NHL Canadian Corner – January 24, 2013.

The Maple Leafs down the Penguins, the Canucks defeat the Flames, plus the latest on the Canadiens, Oilers, Senators and Jets.

Leafs lose Lupul to fractured forearm.

Leafs lose Lupul to fractured forearm.

TORONTO STAR/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: James van Riemsdyk scored twice and James Reimer made 28 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. The win proved costly, however, as Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul suffered a fracture forearm and is out indefinitely. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant blow for the Leafs offense. It’ll be interesting to see how they cope with Lupul’s absence.

VANCOUVER SUN/CALGARY SUN: Goaltender Cory Schneider rebounded from his poor season-opening performance with 34 saves to backstop the Canucks to a 3-2 shootout victory over the struggling Flames. Zack Kassian scored one of the regulation goals for the Canucks, as well as the shoot-out winner. Mikka Kiprusoff also made 34 saves, which allowed the Flames to steal a point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s solid performance so far this season has been lost in the hubbub over the Canucks goaltending and the absence of  injured forwards Ryan Kesler and David Booth. He seems to have made considerable improvement so far compared to last season, and if he keeps this up, he’ll make Canucks fans forget about Cody Hodgson.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs provides an in-depth analysis of P.K. Subban’s contract negotiations with the Canadiens, dismissing many of the wild rumors regarding how much he’s seeking and the trade rumors which have surfaced in recent days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban won’t be traded. It’s going to take time to get a deal done, but as Stubbs’ article pointed out, there appears to be some wiggle room on both sides. If the Habs were to trade Subban, they won’t get equal value in return. Moving him would leave a significant gap on their defense. And no, they won’t get Jamie Benn from the Dallas Stars. Mark my words, if Marc Bergevin were to trade Subban, he’ll be continuing the Canadiens two-decade tradition of bad trades.

EDMONTON SUN: The Edmonton City Council has approved an arena deal with the Katz Group which appears similar to the original one proposed in October 2011.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Told you a new arena deal would get done! OK, that’s not worth crowing over, as anyone with brains could see Katz was bluffing (badly) about relocating the team if the city didn’t give in on changes he wanted from the original deal. Thankfully, this circus is finally over, and construction can begin later this year on a new arena which is expected to be ready by 2016. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The third line of Zack Smith, Chris Neil and Colin Greening have been instrumental in the Senators early success.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets coach Claude Noel was pleased with his club’s 4-2 road win over the Washington Capitals, but continues to keep things in the right perspective.


  1. While I do agree with you in principle Lyle, but if PK is asking for WAY more money then Montreal is prepared to give him, what other option do they have?

    I would hate to pay him 5+ million a year on a long term deal due to his current potential. Sure he logged lot of minutes last year, but that was on a team with tons of injuries, and one that finished at the bottom of the league.

    • PK Needs his ego put in check. Seems to be a continuous issue with him.

      • I agree. He could at least follow the leads that Max Pac and Price took with their bridge contracts. Gave them the chance to prove themselves and then they got their money.

        • Let me start by saying I’m in agreement, that a long-term deal of $5M would be a mistake for PK. I thnk in 2 years he is *probably* worth that money, but if I was Bergevin, I wouldn’t risk it now, either.

          On the other hand, I can see where PK is coming from – hockey is a business and PK (currently) sells a LOT of jerseys. If the team makes $2M in profits from PK’s jersey sales, etc, he could reasonably ask for $1M of that back as salary, regardless of his on-ice performance.

          Mind you, by pissing off the fans now, the number of jerseys sales – and therefore salary – will go down. Which, to me, means he’d have to be traded to get the salary he is asking. And, sadly, is probably what will happen.

          Just my two cents.

          Now the question, which team would pay his salary demands??

          • Subban should not earn more money than Ian White, who is capped at 2,85 million dollars per year and is earning 2,75 million dollars on a deal that was signed before anyone knew that the salary cap would be dropping as of 2013-2014. Here is a comparison of both of their statistics from last season in a Pernel-Karl Subban vs Ian White format:

            a)Hits/game 1,3 v 0,64
            b)Penalty Minutes/game 1,46 v 0,29
            c)Turnovers 88 v 33
            d)Takeaways/games 0,32 v,0,26
            e)Blocked Shots/game 1,4v1,3
            f)Goal/shots on nets/shooting percentage 3,4% v3,6
            g)Goals 7 v 7
            h) Assists 29 v 26
            i)+/- +9 v +23
            j)Mins/Game 24:18 v 22:58.

            Breakdown: P.K Subban point production on average was only 1% higher than Ian White’s. P.K produced more hits, blocked shots, won possession more often but also gave the puck away nearly 3 times more, he took 5 times more penalties & was not as reliable defensively. PK drew the most penalties against among Defensemen who played a minimum of 70 games, but was also 4th in the league in Penalties taken per game among Defensemen who played a minimum of 70 games. All in all, these numbers say that for every positive you get from Subban, you can counter with a negative. These numbers also say that he is not a better player than Ian White, therefore is not worth more than 2,85 million per year.

