NHL Canadian Corner – December 2, 2013.

Daniel Alfredsson stars in his Ottawa homecoming with the Red Wings, Canucks hang on to a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes, Oilers defeat the Stars but lose Ilya Bryzgalov, Douglas Murray filling a big role on the Canadiens blueline, and updates on the Maple Leafs, Jets and Flames.

Daniel Alfredsson received a warm welcome in his return to Ottawa.

Daniel Alfredsson received a warm welcome in his return to Ottawa.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: In his first game against the Senators in Ottawa, Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist to help the Detroit Red Wings down his former club 4-2. The Senators honored Alfredsson with a two-minute video tribute while the fans gave him a standing ovation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And after he’s retired, his number 11 will be honored and retired by the Senators. There’s no mystery about it. Yes, his parting with the club was an unhappy one, and you can argue over which side was in the wrong, but it would be the height of pettiness not to honor Alfredsson by retiring his jersey.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Winger Alex Burrows saved a sure goal midway through the third period to ensure the Canucks hung on to a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Devan Dubnyk replaced an injured Ilya Bryzgalov to backstop the Oilers to a 3-2 shootout win over the Dallas Stars. Bryzgalov was hurt after a goalmouth collision with Stars forward Ryan Garbutt. More details on his upper-body injury are expected today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break for the Bryzgalov and the Oilers, as he’s played well in his brief appearances in the Edmonton crease. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Big, slow-footed blueliner Douglas Murray’s physical defensive style has filled a big role for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Canadiens fans were critical of the Canadiens signing Murray, but after recovering from an early-season injury he’s rounding into shape as a physical defensive presence.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs struggling special teams are one reason for their recent decline.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are facing a crucial point in their season as they search for consistency.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames must play with more grit.


  1. LEAFS

    This is becoming very reminiscent of the collapse of 2 years ago …when they went with the guys in the room becuase they had a good room ….they didnt do anything then except change the coach and NOTHING HAPPENED …….and they missed the playoffs ….Leafs need to make moves RIGHT NOW and fix this before Christmas break and the Olympics to start fresh after the break with a new personal on the ice that has time to gel …or this will get ugly AGAIN!!!

    Ranger ….OUT …Waivers ( TERRIBLE )… SLOW…. and costly with penaltys …

    Fraser ….OUT …SLOW….Waivers or a secondary piece in a trade !!

    Gardiner….. trade with Kadri for a TOP 2 BIG defender

    Reilly keep playing him every night and give him 15 – 17 minutes a game

    Ashton …DOWN……ORR….. Waivers ….. LEIVO ( UP ) ….DEVANE ( UP )

    DO NOT …..RESIGN…. PHANUEF for $7 – $8 million for 7 years …thats way to long & TOO MUCH and they have more players they need to spend money on !!

    Carlyle needs to play 4 lines deep all game every night and stop dressing 2 GOONS and look for some secondary scoring with Leivo !!

    Still need a # 1 Center …LMAO the experiment is OVER !!!! and so will the season be soon !!

    • Agree with you that Carlyle needs to play 4 lines and he should stop dressing the 2 goons together (Orr and McLaren). I also think the Ranger experiment failed and I’d try to trade Gardiner!
      But I would not trade Kadri, he’s the Leafs best center! He’s not a #1Center but he has upside!
      Morgan Rielly? Keep him playing or send him back to juniors?????
      They have to resign Phaneuf! Who else can play big minutes? Franson is slightly better offensively but his defensive play is questionable! Rielly yet is not the defenseman we all hope he’ll be in a few years…
      Gunnarson is just average, didn’t understand the resigning at such a relatively high cap hit! Gardiner is overrated! So that leaves Phaneuf! And there will be no FA available who’s better!
      Just my thoughts…. :-)

    • I agree with some moves but not all.

      Fraser blocks shots like a MF’r so he may be slow but he fights, protects, hits and blocks shots all for a peanut salary. You don’t unload guys that do this dirty work. His speed is down because of his injuries. Give him time and a steady line mate like he had last year. Notice Phaneuf and Gunnar are doing better then last year. Why? because they have been paired together all year like Fraser and Franson were last year. See that break away goal against the Canadians? See who he spit the D on? Phaneuf and Fraser two guys who never play together. Fraser needs a steady line mate as does Franson.

      Reilly is not ready for the bigs yet. He is always on the ice for a couple goals almost every game. He needs to go with the Junior team for a while come back and play a few more games but keep him below the next threshold point (I believe it’s 40 something games) we don’t need another future cap issue on this guy.

      I have no issues with McLaren. He has been turned into a goon by his coaches whether he can play the game is always in question because he never gets a chance. He never takes dumb penalties and has ok speed. Give him some minutes on the top line and let him open up some ice for Kessel against Chara and Lucic next time we play the Bruins or any tough team. Maybe the experiment fails or maybe it sends a message. It can’t be any worse then another lack luster effort.

      I agree with Orr, Ranger and the Phaneuf dollars. Kadri and Gardiner only if that missing piece comes back in the form of a Weber or top line center WHO CAN WIN A FACEOFF.

