NHL Canadian Corner – January 20, 2013

Roundup of Saturday’s action among five of Canada’s seven NHL teams, plus updates on the Flames and Oilers.

TORONTO SUN/LA PRESSE: The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in a rather listless affair between the two clubs. Phil Kessel assisted on goals by Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak, while Brian Gionta replied for the Habs.

Cory Schneider got the hook in Canucks 7-3 home-opening loss to the Ducks.

Cory Schneider (l) got the hook in Canucks 7-3 home-opening loss to the Ducks.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks were bombed in their home opener 7-3 by the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Starting goalie Cory Schneider got the hook after giving up five goals on fourteen shots, while Roberto Luongo gave up 2 on twelve shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wasn’t expecting much from the Leafs-Habs game, but I was surprised by how poorly the Canucks played against the Ducks. Looking for a “bounce-back” effort against the Oilers later today.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Erik Karlsson had a three-point game (1 goal, two assists) to lead the Senators to a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, who received shaky goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelec gave up a couple of softies in this one, but to be fair, he didn’t get much help from his defense, which gave up 37 shots.

CALGARY SUN: Jiri Hudler, who is still grieving the sudden death of his father, is not expected to dress for the Flames game today against the San Jose Sharks

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers rookie Justin Schultz doesn’t expect a warm welcome when his club tangles with the Canucks in Vancouver today. Schultz spurned the Canucks in favor of signing with the Oilers.


  1. Erik Karlsson … Amazing skills. With Methot on the other side, chances are his point per game average goes up this year. Go Sens!

    • Even with his puck fumbles last night and showing that he is trying to adjust back to the NHL he was explosive. His defense also looks so much better, his stick was always in the right place and he was even taking the body a bit.

  2. Lyle:
    To be honest I was expecting a good game or at least a heated game between Toronto and Montreal but aside from the “over the top” torch passing ceremony in the pregame there was no fire by either team. Aside from the last ten minutes of the third it was a snoozer. I did like what I saw from Kadri and a couple of other Leaf players but overall nothing to write home about. Scrivens looked shaky at best and a driven Montreal team could have lit him up and if not for the goaltending of Price the Leafs could have turned the game into a rout.
    Speaking of goaltending, Schneider sure laid an egg in his debut as the Canuck’s number one. I am not going to fault either goaltender too much though as the prevalence of naked scoring chances that Anaheim had, especially Selanne, was embarrassing to watch for any Canuck fan. If the Canucks don’t find a way to neutralize more of the other teams scoring chances, a part of the game which the Canucks have previously excelled, they are in for a very long, even though shortened, season.
    I am looking forward to today’s game between the Canucks and Oilers. Not only to see how Vancouver responds after last night’s debacle but also to see the young guns Edmonton has. I think the only drama between Schultz and the Canuck players is something that only the media is and will be concerned about. On the ice the Canucks have way too many things to get rectified to be concerned about who did or didn’t sign with them.

  3. The Leafs/Habs game was a sloppy game for both teams. Some solid play from Kostka in his NHL debut was a nice surprise as was Kadri’s play last night. Scrivens was adequate and defensively the Leafs did a decent job of keeping the smaller Habs to the outside but against Buffalo tomorrow, the Leafs will have their hands full as the Sabres are big and love to hit so it will be a good test for them.

    As for the Canucks, oh my, that was a tough one to watch. Many, many things done wrong but as the Captain said above, how they rebound tonight against the Oilers will be a very good test not only against an up and coming Oilers team, but as a test to their character as well. We shall see

    • I agree with you regarding the Leafs when they face Buffalo. I watched the Buffalo – Philly game today and the Sabres are not going to be pushed around any longer. Foligno dealt out some heavy bodychecks as did Ott and they were the instigator instead of the responder on almost every shift. They gave Philly all they could handle but if not for a couple of questionable calls the game could have gone the other way. Luke Shenn took two penalties and they were capitalized on both time by Buffalo and that really turned the tide for the Sabres. If the Leafs do not bring their A-game they could be in trouble.
      I am very interested in seeing how Edmonton starts the season. They have a number of players who have been doing well in the AHL and should be almost in mid season shape right now, and that could spell trouble for the Canucks, especially if they are not quick to identify and rectify the breakdowns they had in last nights game. Two games in two nights can be a struggle for players just getting into game shape but there can be no excuse if Vancouver does not get their sh_t together tonight no matter who is in net.

  4. Oilers won 3-2 in OT..Interesting game. Canucks responded as I thought they might with a solid opportunistic checking skating game that has garnered them many points in previous seasons.

    However, when you lead 2-0 in your own barn, and give up a late 2nd period goal to make the score 2-1,and give your foe life & hope, sometimes the dynamics change;and they did tonight for the Oilers.

    So its Monday morning, the Canucks now have a tie to show for 2 homes games & now suddenly the backup is now the starter; just as it was in the beginning.Perhaps this confuses the team; perhaps not. But at the end of this day, the Canucks are 0-1-1 and have now gotten blown out by one team and have blown a 2 goal lead to another in their first two games of the new season. Interesting times indeed.