there is still a sliver of hope at making the playoffs. I miss Wilson…Fatigue is a losers excuse and the freaking head coach actually used it.

    • his has been Dions most used quotes since the day he got here ….after every stretch of loses I hear same thing …..

      “I don’t think we’re going to make excuses,” said Dion Phaneuf, admittedly off-kilter in his performance against Florida. “We know that we’ve got to play better and we’re the guys that are going to get us out of this. It’s about what we’re going to do in this room to find a way to get out of this funk that we’re in.”

      They have been trying to get out of this “funk” since the collapse with Ron Wilson.
      Nonis needs to re evaluate the entire team , its contracts and what he wants long term and what he can do with his young players in the Marlies as they should start seeing the big leagues don’t let them go to waste we need to see what we got in the system, Pitt knows what they got.

      Leafs need a Seguin type deal ….that deal has worked for both teams Leafs have way too many soft players , no power forwards who are strong on the puck in deep, need D men that play BIG …not to mention a guy who change the game …That’s All I want for Christmas

      • Ya another rebuild sounds like an awesome idea trade the whole team away, its definitely not coaching or the fact that a whole team of 20-25 guys have tuned out this stupid system that doesn’t work that is responsible for the soft efforts. Im not saying that some guys getting moved might not be a good idea too, but lets not put the cart before the horse. Find a coach first, it such a big mess right now that you cant really get an idea of who needs to stay and who needs to go until there is some kind of answer to the coaching issues. This team is far better than the one Wilson had with a worse record. Wilson got fired why is Randy still here? There has been no improvement if anything its regressed badly. Better fprwards better goalies arguably better d (still not great but better than guys like Komisarek Holzer Shenn. And Kaberle the bad years) What exactly is Randys excuse?

        • I didnt say trade the whole team ……the Seguin trade wasnt the WHOLE TEAM …I said one significant move that will change the dynamics moving forward at the same time utilizing the system and get guys in the game that are Hungry ….

          Last I checked there leafs players miss assignments on the ice make bad giveaways soft on the puck no cycle game no hard nose puck battles ..

          THATS NOT BAD COACHING ……you learn that in junior and minor hockey …if you have to be told this now than your not NHL material …no matter how many times you can flip a puck Lacrosse style ….its a simple, simple, simple game , get the puck any way you can go hard to the net …shoot and look for a rebound with a guy in from…race to loose pucks…. battle hard in the corners…… give puck support from a trailer and keep your stick on the ice and keep moving North .

          • I agree, weneed a bigshakeup and firing Carlye is nottheanswer.Relax, theL willbe fine. We should trade pretty boy LupulforsomeD help. Phaneufplays betterwith less of a work load. Keith Yandle forLupuwouldbmy proposal.

          • “its a simple, simple, simple game”
            Spoken like someone who knows nothing about the game, or much of anything.

            Sorry but if being successful is easy to do in hockey then why is it so hard to make it to the NHL or be successful at that level?

        • A rebuild wouldn’t be that bad lol, Lupul for a 2015 first, Kessel for 2 first, Kadri for a first, Dion for some younger less used pilons, ConnorMcDavid her we come lol. I’m just kidding.Who think we should sign Dion the Pilon to a 7 year 50 million dollar contract????? Leafs will never win with him as captain

          • It will be North of $50M my friend. If that happens I am packing it in as a Leaf fan.

    • You haven’t seen the worst of it yet. Take a look at this Duck team and the team from a couple of years ago. Not that big of a difference, the players just said with their actions that they were not going to play for Carlyle PERIOD. Leafs are starting to look depressed as Ducks looked two years ago. Carlyle is brutal with young players,
      make one mistake and it’s off to the Russia front ( need to watch WWII movies
      to understand that statement).

      • Sorry for my comment being hard to read, I’m sending from a mobile device. Backchecking you are right. We need a shakeup. Lupul for Yandle. Also Schitcy if we get rid of Carlye then Dion the pilon goes too

      • @ Alford Ducks …..you may be right!!

      • Sgt. Schultz in Hogans Heroes!

      • Yep that is my impression as well.

        • At alforducks is who I was referring to with the last comment and the Ducks having pretty much the exact same team without some major pieces in Niedermayer, Pronger and Ryan, yet still be a very successful team soon as Randy left….hmmm why could that be?