      Carlyle has turned Ashton into a Goon. IT’s not Ashtons fault.

      Time for a new coach

      • BTW I mean loan Rielly to the Jr Olympic team not back to his junior team. Once he returns he plays once in a while until he hits that max game threshold. By then he will have played enough games for the year. More then he would have played with his junior team.

  2. Murray definitely is utilized better with Emelin stepping in without missing a best. Creates great depth on the Canadiens blue line right now.

    Canadiens look like a different team with Emelin back, just like they looked like a different team when he went down with his knee injury last year.

    Hey Lyle, another site said the Canadiens were looking for a top tier scorer? You heard any rumblings about that?

    • That’s been kicking around (Canadiens) for a couple of weeks now. Talk was they’ve had offers for Pacioretty but Habs aren’t shopping him.

      • There are games (Sat. was one of them) where Pacioretty looks like one of the better players in the league. I can see how they need scoring help when hes cold, but man with the way they have been playing of late Id be in no hurry to trade Pacioretty.

      • Ahh. I see. I read something like that as well (or bob Mackenzie mentioned it?). My good buddy (and massive isles fan) thinks Montreal will try to get Gaborik but I’m not so sure. I could see going after bufyglien (sp) and turning him into a forward. I’m curious to see what may (if anything) MB does.

  3. Thanks to the invite from Leafs24/7 I came over to the Canadian Corner. I personally think the Leafs need to make some roster moves but Carlyle must go fast. This is not based on their recent record but the body of work over the season. Since game one after every game Carlyle has been saying the Leafs have not been listening to him. They need to make a couple of blockbusters but Phaneuf is one of the best plus minuses in the east and eats alot of minutes against the other teams best players. If they deal Phaneuf they might as well start selling off other players for a rebuild.

    After watching the Habs bully Toronto Saturday they showed some toughness but I still feel in the playoffs they would get eaten by most teams. They need to get bigger but not get to slow. Murray looked terrible that game and might be the slowest player in the NHL. The Habs have great defence and goalie so they should focus on adding some size up front and keep Pacioretty. I’m a Leafs fan but realize the Habs NEED to sign Subban because it will be a shame to lose a guy like that going into his prime. He will only get better.

    • By the end of Dec. with the sched. ahead if they continue to play as they have Nonis and the gang should have a very clear picture. I agree it should be Randy to go and hopefully before Nonis deals away too much. (I think its too late for Gardiner if they get a good offer hes gone) This team has enough potential to be very competitive in the east which couldnt be said for Wilsons teams, this thing starts to go off the rails worse than it is now there is no excuse to keep Randy and nosense in trading it all away.
      Welcome to Canadian Corner far less hating on one another over here. If you dont mind rants.

      • Agreed Randy needs to go if he can’t get the guys to play the way he wants it means he’s lost the room. It’s been weird to watch Lupul will a different line mate every couple games along with Franson, Fraser, Clarkson and the list goes on. No question injuries play a role in this but it seems more to be a lack of not knowing who plays best with who and where they fit in and that comes down to coaching. I can’t believe Clarkson is this bad so I think Randy hasn’t utilized him on the right line with the right line mates.

        Phaneuf would be great to keep but not at $7M. We don’t want to over pay a guy just because it will create a hole. We did that with Bozak, Lyles, Grabovski and many others. I can only believe a deal would be out there right now for the right player if we only had some decent cap room to offer in a trade. It seems to be just as important to teams as the quality of the player these days. Lets face it if we didn’t sign Bozak and had of pulled Kadri or Bolland into that spot would we have lost anymore games this year? Doubt it but what we would have is another $4+ million in cap room to offer in the right trade. I don’t know the right figure for Phaneuf but I would think $5M for 4 years would be a respectable price realizing some other team will pay him $8M for 7 years in the UFA market but who cares let them.

        • To me it is also the coach or the coaches system. The players are just not listening or not wanting to execute what randy is preaching. There is no way this group should be getting out shot and have so many give always on a nightly basis. It’s not that they don’t have skill it is just effort. I don’t see a willingness to change because if they wanted to it would have taken place already. They need to break up phaneuf and gunnerson and find someone else.
          Gunnerson should be paired with fraser or traded not a top pairing defender.

          I wouldn’t trade Gardiner unless it addressed one of two needs which are first line center or the d to play with phaneuf. Phaneuf isn’t nor should he be going anywhere. I used to think if he leaves or is traded so be it but look at this d group who is possibly going to replace him. They can’t find one decent guy to pair with him how are they going to replace him.

          This was kadris year to show up and so far he hasn’t wouldn’t surprise me if he’s gone too!

      • Well, if the December schedule doesn’t tell us all we need to know about the Leafs, nothing will. I’d call it a good month if Toronto wins seven of the fourteen games. In fact, considering the opponents, that would be a great month. The team is so different with Lupul in the lineup – he has the confidence to play against anyone, and he shows it. Not a lot of leadership without him.
        If the Leafs go down the tubes in December, you’ll probably get your wish and Randy Carlyle will be gone. Be nice if the players stepped up and played well, though, the game is always in their hands.