NHL Canadian Corner – January 11, 2012.

Erik Karlsson chases Senators record…Oilers Jordan Eberle out 2-3 weeks…Mason Raymond`s spin move leads Canucks to shootout victory…Jets coach calls out Evander Kane…Jaroslav Halak shuts out the Habs…Flames win big despite being outshot by wide margin…Leafs win fourth in a row.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Defenseman Erik Karlsson is chasing the Senators team record for most points by a defenseman (63), held by Norm Mciver since the 1992-93 season.

SPECTOR`S NOTE: Hard to believe that record has stood with blueliners like Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara in their lineup over the years.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers leading scorer Jordan Eberle is out two-three weeks with a sprained knee.

SPECTOR`S NOTE: Hopefully he doesn`t rush back too soon. The Oilers season is pretty much done and it would wise if he took his time to allow that knee to fully heal.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Mason Raymond`s shootout spin move gave the Canucks a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kane earns coach`s wrath for poor performance.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets coach Claude Noel called out forward Evander Kane, his team`s leading scorer, for what Noel considered a poor effort in their 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR`S NOTE: Noel is definitely a no-nonsense bench boss, but it`ll be interesting to see how Kane responds, and how this affects the relationship between the two over the remainder of the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak had a happy homecoming, backstopping the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 win over the Habs.

CALGARY HERALD: Despite being outshot 32-6 in the final forty minutes, the Calgary Flames hung on to down the New Jersey Devils 6-3.

SPECTOR`S NOTE: Credit strong goaltending by the Flames Miikka Kiprusoff and weak goaltending by the Devils for this result.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson made 32 saves as the Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 for their fourth straight win.

SPECTOR`S NOTE: Goaltending and defensive play are the key issues for the Leafs the rest of the way if they hope to make the playoffs.

6 Comments

  1. Gustavsson has looked unreal the last couple games, more like the goaltender that Burke said we were supposed to get when we signed him. I am not sure if he can keep up this level of play, but if we can ride him hot and get some support from Reimer then I’ll be happy. I’d also like to see the Leafs play a more solid D game like last night. Aulie, Phaneuf, Schenn, and Franson all had really good games. Gunner and Komi were pretty much invisible in my opinion.

  2. isnt being invisible a good thing as a defenceman?

  3. I disagree, I think Komo played a pretty sound game last night, as for invisible he only played about 16 mins so. And Gunnarsson assisted on the first goal and had few good opportunities, one in the slot that Miller had to make a tough save on.

  4. I think Burke would be wise not to dip into the trade market before the deadline for another goalie, tempting as that may be, given the fact that he’d almost certainly have to overspend. The Monster’s play has given the Leafs a needed boost between the pipes which is unlikely to continue but if Reimer can pick it up when Gustavsson cools down the playoffs might be a reality for the first time in years for TO.

  5. I would hope that Noel assessed the situation before calling out Kane. By doing so I assume he knows Kane will respond and it will send a message to the rest of the team, “I’m calling out my star, the rest of you are on notice as well.” Felt bad for Craig Ramsey, but Noel’s doing a helluva job. The Jets have become my 2nd favorite team in the Eastern Conf. this year.

  6. Just an FYI.

    The Leafs six games prior to Bozak getting hurt were 2 wins and 4 losses and the top line of Bozak, Kessel and Lupul were a combined -2

    Leafs heading into Fridays game against Buffalo are 4 wins and 1 loss and the top line of Kessel, Connelly and Lupul are a +10

    I’m not saying Connelly is the stellar number one center we crave but he is a substantial upgrade from Bozak. Just his blocked shots alone should be enough to keep him on that line. Let’s see what Wilson does when Bozak returns next week. Does he slot the teachers pet back into that number one center role or does he awaken to his past mistakes and realize there is more to centering guys of Kessel and Lupul’s ability then a few good passes and some decent speed. Someone on that line needs to play a two way game and so far Connelly has demonstrated most nights he is up to the challenge at least until someone better comes along via trade.