  2. Carlyle needs to go most definitely.

    So Dion goes from playing one of his best games as a Leaf on Monday night to playing one of his worst games last night. Could it be the fact Carlyle over plays him on a nightly basis or could it just be the same inconsistency we have seen in the past from Dion? Just remember to circle this game and watch it when it comes time to sign him for 7 years at $8M. He’s a darn good D man at times but inconsistency and the fact he is playing as a UFA this year need to be taken into account before Nonis blows the bank on another bad long term deal. Can we pay Dion $10M next year on a one year deal? I’m fine with that. LOL

    IF and that’s a big IF Holland keeps playing like he has been it could make Kadri expendable (let’s face it no one will take Bozak and his bad contract so we are stuck with it). I would think a good return could be had for Kadri. I can’t see unloading Gardiner unless a Gardiner/ Kadri deal nets us an unbelievable center or stud D man. Who knows maybe Backchecking will get his wish or KAdri and Gardiner for Kane and Bogosian or Byfuglien

    • LOL If Kadri and Gardiner go in a deal like that (realistically it might be enough for 1 big ticket item), than Nonis should be fired as well. Adding payroll and subtracting youth is not a great idea imo. Get the coaching situation figured out before a huge personnel move, take to the trade deadline to assess needs once you have that figured out.

      • The Leafs will always be at the Cap Shticky …you know that ….so adding to the pay roll is a non topic ….if you move Kadri or Gardiner BIG DEAL !!

        Bring up Leivo and Grandberg or Brennan to add to the players or player coming back ..its just the way it has to be …they need a change its very evident !

        • @bc have you seen granberg play so far this year besides preseason? Brennan has 25 points as a Marlie and is a plus 2 what does that tell you about his defensive game? That maybe its non existent? There is an up grade lets bring him up and make the biggest weakness on the team worse? Levio up?….well he is a winger that should play top 6 possibly soooo who you taking out Kessel JVR Lupul or Raymond? Seriously quit being a troll for just one day, give it s try. Use your head instead of your mouth for once.

          • Bravo!

      • Shticky I assume by “subtracting youth” you meant Byf and not Bogo since Kadri and Gardiner would be the same age as Bogo and Kane.

        • More adding money than subtracting youth really is what I meant again I think this team as a group are better than they are performing dont need to trade guys like Gardiner and Kadri yet especially just under 4 mill in salary for over 10 million…its not going to fix a thing and make this an even bigger mess, if they just start trading guys away.

          • Agreed wouldn’t work from a cap perspective unless you were thinking of not resigning Phaneuf and having Byf take his spot.

          • Just an FYI to those that have no idea, I can’t believe I need to write this but…
            Phaneauf > Byfuglien
            By a lot.

          • Mr. Negative speaks once again. Have a look at this guys comments always negative. Brutal.

    • Ya, I agree Dilon the Pilon was over used, however it was his second or third shift of the game he screwed up lol. Maybe his energy drink hadn’t kicked in yet

  3. One follow up note.
    Clarkson looks worse every game. Carlyle does him a solid last night by re-inserting him on the second line with Holland and Lupul to start the game but quickly realizes he is a hindrance on that line and re-inserts Raymond. Carlyle is then left wondering do I move Clarkson to the third line and break them up after they have been doing so well or do I stick Nonis’s seven year $5.25M man Clarkson on the forth line. Forth line it was. OMG could the Clarkson/Bozak signings be worse then the Komi/Connelly signings? LOL

    • Here is a HIGH RISK trade. Clarkson for Vanek. By now Islanders must realize they
      close to getting nothing for Moulson & the draft picks. Clarkson seemed to thrive
      better in the NY/NJ area with less pressure and certainly over the long term would
      be more help to Islanders than having a Vanek that may walk away July 1.
      For leafs, Vanek could be that missing link top six forward and they would have
      6 months to work on getting him resigned.

      • Done. We let Vanek walk this summer and rid ourselves of Clarksons bad contract. Not risky at all for the Leafs

        • Double Whammy!

          Islanders fans would finally get a new GM too.

  4. I would like to pose a question, because a coaching change sounds to me like what everyone here believes to be the best option (I’m still indecided myself).
    Who would you hire as coach if Carlyle were fired?

    • @ T M L

      I am not sold on the Carlyle firing JUST yet …..BUT …if it happens I think you will see Wayne Gretzky behind the bench ….hes been buzzing around the ACC and rumurs of him joining MLSE have been well documented …how cool would that be …I think him and Messier as assistant would be AWESOME !!!!!

      • That would be sick lmao, the best player ever, and the best leader ever

        • Leiwicki does stuff like that …I can see just that !!

      • OMG Gretzky as coach? Brutal IMO. In four years behind the Cyot’s bench he never made the playoffs once and never finished higher then 4th in the Pacific division. He has no coaching experience at the Junior or farm level and a very sub par record in the NHL. Most nights he looked like a dear in the head lights and Messier “Mr. NY aka Hollywood” as assistant? What has he ever done as a coach.
        Worst decision I think Nonis could make.



          BIG DEAL !

          NEW TEAM

          NEW TIME

          • Have you ever seen a skilled player ever make a good coach? You can not teach skill which is why you never see a skilled player succeed as a coach. They just don’t know how to teach.

