NHL Canadian Corner – Friday, March 15, 2013.

Recaps of Thursday’s games featuring Canadian NHL teams, plus the latest on the Maple Leafs, Oilers, Flames and Canadiens.

Andrew Ebbetts (R) celebrates his goal against the Predators.

Andrew Ebbett (R) celebrates his goal against the Predators.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/THE TENNESSEAN: The Vancouver Canucks took a 5-2 lead into the third and held off a late rally by the Nashville Predators to win 7-4.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Ondrej Pavelec made 28 saves and Dustin Byfuglien had two assists as the Winnipeg Jets downed the New York Rangers 3-1 to move ahead of the Blueshirts into eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The always creative Jets fans also serenaded Rangers hot-tempered coach John Tortorella by derisively chanting his name, but “Torts” refused to acknowledge the taunt.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE/TORONTO STAR: Pascal Dupuis scored twice in the third as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1, handing the latter their fourth straight loss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans are starting to get a little nervous now. Can’t say I blame them. When your favorite team hasn’t made the playoff since 2004, a four-game losing streak midway through even a shortened season is cause for concern.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Sam Gagner is having a career year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner has averaged 40-or-more points in each of his previous five NHL seasons. He’s currently on pace for46 points  this season, but in 48 games. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer, so don’t be surprised if his agent seeks a $5 million per season contract.

CALGARY HERALD: Much-maligned Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester’s improved offensive play this season has been a boost for his club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames coach Bob Hartley is allowing Bouwmeester to open things up offensively, something he wasn’t really allowed to do under Hartley’s more defensive-minded predecessors.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports via Twitter: Montreal Canadiens expected to announce contract extension for David Dersharnais on Friday.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators new enforcer Matt Kassian touches down in Ottawa.


  1. I bet Gagner will get something closer to $6-million if it goes to arbitration, considering how much NHL arbiters focus on the “points per game” stat in their decisions.

  2. Regrettably, because of work obligations, I have missed way too many Leaf games including Saturday CBC broadcasts. Story I’m hearing is Dion and the no contact twins( Kessel n Bozak) are killing this team; by and large; with no help from rebound prone goaltending and questionable work ethic issues from the team as a whole.

    Right or wrong, this years edition of TML is largely a .500 hockey team who at any one given time will be +/- 4-5 games over/under .500 and; at present, the skid part is on. TML has for years, seemingly enjoyed tearing the hearts out of their die hard fans knowing that no matter how indifferent or shitty or both they played, their fans would always come back to savor the moment of victory no matter how meaningless it proved itself as the season unfolded.

    I think its time for Nonis and staff to address this” chemistry” problem as you have players that should be here and aren’t; and have players here who really shouldn’t be here. I also think its time to come out from under Burke’s shadow and get something done to upgrade the team. Yes the trade deadline is 3 weeks away but quite frankly, it could be over by then for them.

    They call Toronto Big Smoke..I just hope that doesn’t get renamed ” Big Choke “

  3. While the Leafs played like the team that started this year they only did it for two periods which would have been good enough to beat most teams but not the Pen’s. You could plainly see the scedule for March was going to be tough playing teams like Boston, the Pen’s twice ect. The next 8 games the Leafs play I’d say they have 5 really tough opponents so the slide could continue. April’s opponents will be an easier month for the Leafs.
    So Carlyle finally got his players back to a defensive style game last night and it showed for two periods but once again he made the mistake of playing Dion to much with 28 minutes and ended up a minus 3 while Fraser and Franson played a wopping 16 and 17 minutes and were even on the night. Carlyle also decided the Bozak/Kessel combination was good enough to check Crosby all night so they ended up with 20 and 22 minutes with both being a minus 2 even though that line scored a goal. Making that same mistake over and over again is not going to net Carlyle a different result.
    If the Leafs play this defensive style for the rest of the season they will make the playoffs but Carlyle needs to look himself in the mirror and tell himself that Dion cannot play those type of minutes and neither can any D man on the team so spread out the time sit a forward and go with 7 D men if you have to but STOP playing Dion more then 20 min a game. Now the subject of the top line is a whole other conversation. I do think trying McClement at center between Kessel and JVR(eventually Lupul) is worth a try though.

    • Only playing 2 periods out of 3 isn’t good enough and the players themselves should know better and do know better but I agree that Carlyle needs to take responsibility for the product on the ice as well. He’s instituted a good system and when they execute properly and play the full 60 minutes, they tend to win; but overplaying Dion doesn’t work at all but I also believe that Nonis has some decisions to make as the clock is ticking

  4. I find it humorous that the problem was that they only played 40mins and not the full 60. You must have watched a different game than I.

    The leafs played well, but Crosby worked his magic and they paid the price twice. Granted Kunitz’s hard work got Crosby the puck for his beauty no look pass, but who could have stopped that? They had guys on Crosby but he’s just magical.

    Oh an phaneuf played fine. Yes he was -3 but really can you blame him for the empty netter? You did see Adams knock that shot out of the air and clear it right?

    I know you leafs faithful are dying to make the playoffs, and you think you have an amazing team (well the delusional leaf fans at least) but in reality your team is ok. You don’t have the same skill a team like the pens do and at the end of the day you’ll lose most games against a team like the pens if both teams put in a similar effort.

    I’ve got more I could say but iPhones aren’t made for this lol.

    • You must have missed the first goal when Holzer couldn’t contain Crosby and Phaneuf was just standing in no mans land doing nothing as the goal was being scored. The Leafs are slightly above average and can beat any team (except Boston) on any given night if they stick to their system. You can’t tell me stars like Lupul, Kessel, JVR, along with potential stars like Kadri, and Frattin don’t have the makings of something good. The Leafs are a little small up front and need to address this situation along with getting a top vetran goalie. There D is sufficient IF they play as a five man unit.

      • “The leafs played well, but Crosby worked his magic and they paid the price twice. Granted Kunitz’s hard work got Crosby the puck for his beauty no look pass”

        Correct me if I’m wrong but the play described here was the first goal. The second was started by Crosby in their own zone. Expecting to contain Crosby all night is nearly impossible. If you leaf fans didnt have unrealistic expectations you would be ok with their loss last night, and take the good things from that game to the next.

        The leafs are average.

        I sure wouldn’t call lupul or jvr stars yet. Potential might be there.

        You leafers need to get your head out of the clouds. For now your team is average and I hope they can squeak into the playoffs.

        • I was fine with the loss last night but wasn’t fine with the way they played against the Jets. I like the majority of the team except for the fact we don’t have a Vet goalie, Bozak and Kessel suck together and the fact we really don’t have one big stud on the D. Other then that things are looking up. Starting tomorrow night the Leafs have three lines that are a threat to score at all times but they can always improve upon what they have.