NHL Canadian Corner – December 30, 2011.

Senators goalie Craig Anderson struggling with consistency…Chris Mason solid as Jets backup…Cody Hodgson doing more with less for Canucks…John Tavares douses the Flames…Leafs and Habs blow leads…Oilers downed by Wild.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators will need better goaltending from Craig Anderson if they hope to make the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Consistency has been an issue for Anderson in his career. When he’s on his game, he can be brilliant, but when he’s not, he can be horrible.

Mason a solid backup for the Jets.

WINNIPEG SUN: Chris Mason has adjusted well to the role of backup goalie with the Jets this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mason and starter Ondrej Pavelec have played well for the Jets in recent weeks, and are part of the reason the club now finds itself in the thick of the playoff race.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Cody Hodgson gets the fewest ice time of the top sixteen rookie scorers this season, yet is tied for fifth amongst them with 20 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hodgson has overcome injury and is gaining the confidence of head coach Alain Vigneault by making the most of the playing time he’s getting. I’d expect Hodgson’s ice time will increase as the season goes on.

CALGARY HERALD: NY Islanders star John Tavares got the game winner in downing the Flames 3-1.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs blew a 3-1 lead, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in OT.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens also blew a 3-1 lead, as the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied to down them in regulation 4-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs inability to hold a lead has cost them at least half-a-dozen games this season, and is among the many reasons they’re floundering of late.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers lost to the Minnesota Wild 4-3.


  1. I don’t know what that Maple Leaf team ate over the Christmas break, but whatever it was, get rid of it and get you heads back in the game as losing valuable points to teams you should beat is unacceptable if making the playoffs is your goal

  2. @Joey – there are no gimmies in the NHL schedule anymore and Carolina have actually been on a moderately strong run recently. This situation seems to happen every year to the Leafs. Can this edition maintain the pace or will they fall just short of the playoffs is the perennial question.

  3. @ Alex…Its not about whether you or I know that no game is a light skate and 2 points but rather the fact that this team fails to execute when it matters most