            The ex-players that make good coaches are the ones who had to work hard and learn how to play the game. i.e. Cherry, Sather, and Quinn.

          • @ KEV JAM

            Are you talking about Gretzky or Semenko ….
            As far as I know Gretzky knows Hockey better than 99% of the world NO PUNN intended ….skilled players are smart players especially when they are smaller ..they are students of the game and make the best teachers.

          • Not to forget the all time best coach Scotty Bowman

          • Seriously…lot of braindead Leaf fans here today ship must be sinking lol Gretzky as a coach has a .475 winning percentage over 400 games! Great teacher, jeeez a rather out there idea how bout they hire a good coach with some experience. Instead of trade all the talented players away and hiring a bad coach….I know its a mind boggling concept but….

    • Carlye shouldn’t go anywhere atm, if the Leafs are 5 or 6 points out of a playoff spot come the Olympic Break and we struggle then maybe consider it. Leafs have played some gd games as of late. LA Chi, all we need is a 3 game win streak before the Christmas Break. Our schedule is going to get a lot softer, RELAX everyone, at least get some D help for Carlye before firing Carlye lol

      • Id like to see the Leafs get rid of the assistant coaches and special teams coaches and surround Carlyle with some better options such as Doug Gilmour and for special teams Guy Carbonneau …get some NHL players that know the league better and in case you need to fire Carlyle you have support there as well !

        • I would trade Phaneuf & Liles and a prospect BIGGS
          Cammellarie , Baertchsi & Breen …RIGHT NOW …TODAY !! …sorry ….YESTERDAY!!

          Baertschi is going to be a solid set up man may be good with Kessel
          Cammaleries money works…. hometown boy …..and plays all special teams and scores everywhere he has gone great on powerplay character in the room!!

          Breen is 6 foot 6 need a BIG solid D man in front of the net in the corners and on the half boards …

          • I don’t think you’re far off with Gretzky, but I think it would be a Lieweke move and not a Nonis move. I just don’t see Gretzky being a great coach (using Phoenix as an example – although not a great example) due to the fact that he doesn’t strike me as someone who wants to get his hands dirty at this stage of his life. He’s just been removed from the game for so long, that to take such a prominent and important role in Toronto of all places scares me a little bit.

      • Ah the voice of reason! Well said, and agreed!

  5. Phaneuf will start getting booed by Leaf fans

    Here is what I see , the day after Nonis signs Phaneuf ….he will be booed every game at the ACC until Nomnis has to trade him from emberassment

    • ala Brian McCabe. lol

      • I think we have all been to quiet about Nonis ..here !!

        Did he not come with Burke ..call the shots …make trades …evaluate talent have a MAJOR say in everything …Id dare say he did !!

        This is on his head just as much anyone else also.!

        The biggest problem Burke and Nonis made was when ever the Leafs went on a majot slump ..they did nothing about it …both of them stood by and did everything they could OFF THE ICE to fix things NEVER fixed anything on the ice …no trades , no decent trade deadline aqusitions to help support or change direction …and here we go AGAIN

  6. I dont understand? the beginning of the year Carlyle looked like a genius with their hot start and nonis looked even better with his raymond signing and clarkson deal. You guys lose a few games and come back to reality and everyone jumps ship? get real leaf fans. You had the longest stretch of not making the playoffs in forever and you had thicker skin and more resolve then than you do NOW.
    Here are the facts whether you like it or not.
    1)Phaneuf used to be a number 1.. he’s not anymore.. more like a 2/3 but there arent enough #1s to go around so you keep your number 2’s and 3’s and pay them. Phaneuf plays the toughest minutes and will get paid 7 mill plus. END OF STORY.
    2) you cant give up the most shots in the league game in/out and expect to win. The oilers and panthers have been doing that for 2, 3, 4 years already and look at them.
    3) Nonis doesnt run that team. MLSE does. And as long as you goofs keep chucking up 200+ per seat to go watch ineptitude then it doesnt matter what the team looks like. Whats the incentive to move anyone at all? a new prospect (ala RNH, Yakupov, Hall) only heightens expectations and ticket sales for the next year!
    4) you will not get a 1st round pick for Lupul. He’s a primadonna who can sometimes score but has no heart. You ALL are aware he has played in 60% of the games he’s been on contract for since the 08/09 season? 60% 60% 60% Look it up! lets give him 5 mill!
    5) you will not get a 1st round pick for Reimer- clearly a career backup / split squad member until he learns some consistency.
    and finally
    6) Kadri has a worse attitude than an NFL star wide receiver. Every leaf fan knows he’s a poison but nobody will admit it. Can him, trade him.
    too many attitudes.. not enough heart. Wont make the playoffs with guys like these…



    • Fivebucks
      Nothing you said makes much sense other then Phaneuf being a number 2/3, BUT pay him for 7 years $7M+ ? Ya that’s the solution.
      In one sentence you say “the beginning of the year Carlyle looked like a genius” and the next you say “you cant give up the most shots in the league game in/out and expect to win”. You realize those two things were happening at the same time at the beginning of the year, right?
      Lupul no heart and a primadonna not worth a 1st, Reimer a career back up, Kadri an attitude? Where do you get all this stuff? Do you have a place in the Leaf locker room and is Nonis your personal friend?
      Leaf hater is all.

