NHL Canadian Corner – February 12, 2012.

Canadiens spoil Maple Leafs celebration of Mats Sundin’s career…Oilers down Senators in OT…Flames win a scrappy one over the Canucks…Sloppy defense costs Jets against Penguins.

TORONTO SUN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: The highlight of the night for the Maple Leafs was the pre-game ceremony honoring former captain Mats Sundin, as the Montreal Canadiens crushed them 5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The roof caved in for the Leafs in the second period, as the Habs scored four times in that frame and never looked back. The Leafs sure could’ve used a vintage Mats Sundin centering their first line in that game.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/EDMONTON SUN:  Taylor Hall got the winner in OT and Nikolai Khabibulin made 39 saves as the Oilers edged the Senators 4-3.

CALGARY SUN/VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Flames edged the Canucks in a scrappy affair 3-2 in a shootout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames needed this win to stay close in the race for a playoff berth, as the Phoenix Coyotes, who currently hold 8th overall, also won last night. This victory puts the Flames only two points out of eighth.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The good news for the Jets was their anemic offense tallied five goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday. The bad news is they played uncharacteristic sloppy defense, as the Penguins netted 8 goals for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Is it me, or does it seem that, whenever the Jets try to open up offensively, they get burned in their own end?


  1. Bozak 21:07 of playing time…
    Grabovski 16:24 of playing time…

    These losses are all about coaching this time of the year. Goodbye playoffs for another year.

  2. Uh ya, let’s see you think that ice time is to blame and not FOUR goals on SEVEN shots has anything to do with that result?

  3. :).

    That’s all. :).

  4. @FireWilson … I was at the game — which I say simply because you get a better view to evaluate play than via a camera feed following the puck — and Grabs certainly worked his butt off. (Have to say at this point I am a Habs fan.) But he was trying to do it all alone. At a certain point, you cut your losses on something like that and go with the guy who is using his teammates.

    But the Habs played very good D and Wilson cannot stop the puck for Reimer which was the most obvious and damning issue with the Leafs last night.

  5. Obviously goaltending played a huge part last night but my previous comment can be inserted for any of the last 3 losses. My point was not to slag Bozak it was to point out that our best center (Grabovski) is getting 16 min a game and if you look back to the last time Wison gave him 20min or higher (which was 5 games ago) he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and the game prior to that he got 1 goal and 2 assists. Bozak has pretty much proven he gets the same amount of points whether he gets 17min or 21min. My point here is about coaching. If you don’t hand the ball to your best players and live and die with them you can’t expect to get the best out of them. It’s great that Wison shows so much confidence in Bozak but my money’s on Grabovski’s talent and drive, night in and night out for those extra 3 or 4 minutes. It’s a small point but a big vote of confidence for the teams best center.

  6. lately it’s been all about the goaltenders for Vancouver and that’s a good news/ bad news situation, it’s good they’re playing so well but bad they have to for the Canucks to be competitive. Vancouver is winning but it’s like they’re out of sync, something is not quite right. last year the Sedins were dangerous all the time now it comes occasionally and Kesler is just starting to play like he can, developing some chemistry with Booth (Higgins health is becoming an issue though). Hodgson is going to be a good player but he’s not quite there yet, his miscue on the Calgary goal is why Vigneault is protecting him by putting Malhotra out there in defensive situations (also why his minutes are down). Hansen has had some flashes of playing well but is still inconsistent. although the line of Hansen/Hodgson/Raymond is developing some chemistry it would be difficult to see the Canucks keeping them together for the playoffs when they need more defensive responsibility from the 3rd line (likely Malhotra slots back in there then) and more size from the 4th (Weise, LaPierre, and Bitz unless a trade is made). Vancouver is deeper than last season and may not have to add at the deadline when prices are high (they could use some size and depth on defense) but haven’t gelled the way they did last year yet.

  7. If the Maple Leafs think that losing 3 in row and getting slapped sideways by the Habs, again, is acceptable, then its going to be another year of missing the playoffs with Wilson at the helm