NHL Canadian Corner – December 7, 2013.

Canucks down Coyotes in OT, Avalanche rally to snuff out the Flames, a critique of the Jets “clique”, plus the latest on Carey Price, John-Michael Liles, Patrick Wiercioch and Luke Gazdic.

Chris Higgins celebrates his OT goal against the Coyotes.

Chris Higgins celebrates his OT goal against the Coyotes.

VANCOUVER SUN: Chris Higgins overtime goal lifted the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

CALGARY HERALD: Defensive breakdowns proved costly to the Flames as they fell 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless singled out the Jets “clique”  of Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Toby Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien – who moved with the club from Atlanta – for not being more accountable over their inconsistent performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lawless believes there’s a lack of veterans in the Jets room who command respect and can push for change.  There may be something to his criticism, as a team carrying that much talent shouldn’t be as inconsistent as they’ve been this season. 

LA PRESSE: Josh Gorges believes teammate Carey Price is playing the best hockey of his career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Credit goes to new goalie coach Stephane Waite, who has Price staying on his feet rather than flopping around like a dying seal.  

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs recall of veteran blueliner John-Michael Liles could have an effect upon their defensive pairings, as well as raises questions about frequent healthy scratch Morgan Rielly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Liles won’t resolve all the Leafs defensive woes, but he’s a skilled puck-moving defenseman who could provide a lift to their struggling offense, and he’s not as bad in his own zone as his critics believe. At this stage, with the Leafs having lost five of their last six, bringing back Liles can’t hurt.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Patrick Wiercioch hopes for a lift in his performance after scoring his first goal of the season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers tough guy Luke Gazdic was rewarded with power-play time after rushing to the defense of teammate Ryan Jones during the Oilers 8-2 beatdown of the Colorado Avalanche.


  1. Well Lyles won’t make much of a difference but what he will do is protect Reilly from having to play right now. The kid isn’t yet ready to play night in and night out in the NHL. Please loan Reilly to team Canada and when he returns he can play only against the easier teams to gain more confidence. The Leaf can throw Lyles to the wolves and not have to worry about what happens but when they do it with Reilly they are messing him up big time.

  2. Im thinking that there might be a rift developing between Randy and the higher ups…

    • .@ SHTICKY …..& LEAFS 24 / 7

      …..yes there is a rift …Carlyle wants NHL quality players to coach not this crap hes got on Defnse …Rielly is not the problem …how is he not better than Gunnarson ….Fraser and or Ranger …LMFAO ….Leafs 24 /7 ….almost 3out of every 4 goals scored by the opposition is the defensemnes mistake …I guess every goal they score is Reillys fault …this guy is there best top 3 D man right now !! Sheeeesh !

      • Not what I meant you totally missed the point of what I am talking about, but hey great use of exclamation points.

        • I didnt miss your point …I totally see the rift especially in Carlyles post games and the last one in particular …the rift is Carlyle wants more talent and veteran guys …Nonis is sticking by his belief that he wants to be PATIENT as that is what seperates him from Burke as per his words … Carlyle knows they need help in many areas ..and that right now ..they are just down right lucky !!!!
          Exclamation point ….Carlyles rifts is get me some help here not bubble gum fixes …don’t preach you want the parade and have the route planned out all ready and Ice this crap on D and now true # 1 center or power forward …He knows what it takes to win the cup and the Leafs are just barley a playoff team right now ..gioving up 50 shots EVERY GAME !!!

          Thats not the coaches fault thats the players fault …EXCLAMATION point .

          • No thats not it but keep trying…

          • I have to wonder if Nonis would have hired Eakins instead of Randy had he been in charge at the time of Wilson firing.

          • Liles on the Marlies saves 900 k…cap casualty? he can go up and down pretty easily its not saving anything and deffinately does not require Bozak going on LTIR to do so…Im not saying anything about trades all Im saying is there are mixed messages coming from the coach and the GM, when they say opposites of one another. There are a few examples listed above. Im not saying Randy is getting fired (tho I wish he would). Im saying it seems odd that these dont seem to be the types of moves Randy would normally make, and since they seem to be saying 2 different things for the most part for the past week or so, I wonder why and who is more responsible for these new decisions. Not that difficult really.