    • Gimme your email, I’ll send you five more bucks then maybe you can get an education.

      • Or 5 more cheap beers…save your money flip a toonie in to a Salvation army kettle It will money much better spent than there I’m sure. No cure for clueless.

  7. The regulars on this site know I’m not a Phaneuf fan, and nothing has changed. He is not a good leader, and he’s only good on the PP, everything else is mediocre at best.
    Considering this is a contract year I say trade him at the deadline to a team looking for a rental. Look for either good picks or solid D-man in return. (Perhaps Burke in Calgary is crazy enough to take him back?)
    What the Leafs could use (desperately I might add) is a responsible, stay-at-home, crease-clearing hard-hitting D-man who’s not overly interested in joining the rush. Couple that with a good leader and things would be righted quickly.
    Carlyle deserves to finish the year where he is, but Phaneuf’s got to go.

    • So you think the solution to the Leafs is to get a “crease-clearing hard-hitting D-man who’s not overly interested in joining the rush” vs having Phaneauf who is a crease-clearing hard-hitting D-man who is interested in joining the rush. Isn’t that better?

      • Let’s not kid ourselves, Phaneuf hasn’t cleared the crease since his days in Calgary.
        Also his passing game is garbage, I might start calling him Santa Clause for all the pucks he’s gifting the opposing team.
        He has the potential to be a good D-man, but he has to stop thinking about racking up points.
        You really think he’s defensively responsible?

    • Konstantine
      You meant pk right? Not pp.

      • Actually I meant PP, only because he takes lots of shots from the point.
        His PK game is not bad but not great. I personally think Franson will be better than him in a year or 2.

  8. The Dion haters been waiting 30 games for him to have a bad game to come out in force, 1 bad game later, Dions a bum not worth this trade him for that etc etc….just in case you guys didnt notice the Leafs have been pretty bad now for ohhhh about 20-25 games now. Dions been 1 of the better d-men in the league in any imaginable stat. For about a year now. This is a way way bigger problem than Dions bad game.

    • And yes Ron comparing Buf to Dion is laughable.

      • Shticky
        Did I compare him to Byf? No, I was speaking about cap space not who is a better player. You referred to youth and cap in your one post. You then said you were speaking more to cap. Geez.
        and siding with “Mr. Negative” Ron doesn’t put you in the best company. Scan through this guys posts today. Nothing but negative comments as always.

        • Young affordable players that are having some growing pains compared to players with much bigger contracts that have the same issues even tho they are the same age…this is what I was referring to and Im not sure who brought up Buf if it was bc or yourself but someone brought it up and even tho he may be a tad cheaper (like a million bucks right now probably about 1.5 off Dions next deal) he isnt even close to the type of guy they need. To say take Dion away and replace him with a lazy offensive type D man that has just about 0 defensive zone game and an inconsistant offensive game is a bit of a joke. Very Similar to the bring up Brennan comment. The Defense is a huge issue it makes no sense to get guys like Brennan Buf MDZ and throw them in there.
          Finaly Ya I agree with Ron sometimes, other times no, I could careless about a person being negative or not, if what they say makes some sense Ill give credit where credit is due. if people talk jibberish Im going to say its jibberish. Just call it the way I see it. Not trying to be crusty or pick sides.

          • All I am saying is exactly what alforducks pointed out this is not the first team that has talent that tuned out Randy. Maybe before Nonis thinks of trading away young affordable parts or not signing the best D man on the team they should take alook at what happened in Anaheim, or get all their Ducks in a row so to speak…lol
            I like some of the stuff Nonis has done, some not so much, the way this goes over the next while is going be the deciding factor for me if he cant recognize that one of the biggest issues with this team is how they respond for Randy and his systems (notice against the other night Holland sets up a great goal and then the next shift McClement is the center on that line???) that do not give them the best chance for success than he should go too.

    • We must agree to disagree.
      Dion has potential to be great but sells the farm when he should be clutch.
      His leadership skills are lack-lustre, and his defensive game is craptastic,
      Now in his defense, it could very well be because he’s over-played and doesn’t have the gas tank he once did. Then we’re talking about a coaching issue, and believe me, although I think Carlyle should finish the season, I’m not a fan.
      As far as replacements for Dion I would rather have an Orpik, or a Smid, or a Regehr instead who hangs back and makes people pay for even looking at their goalei’s crease.

      • Even Beauchemin is looking better these days! LOL