NHL Canadian Corner – February 22, 2012.

Leafs fall to the Devils…An update on Senators defenseman Filip Kuba…Jets drop a wild one to the Flyers…Oilers hand Flames a rare home loss…Canucks shut down by Predators…Flu hampers Canadiens in loss to Stars.

TORONTO SUN: Time is running out for the Maple Leafs to sort out their problems, especially their goaltending. The Leafs fell 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils in OT, with goalie Jonas Gustavsson the goat, allowing three questionable goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: GM Brian Burke has stubbornly stuck by his goaltenders, but it’s obvious they’re not good enough to carry the Leafs to a playoff berth. Forget Rick Nash or Jeff Carter, the Maple Leafs desperately need help between the pipes.

Senators won't move Kuba.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators GM Bryan Murray will probably let defenseman Filip Kuba walk via this summer’s UFA market, but has no plans to move him at the trade deadline.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets proved their coach Claude Noel’s claim they should avoid firewagon hockey right, as they dropped a wild one in OT to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Jets do need to score more, they can’t play “run-and-gun” and get away with it. They need to find the right balance between their defense and offense.

CALGARY HERALD/EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers got their first win in Calgary since 2008, pounding the Flames 6-1.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Nashville Predators stifled the Canucks offense to grind out a 3-1 victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks better get used to seeing more of this, as these two clubs could clash again in the playoffs.

LA PRESSE: Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth didn’t want to find excuses for his club’s listless 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars, but he pointed out 8 regulars were suffering from the flu.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Habs fans were upset with former Canadien Mike Ribeiro for showboating during his post-game first star announcement in his first game back in Montreal since he was dealt to the Stars in 2006. If the Canadiens had played better, perhaps Ribeiro wouldn’t have had anything to “showboat” about.


  1. hi Spector , while Ribs did showboat , I think it was his way to flip the bird to the organization in lieu of the fans. So from that point I am not offended what so ever and we deserved it. The HABS as an organization is now a laughing stock of the NHL. Being a HABS fan I believe it is my 100% right to be able to bash them. They cannot develop young players on a consistent basis, the team is lacks any soul or pride (save for a few exceptions) , which funny enough reflects our GM and Coaches. The Habs cannot pick for beans in the 1st round.

    Goeff Molson should stop counting his money and listening to uncle Bob Gainey, and clean house and bring in new philosophy and a new tradition. We are so bogged down in Old Boy’s club tradition that we are now lagging in all departments. If Hitchcock can realise his flaws and change , so can the Habs.

    Worse part we do not need a complete overhaul, we need one or two years of good trades and replenishing Hamilton with quality prospects. But once that is done we have to develop and keep those players. The rpess here praises Detroit’s model ,, why in the hell doe Geoff Molson not try to use it ???? Could he try to get Jim Nill into our front office ??

  2. What about Ben Bishop for the Leafs, they wouldnt have to part with a roster player im sure, and he may give them a chance even though hes not a proven nhl goalie, could be more of the same but sounds like he’s got the makings of a nhl netminder down the road according to Mackenzie.

  3. Watched the Philly-Winnipeg game last night. What is it about these two teams, it’s not guaranteed good hockey but it’s definitely entertaining.
    Toronto is not alone in the need for competent goalies. Gustavsson, Bryzgalov and Niemi often times are just painful to watch. Sure they need defensive help, but these guys gotta help out too.

  4. James- You are right… the Habs are a laughing stock of the NHL. And it is too bad that an original 6 franchise has eroded so badly over the past couple of seasons. They really need new management and a change of direction. They have some very nice pieces, but they have squandered this season away wihtout a) pushing for the playofs, or b) developing their youth.

  5. I really wish Burke wouldn’t be so stubborn on this goalie issue. I understand he doesn’t want to sell the farm for a goalie and I don’t think we need to. I say take a gamble at this point and go for a reclamation project that might pay off in our favor, but won’t hurt us too bad if it doesn’t. Here are a couple goalies I’d like to see Burke fish for.

    G Ray Emery
    G Michal Neuvirth
    G Brian Boucher
    G Nikolia Khabibulin
    G Dan Ellis

    Other than maybe Neuvirth you aren’t talking giving up a lot for anything. Emery, Boucher, Khabibulin, Ellis are solid vets that can provide stability and work with the young guys, Emery could even be a reclamation in TO! I do believe that Rynnas, Scrivens, or Owuya will be the goalie of the future in TO (leaning towards Rynnas or Owuya). So do something but stay away from Elliot, Harding, Lindback, Schneider, Bernier as they are the guys people are going to go crazy trying to get.

  6. Wow Gustavsson let some softies in last night, had some good saves but after that overtime goal I think Wilson just made his decision on how many more games gustavsonn will get, none. They need to ride one goalie, let them get comfortable and confident. Any team looking at addressing their goalie issues before the deadline will probably be in a bidding war as I don’t see many teams parting with a goalie. Vancouver no, islanders no, wild no, blues only bishop, maybe Edmonton and if la does it will be to bring in a big player like Nash or carter. Leafs need to pick a guy and stick with him for a stretch so they don’t have to worry about, if I screw up I’m done.

  7. @JJB – none of those guys are an upgrade over Reimer. I really wouldn’t consider an “attempt” to catch lightining in a bottle an “upgrade”. Unless they can solve their golatening problem long term, they won’t make a move. I tend to agree with this thinking.

  8. This goaltending situation has been there since Burke took the helm. The only think Burke has done to address the goaltending is to sign the monster which was a crap shoot given the fact he had never played in the NHL. Reimer fell in his lap and was never supposed to be the goalie of the future so anything he has done to this point was just a bonus for the team. Burke knew going into this season he had the monster which hadn’t faired well to that point and Reimer who had a grand total of 37 NHL games under his belt and 44 AHL games. Now here we are 60 games into the season and the experiment has failed miserably.

    Imagine your plan is to leave two young unproven goalies to fend for themselves under Wilson’s run and gun system of play defence only if you have to senerio. No wonder these guys are finished before they have even gotten started. I feel sorry for them…

  9. @ James about the Habs not being able to develop young players…

    Ummm, Pacioretty, Desharnais, Subban, Price, White, Plekanec, Leblanc, Kostitsyn…All but 1 (Desharnais) have been drafted AND developed by the Habs..Desharnais was signed at a young age as a FA, but developed in the Habs’ system..

    Gauthier said it at the draft..We are trying to rebuild while staying competitive..The Habs will never go into a full “tank” and rebuild from scratch because the fans demand a decent product for their money..I think we are moving along quite nicely and PG is sticking to his word, somewhat..

    We have a tonne of young talent that where drafted and developed in our system to build a solid franchise on..When it’s time, we will make the necessary FA signings to put us over the top..Right now, stick status quo and keep stock piling draft picks/prospects by dealing all of our impending UFAs…

  10. @deuce6

    Yes those are the pieces we can build around. But alot of young talent was miss managed and squandered for nothing (Ribs for Ninnimaa) , Bringing up Latendress at 18 years old , Eller being sacrificed to try to showcase Gomez (showcase that he will not score for another year ??? :op) , Listening to the crowd and Getting rid of Grabovski, Sergei K, F Beachemin, M Streit, S Robidas , M Ryder , R Hainsey , Loosing these guys set us back large,,,