NHL Canadian Corner – January 7, 2012.

Canucks to start Schneider over Luongo against Bruins…Flames at the crossroads…Jets captain Andrew Ladd unhappy with his play…Oilers Jordan Eberle having strong sophomore season…Leafs get some grit back…Chris Phillips returns to Senators lineup…Canadiens hope for a modest win streak.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks coach Alain Vigneault has decided backup goalie Cory Schneider will face the Boston Bruins today, instead of starter Roberto Luongo, who had a shaky performance against the Bruins in last year’s Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Way to keep the goaltender controversy fires damped down, Alain! Expect this to generate lots more stories over the Canucks real or imagined lack of confidence in Roberto Luongo.

CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak believes the Flames have reached a crossroads this season, as management should start thinking of a long-term rebuild now, beginning with small trades for this season and allowing younger players more ice time to evaluate their worth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s lots of “Should the Flames trade Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff?” chatter in the wake of the club’s 9-0 loss to Boston, but that would be an over-reaction by GM Jay Feaster. A rebuild is coming for this team, and perhaps it might involve moving one or both of those guys, but if it comes to that, I doubt it occurs this season.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Andrew Ladd isn’t happy with his performance this season, but his teammates are happy with his leadership.

Eberle avoiding sophomore jinx.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Jordan Eberle isn’t suffering a sophomore slump, as he’s on pace for an 85-point season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle has been overshadowed by teammates Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but he may be the best of the Oilers trio of young star forwards.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs will be getting more grit as Mike Komisarek and Mike Brown return to the lineup.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Chris Phillips returns to the lineup tonight as his club takes on the Philadelphia Flyers.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens haven’t won consecutive game since early December, and hope to break that streak tonight against Tampa Bay. The Canadiens won their last game, downing the Winnipeg Jets 7-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m so old, I can remember when the only streak anyone in Montreal cared about was the Canadiens streak of Cup championships.


  1. Meh– Luongo has had the ball in the bulk of the starts in last 3 weeks. It’s the kids hometown and he has proven that he deserves some starts against top teams too.

  2. I feel for the Flames fans out there .. I really do. What I would find extremely frustrating, is the fact the Flames have been in this very same boat for years .. without any measurable improvement. Guys like Iggy and Kipper can still play, and play well. But with a limited supporting cast of; Gio and Jaybo, there’s really not much to cheer for after that. Either piss or get off the pot Feaster .. stop applying bandaids like Jokinen and Tanguay .. and put this team through some major surgery. The team as is, will not win the cup and the star players currently on the team don’t have much time left as true impact players, so I don’t think they can withstand a legit rebuild. How did they acquire Iggy? They had to give up an impact player at the time; Joe Nieuwendyk. So if you’re in the same boat as the Flames, and you don’t have a definite future impact player in the system, how do you acquire one? If you can’t get one through the draft, then by moving an impact player in their early 30’s to a contending team with one they feel they can spare, so they can win now. It’s not rocket science. I’m not saying Feaster’s job would be easy, but he’s gotta do something between now and the upcoming draft. I’m pretty sure Iginla does have a full NMC, so anything potentially done with him, has to be approved by him and his camp .. however .. I think Kipper’s NMC expires after this season. If anyone knows, the specific details of his contract please let the rest of us know.

  3. Eberle great hands, Nuge great vision, Hall brings all the arrogance. When he was out of the line up the we can beat anyone attitude dissappeared.

  4. F#ck you Bruins. THAT is what would have happened if the refs brought the rulebook to the finals.

  5. Jordan Eberle is the real deal. He will be a force in this league and with Team Canada for a long time. The Oilers hit the jackpot with their young talent.

  6. Lyle, we are both the same age, so I do remember that also, so your not alone.

    As far as the playing Schneider instead of Luongo against the Bruins,Vigneault could care less what is written in the press. He spent three years in Montreal under the spotlight.Under constant fire everyday. As a veteran coach, he enjoys feeding the press what ever he desires and has them for lunch, the same way the Montreal media had him for lunch on occasion. Deflect the attention from your players on to yourself, hmmm, I think someone use to do that alot, when he was coaching. I wonder who ?