        • What I am talking about is the mixed messages starting to appear. Randy was never going to play Liles it was obvious now it almost seems like he is being…not forced to but lead to at least. Randy says Rielly wont be going to the WJC Nonis says he might, Randy continuously dressing a no tallent ahler like Smithson, Nonis ends up waiving him to make room for Smith or Holland and brings up D’amigo…Either Lieweke has instructed Nonis to quit beating his head off a wall and get this mess straigtened out or Nonis is giving Randy instructions to see if any of these moves shake things up before he starts thinking of getting rid of Randy…None of the moves over the past week or so seem like they would be moves Randy would be willing to think about with out some pressure from above.

          • Agreed Nonis and Carlyle don’t seem to be on the same page. I can’t blame Nonis for wanting to get Rielly out of here with the lack of team effort and Rielly’s plus minus stat starting to balloon. Nonis knows he will most likely be employed with MLSE much longer then Carlyle so protecting his future star is number one priority. He doesn’t want another Luke Schenn fiasco.

            This is getting interesting.

            BC It’s not that Rielly is not possibly better then Gunnar or Fraser or Ranger he may already be better but not by much. The goal is to make this guy into an elite player and pairing him with Ranger or Fraser or Franson while they get out played isn’t helping his progression. He will not be mentored by any of these guys and he’s not able to log 25min per night along side Phaneuf against all the best lines from each team they play sooo best thing for him is to protect him from all this and loan him to Team Canada give him more experience with guys his age and let him dominate (not be dominated). When his time is up with team Canada revaluate his situation at that time.

          • @ Shticky

            Smithson was great for draws and has 600 NHL games under his belt needed a Center ASAP !Not Randys choice.

            …Fraser and Ranger are AHLers at this point

            D amigo was probably being showacsed or they would have called up Leivo or DeVanne

            Its not the Coach …its the player personal they have right now ..I thought they had more depth in pre season they are willing to show at this point now …especially with the 20 to 23 year olds.

            Imagine you being coach with Defense like Fraser Ranger and Gardiner who there is nothing Defensive about ..Gunnarson doesnt hit Reilly is trying and doing well in his first year IMO ..Franson should just play power play and 3 rd line minutes !

            Other than that ..Carlyle has NOTHING to help him on the rear for 3 lines deep …Nonis needs to make at least 3 moves before he should even think of moving out Carlyle ….who played the game and knows the game a lot bettter than the two guys sitting on Bay street eating lunch !

          • why is it so hard to figure out that liles is no more than a cap casualty? with bozak on ltir, liles has wallet room to play with the big boys. when either bozak or bolland come back, he’ll either have been traded, waiver plucked or demoted. it’s nhl by the numbers, and has nothing to do with your fantasy of Carlyle’s pending doom and replacement by Laviolette

          • Maybe we will find out who’s right when HBO airs their Leaf winter classic insider show. LOL

          • Ha ha ha…. breathe, Ha ha ha. I think bvizzle is the only one here not living on fantasy island. Dude get there its a crazy place. Trades that don’t make sense, player evaluations all over the place and completely…wow and a place full of gossip based on the fact they have no close connection to the situation no matter what that might be but seem to be in the know.

  3. At what point does Hartley start to maybe get a little consideration for the Addams trophy? The record might not be the greatest but he gets a very young and inexperienced team with some rather big holes talent wise to compete very hard every night in a very good conference. If The Flames were in the east they maybe a playoff team.

    • After Monohan gets the Calder !

    • I somewhat agree with your idea, but unless the flames make the playoffs he won’t win it.

      • My comment was in reference to Hartly lol

        • I know it will never happen (least I doubt it) but Bob is doing a fantastic job, the Flames are anything but an easy 2 points, which I think almost everyone thought they would be.

          • That I can’t disagree with !
            Iamgine they had Iginla …LMAO