NHL Canadian Corner – January 3, 2012.

Daniel Alfredsson shines again in overtime…Oilers lose Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in win over Blackhawks…Canadiens need best players to step up…Injuries taking a toll on Flames…Mike Komisarek and Mike Brown close to returning to Leafs lineup…Eric Fehr struggling with Jets…Sharks down Canucks in a shootout.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson potted another overtime winner, as the Sens rallied to down the New Jersey Devils 3-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alfredsson has played very well since returning from a concussion earlier in the season, netting 21 points in his last 24 games.

Nugent-Hopkins injured in Oilers win.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks proved costly, as rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins suffered what appears to be a shoulder injury after falling awkwardly into the boards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There should be further clarification today as to the status of Nugent-Hopkins’ injury. Hopefully,the injury isn’t serious.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The main reason the Canadiens have struggled is their best players haven’t played well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And unless they reverse that trend, the Habs won’t make the playoffs this season.

CALGARY HERALD: Injuries are taking a toll upon the Flames, who’ve suffered more man-games lost to injury (155) than any other Western Conference team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that trend continues it could doom their post-season hopes.

TORONTO SUN: Injured Maple Leafs Mike Komisarek and Mike Brown could return to the lineup later this week.

WINNIPEG SUN: Efforts by the Jets to “protect” struggling Eric Fehr may have backfired, as head coach Claude Noel isn’t impressed with Fehr’s play so far, while the club isn’t impressed with Fehr’s unwillingness to speak for himself.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks fell to the San Jose Sharks in a 3-2 shootout.


  1. I think that potential trade candidates for the Canadiens come deadline time are: Plekanec, Cammalleri, AKostitsyn, Gill, Campoli, Weber, Gomez. It’s sad to say Pleks but he just hasnt been the same since before his child was born over a month or so ago. He looks frustrated, unwilling to do dirty work, and is not skating anymore. I thought Cammy was not working hard, but then he gets put with Desharnais and starts putting up points. Then there’s the fight the other day at practice, which is not necessarily a bad thing (Koivu used to get into scraps at practice too). So I guess the team has to wait and see what the reaction is by the players in Jan as they only play 3 road games. This is the make or break month for the Canadiens. They need to get at least 8 home wins this month and 2 on the road just to have a shot at 8th. That’s a tall order. I think that should they seem to be out of the playoff picture they should hold off on trading Pleks unless a large scoring center is coming back (Carter?). Cammy or Gionta may have to go to make room for another large winger. The defence needs Markov back, but even then he will need 30 games to get close to game shape. So he’s done till next year. At that time a top 4 of gorges, Subban, Markov, Kaberle isn’t bad. Then u have 2nd year Diaz and Emelin, which isn’t looking too bad either. Just need another large vet on D who comes on the cheap and the defence should be fine. There’s a issue in that room that the leaders aren’t addressing properly or guys don’t want to hear it. Hopefully the captain steps in and straightens these guys out or else there’s changes coming. Oh well, hopefully they turn it around.

  2. Pleks may not be scoring but he is far from being a wash out there. He is the catalyst for the #2 ranked PK in the league. he goes toe to toe with against the best players in the league and is still doing alot of the dirty work.

    To trade him would be a tremendous mistake unless the return was an elite big center.

  3. I wouldn’t expect Komi to return to the game he was playing before he got injured. Now that the Leafs are on a slide he will again try and do to much and over play his game which has been his down fall in the past.

    Can’t wait to see if Connelly can muster up some chemistry with Kessel and Lupul. It’s only game two with these 3 guys together so I’m not expecting much but it would be nice to see Connelly bump Bozak off the top line so this line is tougher to play against at both ends of the ice.

    The PK is bad but sitting 27th over all in the entire NHL for goals against is even worse. Even if the Leafs were running at an 83% PK (instead of the current 72%) that would account for only 15 less goals off there current 125GA giving them a new goals against of 110 which would still rank them a terrible 22nd in the NHL. The problem is defense, defense, defense. The blame only falls to one person if your team can’t play a proper defensive system. THE COACH…

  4. And who could possibly be interested in a 7.3 million $$ underperforming, underwhelming center, who has less points on the season than PIM?

    And why does everyone want to get rid of AK?

    Pleks isn’t going anywhere. He plays in every situation, and is the Habs’ most versatile center. He can mentor Eller and Desharnais.

  5. Chris- I’m pretty sure Gomez is going to be buried in the minors if he can’t be bought out with no penalty with the new CBA. Everyone knows they can’t trade him.

  6. Smielman and Chris: Good points each of you. i think Pleks should stay but could be shopped due to his value….but it would have to be in a significant trade, not just because. I also so agree that aK should stay. He is physical enough that he can play in a more robust system but will never be the corner stone of such a system. Gomez is a trade candidate but like you said Chris, good luck finding a dance partner….if he had had even an ok year maybe, but he hasn’t. I would add DD to that list (only because he should have some value and I am still not sold on him standing up to an intense physical playoff series) and Nokeleinen. Gionta could also be dealt but has a NTC. i would also offer up Kaberle if there was interest.
    BTW, can anyone explain why Gill and Subban are not paired together? I thought the whole point of bringing back Gill was to mentor Subban like he did last year but from what I’ve seen, they have broken thoses two up or have I missed something?

  7. Oh, and Budaj also as a trade candidate…

  8. HABS definitelly need a big centreman with scoring, should have grabbed N Horton when he was available, shouldn’t trade Pleks, but AK 47 will be gone at deadline, gill, look at offers for Camalleri, and perhaps Weber, they are not that far off, just need a shake up. Gomez will be in minors next year or bought out, thats a given, With the money, maybe make a play for Parize.

  9. Ohhhh. Parise… (said like Homer Simpson). I would like him, but it would be another small guy. I think getzlaf is a center, getzlaf For Pleks and Weber? ;). I love Pleks, but Eller is going to be second/third, desharnais second/first, and of Anaheim is looking to blow it up a bit then you have to go for the upgrade. Or maybe carter from columbus will be available? I know im starting my Christmas wish lost early this year guys, but I like hockey talk. Haha.

  10. I kind of hope Montreal does a trade deadline fire sale, stocks up on high draft picks and remakes the team with the salary savings….