  2. I find it funny how every report I read about Lupul getting injured is saying its a freak injury for a guy who’s often injured.
    Where was he standing when he got injured?
    How did he get injured?
    Yes, getting blasted with pucks standing in front of the net where he always stands and no other Leafs will stand. The guy will probably be injured most of his carrear because he stands in the war zone. Mean while other then JVR I see no one else standing in front just like last year.
    This needs to change

  3. Leafs win while their anemic powerplay continues to struggle. Bad enough the players wont stand in front of the net to block the goaltenders view for fear of being hurt which brings us to Dion who can’t hit the net 9 times out 10 anyways and ends up breaking the forearm of his own player because he can’t keep his shot low to the ice like most other point men in the league. Accident I know but still.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again he’s not a powerplay guy. Yes he can shoot the puck like a bullet but he can’t hit the net most of the time and either shoots wide or too high and all this does is just convince with rest of the team to not go in front of the net when he’s on the point.

    Rant aside, the Leafs looked good defensively and Reimer needs to close those wickets but he too was a bit rusty but came through for the most part when he had too. Hope they can bring that hard work effort tonight against the Islanders.

  4. Agree with you Joey

    The good news is that when Riemer was in his prime (for a half of a year lol) he always let in a soft goal early on in the game but when the pressure came usually in the third period he was like a brick wall in net. That’s exactly what happened last night so here’s to hoping Reim’s is back!!

    As for the power play… Well like you said until someone stands in front the Leafs will never score. We just lost one of the only two guys that will stand in front so someone else who gets pp time will have to step up.

    I can tell you who won’t stand in front.
    Bozak (can someone tell me why this guy gets a pass?)

    Guys who will the odd time if Carlyle rides them

    Guys who will without being asked to

    • @Beergoggles..Agreed with what you say..which means I guess the Leafs are now down to JVR who will go to the front of the net.

      Captain Ahab brought up an interesting idea. How about Colton Orr to the front of the net. I thought you know, might work..don’t know about his hands other than punching people but hey Bob Probert made a living for the Red Wings while they were winning Stanley Cups standing in front of the net..Couldn’t hurt to see Colton Orr there. Nothing to lose at this point and It might work.

      • I think you need a guy that can put the puck in the net by tipping shots and jumping on rebounds which requires good hand eye coordination and skill. I don’t think Orr possesses these skills plus he can’t take a draw which means you have to have either Bozak, or McClement playing the perimiter which reduces the skill level on the pp (Kadri still isn’t good on the draw and Grabo is usually on the second pp unit and isn’t great on draws either). Bozak and McClement are not as skilled as JVR, Lupul, Kessel, Grabo or Kadri so it kind of messes things up putting Orr out there.

        • After writing that Idea about Colton Orr, I checked his lifetime stats and they’re not good; 11 lifetime NHL goals. Although both he and Probert are/were wingers, Probert by comparison, appeared to be far more hand eye coordinated and well as pugilist supreme. Probert, in 87-88, had 29 goals, 62 points and was a +16 including two 20 goals seasons and one 19 goal season. Not bad at all.

          In the meantime, up comes Frattin for a second chance and hopefully Carlyle will encourage Dion to work on his point shot for the betterment of the team and for the safety of his teammates as well.

  5. If I were Carlyle I would sit down with McClement and tell him he will be your go to centerman on first line pp IF he stands in front. If he gets injured then you have the same talk with Steckel. Both guys are face off specialists with decent hands and big enough bodied. Let the Kadri’s, Kessels, JVR’s and Grabo’s buzz around and yes you’re right get Dion off the pp. Backchecking is right about Franson he has the best shot for the pp.

  6. As Ottawa is sitting with a rediculous amount of money under the cap, what is Ott offered PK a rediculous 6.5 mill/per yr for 5 years. They wouldnt be able to afford him without trading away their team. Ott gets the d man they need without giving up a goalie.

  7. PK seems like a good enough guy, but he comes across as thinking too much if himself. I read him as high a talent but high maintenance player, whose talent will be offset by his negative effect on team chemistry. The Habs may be better off trading him. As a Sens fan, i believe the last guy we want is PK.

    • Can’t really comment on his personality but the guy definitely has some talent and would be a great addition to any team. Can’t see Ottawa making an offer as they are seemingly committed to developing from within while filling in the edges with the odd free agent. Montreal would undoubtably match any offer made anyways. Having said that what a power play tandem: Subban and Karlsson!

  8. Wayne Gretzky is reported to have said recently that the team that he has been most impressed with so has been the SENS.
    “The team that I am pleasantly surprised with, and how good they’re playing and how much depth and talent they have for a young group, is the Ottawa Senators,” said Gretzky from Los Angeles.
    “I’m really impressed by how they’re playing and how they’ve started. They are strong on the puck, solid defensively. They could be a big surprise. It could be a fun year for the people of Ottawa.”