NHL Canadian Corner – February 5, 2012.

The Maple Leafs shut out the struggling Senators…Sam Gagner has another big night in another Oilers win…Alex Tanguay’s return bolsters Flames skill…Canadiens lose third straight, while Jets face “big test” against the Habs…Canucks squeak out shootout win over Avalanche.

TORONTO SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Maple Leafs skated to their second straight shutout, handing the Senators their sixth straight loss, as Toronto thumped Ottawa 5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The victory dropped the Senators to seventh overall, moving the Leafs within one point of the Senators and New Jersey Devils.

Gagner has another multi-point game.

EDMONTON SUN: Hot on the heels of his 8-point game, Oilers center Sam Gagner netted three points in the first period as the Oilers downed the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout 5-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you look up the definition “In the zone”, you’ll see a picture of Gagner.

CALGARY SUN: The recent return from injury of winger Alex Tanguay improves the Flames team skills.

LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens lost their third straight game since the All-Star break, losing 3-0 to the Washington Capitals. The loss dropped the Habs to last overall in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you’re a Habs fan, start hoping your team keeps losing. The more they lose, the greater their odds of landing the first or second overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft. Forget about “salvaging” this season, time to focus on the future.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets face a “big test” today against the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Big test”? Seriously? What’s the “big test”? That’ll they narrowly defeat the woeful Canadiens? Or soundly thump them? At this point, that’s the biggest test the Jets can face, provided they go into this game with the right mindset. The Canadiens are ripe for the plucking.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The listless Canucks managed to down the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout 3-2. 


  1. It seems apparent the Habs will get a top 5 pick, but perhaps not 1 or 2. Who are the realistic targets?

  2. The jets must win
    Plain and simple
    It’s the same thing as the leafs game yesterday. Must win, plain and simple.
    Vice versa I would expect the same thing from the sens. Any team with REAL playoff aspirations wins games like this.
    Does anyone else here think that Florida won’t make the playoffs this year because of the amount of games they have lost in overtime?

  3. I don’t know about the “fail for Nail (or Grigorenko)” strategy. The Habs will likely cut ties with many vets between now and next season, leaving a core of young players remaining for next year. So they have a sports psych now but how will tanking affect their psychology going forward. (Spec, I know you suggested the fans should hope for more losses not the players.) These young players are so susceptible to lack of confidence that it very well could have a long term effect on their development.

  4. gravitymike, I agree that the cofidence of the young guns is a factor. The way I see it though, if Montreal can somehow swindle a deal that gets them an extra 1st and second (yeah, I know, probably a dream about the fiirst but the 2nd and 3rd is fair), and see the inevitable GM and coaching change, montreal could look very different and start next year with a totally new attitude. As suseptible as the young are to negative things, they are equally likely to pickup good vibes too.

  5. @Habsfan1 You make a valid point. I chalk your optimism up to be an upstanding fan. I’ve got the Bruins on NBCSN and the Habs on GameCenterLive right now and Patches scores. I think watching this game in front of the Winnipeg crowd might have been more fun though.