NHL Canadian Corner – February 20, 2012.

Oilers fall to Canucks…Jets back in playoff chase…A deeply personal cause for Flames’ Alex Tanguay…Leafs in an offensive funk…Senators gaining notice…Habs coach blames fatigue for loss to Devils.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Canucks won their league-leading 20th road game this season, downing the Oilers 5-2. Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin spent the last two periods on the bench with what the Oilers called a “tweaked groin”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers are thinking of shopping Khabibulin, they’d better hope that groin injury isn’t more serious.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets moved into a tie with the Maple Leafs for eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, though the Leafs have two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have seen an increase in offensive production in recent games, especially from their best players, but that trend will have to continue if they hope to hang onto a playoff spot.

Tanguay contributing to good cause.

CALGARY SUN: Every time Flames forward Alex Tanguay sets up a goal this season, he donates $200.00 toward stomach cancer research, a deeply personal cause for Tanguay, as his mother-in-law died of the disease two years ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Tanguay gets many more assists over the rest of the season.

TORONTO SUN: One reason the Leafs have struggled of late is they’re not getting much offense beyond their first line.

OTTAWA SUN: A recent poll of NHL players has the Senators tied with the Florida Panthers as the third most under-rated team in the league this season.

LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth cites fatigue as a factor in his club’s listless 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.


  1. At least the Jets are moving up…. Habs still in lottery position at 25th. Gomez actually played well last night, everyone else looked gassed. Meh, if the Leafs and Caps keep faltering then the playoffs are a possibility and so is a lottery pick. They must move AK and Campoli for anything. I want to reach through the screen and shake Campoli. Too bad Nash isn’t healthy (I think) because he could be getting a look right now. Palushaj has to get to the weights and bulk up if he wants to have a spot next year. Two of the goals against the Canadiens last night were screen tips where Campoli and Weber just skated with the Devil as a double screen. No pushing, no fighting with him, just skating with him in front of price. Unbelievable. Well, go habs, but more realistically, go Jets.

  2. SmielmaN, I agree on Campoli. It’s likely why he can’t seem to find a home despite being given numerous chances. You can see he has good offensive skills but his inconsistancy and lackadaisical approach to the game is frusterating to watch.

  3. Oh, and I meant Brendon Nash. Not the other one, what’s his name again? Oh I know this…. Oh yeah! RICH! I mean, RICK!

  4. Ranzier – yeah, I mean he’s alright but last night was frustrating between him and weber. Plus the Habs wouldn’t drive the net at all until the third. And I can’t stand how NJ constantly runs picks everytime their guys have the puck. Drove me nuts, but the habs weren’t skating that hard anyways to get by anyone. I just hope they can get 2 pts from Dallas and take a much needed rest. They have been playing very other day for a little over two weeks and it’s starting to show. The four games after Dallas are all against teams they are immediately chasing and after that the next two weeks contain 3 games against the Sens and I think one against the Sabres. Basically at 6 pts out they have almost a month before its completely over, but it requires them to win, at minimum, 3 of every 5 with 2 stretches of 4 wins of 5. So 13-9 minimum with 15-7 being playoffs should the wins be against the caps/leafs/ Sens. Very tall order, but the consolation is thr they are still in the bottom 5 if they do the opposite of those records and they finally land a blue chip offensive prospect at the draft in Grigerenko/Forsberg/Gaunce(maybe). Alright enough iPhone tapping for me.
    Oh, one more thing. To my fellow habs fans: what would you think of trading Pleks in a package for Carter? Just some ideas for some food for thought.

  5. I’m not trolling here, but just commenting on the NJ tendency to run picks. Over the last couple of weeks there have been some articles on the rise of obstruction in the league. In the Bos/ Habs game last week, I too noticed how the Habs continually stepped into the lane of Boston’s forecheckers. Whether this is a trend the league is allowing to slow the game down, thereby cutting down on some of these dangerous hits, we’ll see. I do expect it to be a trend in the playoffs.
    The other thing the league has been less than thorough on is the rise of non-called hits from behind, where a player gets squashed into the boards. To start the season borderline hits were called and now it seems not so consistent. And we all know how penalties are ignored in the post-season. Will it take another major injury to get this call back on the ref’s radar?

  6. Totally agree GM. Maybe I noticed it more from the Habs side (obviously) because they were also really sluggish yesterday and some of the picks were beyond just being in a lane and were like spreading legs and throwing arms out every time. I can’t stand it either. I agree with the back pastings against the boards. Because of the players playing safer, or the most part, you really notice guys dieting guys from behind and it always looks very deliberate now. The NHL should send a proper message now before a star gets a busted collar bone/ concussion/ neck injury.

  7. Once again the Canucks came out of the gate loaded for bear – something they haven’t been doing much of prior to Saturday night and it really paid off.
    Winnipeg is working and winning. Look out Leafs and Capitals.
    Great cause Tanguay best of luck.
    One of the other reason’s that the Leafs are struggling is that their defense isn’t playing defense as proved by Saturday’s loss to the Canucks. The Leafs offense had a couple of great chances and it was just bad luck that they didn’t score but other than what I thought was one softie by Reimer the netminding was not the problem. A couple Canucks went around and by Phanuef like he was a pylon. Yes, Dion has a hard shot and he can hit but he has to be better defensively. Also speaking of defense, when if ever is Kessel going to backcheck? You see Lupul working his butt off both up and down the ice but then you look at “Mr. Coaster” Kessel and you see him making wide turns and cruising back towards his own net.
    I wouldn’t underestimate Ottawa for one second. Spezza likes scoring and winning and they are both becoming habits.
    Cunneyworth is worth keeping – Gauthier should be moved out.

  8. If your thoughts of Pleks for Carter are a center for a center I say no. Carter is meant to be a winger. CBJ should be interested in Pleks as I think a Nash/Pleks/Carter line would be good. If you mean taking Carter to put him on the second line wing, say Bourque/Eller/Carter then yes. Of course that leaves Gionta in the wind and the second part of that is that CBJ should not move Carter.