NHL Canadian Corner – January 21, 2013.

Oilers rally to edge Canucks, Sharks down Flames, plus the latest on the other Canadian NHL teams.

Hemsky the hero as Oilers edged Canucks in shootout.

Hemsky the hero as Oilers edged Canucks in shootout.

EDMONTON JOURNAL/VANCOUVER SUN: The Edmonton Oilers overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in a shootout. Ales Hemsky scored the game-tying goal and the shootout winner. Roberto Luongo made 32 saves for the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo looked better than Cory Schneider did in the Canucks home-opening loss on Saturday. That’ll keep the goaltending controversy churning in Vancouver.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS/CALGARY HERALD: The Calgary Flames couldn’t maintain their sizzling first period pace, as the Sharks overcame a 1-0 deficit to march on to a 4-1 victory. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made 15 of his 31 saves in the first period, Patrick Marleau scored twice, and the two Joes (Thornton and Pavelski) collected two assists each. Lee Stempniak potted the Flames only goal.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox evaluates the Maple Leafs re-signing yesterday of winger Joffrey Lupul to a five-year, $26.25 million contract.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jack Todd believes the Canadiens are missing P.K. Subban’s “pizzazz”. Subban and Canadiens management remain locked in contract negotiations with no indication a deal could be coming soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s absence wasn’t the main reason in the Canadiens flat performance in their home-opening loss to Toronto on Saturday, but it was an contributing factor.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators intend to start Craig Anderson in goal when they face off against the Florida Panthers on Monday.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets hope to improve their road record, which was among the league’s worst last season.

6 Comments

  1. Reading the Lupul article, he certainly knows all the right things to say and do!

  2. Interesting game last night. Canucks responded to Saturday’s loss as I thought they might with a solid skating game that has garnered them many points in previous seasons.

    However, when you lead 2-0 in your own barn, and then give up a late 2nd period goal in the dying seconds, you often give life & hope to your opponent.That goal gave the Oilers life it seems.

    Monday morning & the Canucks now have a tie to show for 2 homes games & now suddenly the backup is likely the starter again. Hmmm..Perhaps this confuses the team; perhaps not. But at this moment, 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 season. Interesting start to their season dont you think.

    • I agree with you about being up 2 to 0 in Vancouver’s own building and letting the Oilers back in the game cost them. Last night’s game once again, at least to me, exposed a weakness I have not seen in the Canucks in recent years and that is giving up a plethora of scoring chances. I counted six or seven clean, unimpeded scoring attempts by the Oilers and if Luongo was not on his game Edmonton could have put four more goals in. At the other end the Canucks had scoring chances galore but failed to capitalize on all but two of them.
      The goaltending situation being what it is, the Canucks need to tighten up defensively or no matter who ends up in net they will not have success.
      On a positive note, the play of Zack Kassian was head and shoulders over what he displayed last year and he is becoming a force on the ice. His play earned him a number of shifts on the top line and that resulted in him scoring a goal. As much as I liked what I saw with Kassian, Chris Tanev impressed me even more. He is small as far as defensemen go but plays smart and with poise. The Canucks really have something in him.

      • You’re right about those scoring chances given up and not capitalizing on the chances they did have. Defensively, the Canucks appeared unfocused; and at times, disinterested in the task at hand. That must change.

        I believe most teams will wait till the quarter pole (12 games) to finish evaluating their teams wants and needs. Seems to me Gillis could best serve the Canucks and any playoff aspirations they have by keeping Luongo until at least that quarter pole if not beyond; as I think the team who needs Luongo the most right now is the team he already plays for; be him the starter or the backup.

        • Exactly right about appearing unfocused. I saw some veterans making rookie mistakes and that just can’t happen if you want to make the playoffs in a shortened season.
          You are probably right about teams waiting until the 12 game mark to start making changes. Judging by the teams body of work after just two games and the goaltending they really can’t afford to jettison Luongo or else they could be left high and dry if Schneider continues to struggle as he did on opening night.
          It is very early in the season and two games doesn’t really give you time to access every aspect of your team, in reality this would be game two of the exhibition season. Every team started with their opening day rosters and have to make quick choices as far as who plays what position but based on Vancouver’s second and third lines I believe they need to bring in some help. Possibly a player like Jason Arnott who while older and not the player he once was still plays a good defensive game and can chip in on the offense. Not only is the goaltending situation up in the air but the coaching staff in Vancouver has a lot of work to do with everything outside of the crease as well.

  3. I have to say I am having a hard time understanding Subbans stand in this situation. The team has admitted they want him long term but that they have a policy of signing two year bridge contracts. Price did it, Pacioretty did it, and its not like the Canadians went cheap on those 2 year deals.

    If Subban is half the hockey player he thinks he is, then signing 2 years at $3.5 or $4, would give him all the opportunity to prove he is worth what he is asking. Right now he is nowhere near a comparable for Doughty, and statistically he is very comparable to Del Zotto, though his combined plus minus the last two years is much worse.

    I also dont buy that Subban is that much of a difference maker, people talk about the power play but the Candians were one of the worst teams on the PP last year with Subban, they cant be much worse.

    I hope the team sticks to its guns, its funny, through the lockout the pundits were hammering the owners for their “spending” habits, and now those same pundits are hammering the Habs for trying to be fiscally responsible. And as I said, its not like they are trying to go cheap.