NHL Canadian Corner – January 2, 2012.

The Oilers don’t want to be in contention for another draft lottery pick…Canadiens coach growing frustrated…Iginla one goal shy of 500…Erik Karlsson close to first overall in All-Star voting…Jets facing real test heading into January…Chris Higgins returns to Canucks lineup.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers GM Steve Tambellini isn’t happy with his club’s slide down the standings, and doesn’t want to be in position where his club is eligible for another high draft lottery pick. Tambellini noted injuries have been a contributing factor as well as a lack of scoring depth. He claimed he has no trades on the front-burner but hinted at the possibility things could heat up in the trade market around mid-month, adding he’d be looking to make a move if it would help his team now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  I don’t think there’s any trade Tambellini can make which will help his team now. They desperately need a couple of top quality defensemen, and those just aren’t available unless he wants to sacrifice his future for a quick fix.

Cunneyworth unhappy with Canadiens performance.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth is clearly frustrated over his team’s recent performance, including their latest loss, falling 3-2 to the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cunneyworth’s doing the best he can, but there’s just not enough quality talent on the Canadiens to turn things around. Most of their best forwards are too small, their defense is in disarray, and they rely too much on an overworked Carey Price to bail them out. They must be among the league leaders in blown leads this season.

CALGARY SUN: Jarome Iginla netted career goal 499 in a 5-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday. Teammate Brendan Morrison netted his 200th career goal in the same game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the loss, the club’s third in a row, the Flames remain only two points out of the final playoff berth in the West.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson leads all NHL defenseman in all-star votes but will need a late surge to overtake Toronto’s Phil Kessel.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs continue to search for answers for their lousy penalty kill, which has been a contributing factor to the club’s slide out of a playoff spot for the first time this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s just one of the problems the Leafs must address soon if they hope to regain a playoff spot. They also need improved goaltending, and more offensive production from their second line.

WINNIPEG SUN:The Jets will face a real test with 15 of their next 21 games to be played on the road.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort over that stretch could assure the Jets of a playoff berth.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Chris Higgins will return to the Canucks lineup as they face the San Jose Sharks today.


  1. The answer to the Leafs lousy penalty kill stands right behind the player’s bench in the suit for starters

  2. Except for the Boston games the worst the Leafs have looked all year have been the games played since Christmas.
    Not playing well at all overall on top of the awful PK with plenty of players not showing up.
    Maybe something happened during Christmas making them unhappy and lost some of their heart.
    I wonder what could have occured to cause this downturn in team play?

  3. Lyle, with the struggles that A.Semin or J.Carter are having this year it would be hard to move them because of their large contracts, however both teams need a “defensive dman”, do you think either team would entertain an offer from the Flames for JBO. Contracts about the same, and he has become a d who logs tones of minutes, more d-minded since coming to Calgary…his point total shows it.

  4. Bozak getting injured? lol

  5. Clarke, the Flames won’t be moving Bouwmeester. Like it or not, he’s their best blueliner while Giordano’s sidelined, and certainly won’t move him while they’re still in the playoff picture in the West.

  6. Mr.Cunneyworth,please take a seat at the back of the bus.Fans have been fustrated since the beginning of the season, even more than that, heck, they have been fustrated for the last 18 years.