NHL Canadian Corner – January 31, 2013.

Recaps of Wednesday’s Senators-Canadiens, Canucks-Avalanche and Oilers-Coyotes games, plus updates on Olli Jokinen, Mike Komisarek and Chris Butler.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/LA PRESSE: Goals by Daniel Alfredsson, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Phillips in just over three minutes in the second period broke a 1-1 tie and carried the Ottawa Senators to a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Senators goalie Craig Anderson made 31 saves for the victory. Tomas Plekanec got the sole Habs goal. The Senators won the game without Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar, who are sidelined by injuries. Spezza’s back injury has led to speculation its seriousness.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A double-minor by Habs agitator Ryan White was the game’s turning point, resulting in the power-play goals by Alfredsson and Zibanejad.

Roberto Luongo backstopped the Canucks to shutout win over the Avalanche.

Roberto Luongo backstopped the Canucks to shutout win over the Avalanche.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/DENVER POST: In his second straight start,Roberto Luongo picked up a shutout, backstopping the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.  Winger Zach Kassian got his team-leading fifth goal in the victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve heard it suggested the Canucks are “showcasing” Luongo for a trade, but I believe coach Alain Vigneault is sticking with the goaltender with the hot hand. Right now, that’s Luongo, though his play won’t hurt his trade value.

EDMONTON JOURNAL/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Rookie Nail Yakupov potted the overtime winner as the Edmonton Oilers nipped the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1.  Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris disputed the goal, believing it was directed by a hand pass. Morris wound up slugging Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney as the Oilers celebrated the game-ending goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least it wasn’t anything to do with Yakupov’s goal-scoring celebration, which was quite tame compared to his exuberant one last week against the LA Kings.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets forward Olli Jokinen is regaining his legs and scoring touch following the long NHL lockout.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek needed a minor stitch in his eyeball after graphite from a stick he broke in practice flew into his eye.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s lucky, the injury could have been much worse. Should serve as a reminder to players not to take out their frustrations on their sticks.

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Chris Butler is returning to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in the club’s previous game.


  1. Habs looked tired, but that’s to be expected after the lockout and compressed schedule. Too bad they didn’t bring it. Gotta settle down when it’s Ref Kozari out there. Dude does not favour the Canadiens at all ever. Oh well, they eat their humble pie, get a days rest, bring in PK, and play a day time back to back weekend. Hopefully wall out with at least 2 pts

    • I thought there were marginal calls made on both teams. What’s with the the Ole Ole chant after the Hab’s scored there first (and only) goal? Shouldn’t a celebration happen at the end of a game?

  2. @ Beer goggles

    @ Cap ahab


    I think Nonis was reading me posts yesterday …leafs call up Ryan Hamilton …Franson to play more on the power play …finally someone is listening to me …LMAO!!!


    Why in the world would you have to showcase a goalie lie Roberto Luongo …wnat the heck ????
    Do we have a league full of Rookie G Ms that never heard of this guy before …cocka mini crap!!
    Why doesn’t Vancouver just face the facts that hes the better goalie and always has been ..man o man its the money & term of contract there trying to unload….. not the player and if thats the case the Gillis needs to bend on this one …OR LET IT REST and just come out and say hes off the block …..you might get more calls!!!!!

    Gillis your a %$@… like Gary Roberts said ….keep Luongo and put it to bed !!

    Nonis …you don’t have enough support for Luongo so just stop all ready ….go and get your power forwards who can do more for you out there !! Trade Kessel pick up Backstrum in the off season for 3 years as a UFA at $4 million per!!

    • Hey Back checking:

      I guess Nonis checks in here at Spectors to see what you and a few of the other guys think he should do prior to making moves. Do you think you are finally getting through to him about moving Kessel?

      I agree with you about the whole “showcasing” Luongo thing. He has been in the league long enough as has every GM to have a book on him and he proved once again last night, as well as in most of the games this year, that he is one of the top goalies in the NHL.
      With Schneiders play last year and possibly hoping to turn around their playoff fortunes around, Canucks management said that Luongo was being moved and Cory was their number one. I guess there were a few tire kickers offering a nobody and a bag of pucks so Gillis says he is going to keep him until the right offer comes along and then came the lock out. Nobody could do anything until the new CBA was done.
      Now with a shortened season and every point so valuable Vancouver has not received an offer that bettered the team they already have and so are keeping Roberto for the foreseeable future, which I don’t see as a bad thing.
      If the coach’s hardest decision is which of his number one goalies to play I believe that is a positive problem. There are areas that need to be addressed to make the Canucks a contender but if they don’t get someone to help them take it to the next level along with a goalie to back up Schneider in the deal, why do it?
      I personally am waiting until the 10 to 12 game mark when certain teams will be looking at where they are in the standings and deciding that something must be done and then some better offers will come in. That being said, if the offers don’t make the Canucks a better team I say keep both goalies until the summer and then see what the terrain looks like.

      If the Canucks trade Luongo to Toronto (I am not saying they should but just speculating) then they will want Reimer coming back along with someone else as they don’t have a proven back up for Schneider with Lack out for the season. Also, no way I believe they should make a trade with TO.

    • I think Nonis is secretly reading your posts. It’s just a matter of time before Kessel is moved due to your comments BUT if we are worng and it’s not because of your comments then my next guess is that Nonis MIGHT be listening to Eakins since he went public and said Hamilton should be in the NHL. lol Hopefully he doesn’t just stick him in the press box.

      Either way you got part of your wish but don’t count on Phaneuf being off the pp.

  3. I wouldn’t say Vancouver is showcasing Luongo but his play should hi-light the fact he is a good/great goalie.

    As per the issue with the Luongo contract, it is really just term, the money is reasonable compared to other starting goalies in the league- Price, Miller, etc..

    Just a note on Yakupov, I heard from people who were at the game the post goal celebration may have seemed a bit too much on tv but in person it was a sold out game in front of a loud and boisterous crowd who enjoyed the goal and celebration- great entertainment.

  4. I just read Hamilton will play on the forth line. They are setting him up for failure.