NHL Canadian Corner – February 6, 2012.

Jason Spezza urges calm for struggling Senators…Scott Gomez has a dubious anniversary…Leafs defense among league’s highest-scoring…Jets comes up short against Habs…Five subplots this week for the Flames…Oilers face “make-or-break” road trip…Canucks can’t keep winning ugly.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Jason Spezza is urging calm as his team struggles through a lengthy losing streak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it’s been a difficult period for the Senators, but if they string together a few wins over the next couple of weeks, they’ll be ok.

A year and counting for scoreless Gomez.

SLAM! SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens forward Scott Gomez reached a dubious milestone yesterday, as it marked one year since he scored his last goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I feel sorry for Gomez, who’s become a subject of ridicule, but the hard reality is he’s just not playing up to his hefty salary, and if there’s an amnesty buyout period at the start of the next CBA, you can bet the Habs won’t hesitate to buy him out.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs defense are the third highest-scoring in the league, its 119 points putting them behind Vancouver and Ottawa.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That offensive improvement from the blueline is one reason the Maple Leafs could make the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets slumping offense came up short again, shut out by the woeful Montreal Canadiens 3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a game against a weak opponent the Jets should’ve won. Expect management this summer to shop for offensive depth.

CALGARY SUN: Five subplots facing the Flames this week, including backup Leland Irving getting a second chance, and the need for their first line of Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla to continue cashing in.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers upcoming road trip will be a “make-or-break” one for their fading playoff hopes.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks have been “winning ugly” in recent games, but they need to improve their overall performance.


  1. The problem with the Leafs is their balance of scoring. Lupul. Kessel, Grabo are on track for 30 or more goals with MacArthur on track for 20 and that’s where the wheels fall off. The next closest guys are Bozak, Phaneuf, Connelly and Crabb each on track for between 10 or 12 goals. If you focus on shutting down Lupul on the top line and Grabovski on the second line most nights you will limit the team’s offence. Burke really needs to upgrade the offence in quite a few ways.

  2. The east looks like a battle between the Leafs, Caps, Panthers and Sens for 6, 7, 8th. It seems like the panthers and Sens might be the teams to fall out, IMO. It will be interesting to see what deals may arise involving those teams heading into the home stretch. How Gomez has descended this far in his career is unbelievable. He was a consistent 60 point guy who could score close to 20. He has been a heck of a lot more competitive since his injury, but geez. Canadiens fans have to realize this year has been a epic fail (some on the tsn message boards still preach hope, but I can barely read those comments since its just a flame fest) and just hope for young guys getting experience and landing a top 5 pick to try and get a large blue chip center. It’s harder for Habs fans, I think, because they were picked to land anywhere between 6th-8th by almost all media outlets. So to fall to last in the east is a tough pill to swallow. There are bright spots but lack of a PP QB and shooter has affected the season. Emelin and Diaz have been pleasant surprises and Price has been great. The teams just has no secondary scoring. Oh well, hopefully we get some solid playoff hockey to watch hab fans.

  3. @ FireWilson

    If you have 3 guys on pace for 30 goals, and a couple more on pace for 20, and a defence that is contributing… that is enough balance of scoring. The bigger problem is goals against.

  4. 8 years without makeing the playoffs…man that brian burke sure is a genious ROTFLMFAO….

  5. @mulenuts

    didn’t know brain burke was the gm for 8 years now? and the word “makeing”, should check it again lol

  6. @NikK
    I wasn’t saying the goals against isn’t an issue. It is the number one issue… I was just following up on Lyle’s posting about the 3rd highest defensive point production comment with more comments about the offense. We also don’t have two 20 goal scorers.. We are not balanced!!

  7. Should Ottawa be seller or buyer ? If they sell, hopefully, they will trade Kuba and / Gonchar in order to pick up niece pieces (draft picks or good wingers) for next season. If they are buyers, hopefully, Murray will be smart enough not to destroy the team chemistry and future. As a fan, this year playoff would be a bonus and I am ready to sacrifice this year spring party to the cup for a brighter and a long term future. What’s your view on my take ?

  8. Tyler Bozak looks stronger every time out and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits twenty goals by April. I like this group, especially if the goaltending stays consistent, but then I’ve been fooled before.

  9. Agree completely Eric. I love Ottawa but I have to remember where expectations were at the start of the year. There seems no point to me to send out quality assets when the return still won’t make us able to beat the likes of Boston, Philly or Pittsburgh in a 7 game series. Sens are just not good enough yet. Hopefully another year or two, and some shrewd moves could move us into the permanent contender ranking.