NHL Canadian Corner – January 9, 2012.

Canucks coach lashes out at Bruins Brad Marchand…Oilers Taylor Hall picking up the pace…Maple Leafs face high stakes in second half…Senators rally past Flyers…This week’s Flames sub-plots…Jets mid-season awards…Canadiens season may not be lost after all.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault remains angered at Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand for his low hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo, warning someday Marchand could himself be injured by a player taking matters into his own hands.

Taylor Hall stepping up for Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand faces a disciplinary hearing with the league today over that hit. In the meantime, perhaps the Canucks might consider taking a page from Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban’s method of dealing with Marchand.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Forward Taylor Hall has been among the few bright spots for the Oilers on their current tough road trip.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While it appears this will be another season of frustration for the Oilers, players like Hall mean there won’t be many more seasons like this in the club’s near future.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs face higher stakes in the second half of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because, for the first time in years, the Leafs have a good chance at making the playoffs.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators overcame a 4-2 deficit, scoring four unanswered goals to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators’ defensive game still needs work, but their offensive game remains strong.

CALGARY SUN: A look at five subplots for the Flames this week, including their first game against the LA Kings since they hired former Flames GM Darryl Sutter as their head coach.

WINNIPEG SUN: Hands out it’s mid-season awards to the Jets, ranking goalie Ondrej Pavelec as the team’s MVP of the first half.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens recent two-game win streak suggests their season might not be lost after all.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s gonna take more than that, in my opinion. to save their season. Talk to me when you’ve climbed into a playoff spot.


  1. One thing is Clear the Canadiens are a different team now that RC has taken over the coaching duties.
    This teams seems upbeat and playing hard and playing to win and not playing not to lose! The next 5 games should be a good indicator as to whether or not this team has turned the corner or not! It seems to me that this team looks totally different that the one Martin had. If they can get the Injured players back, they Could surprise everyone and I say “Could”. They are not as bad as many people make this out to be. I see a trade coming soon once injuries are back. My hope would be and, it won’t happen but maybe The kings will take gomez and a prospect/ draft pick for Penner (why if peener does not work out that would free up money. But that is a pipe dream (i like Gomez but with Lars emerging time is limited fro him).
    I really would personally like to see them get Malone from Tampa, but hey that is why we dream. I personally like what i am seeing from this team now!

  2. That should read “Leafs coach Wilson faces high stakes in the second half”. No playoffs, No job.

  3. FireWilson- you crack me up. I love the post.

  4. Unreal that in this competitive league a coach can get a contract extension as a Christmas gift. I have been a dire hard Leafs fan all my life and this guy is not a good coach for this young team. A few losses ago against Panthers when asked what was the turning point of the game his response was “the opening face-off”. What a terrible thing for a group of young players hear their coach say. Leafs will NOT be successful with this man behind the beach..EVER. He has no emotion or passion.. and I swear he is drilled to the back of the bench , never moves. FIRE WILSON and hire Doug Gilmour. Doug bleeds blue and white and cares about the team. He is also great with young players…Go leafs.. at least as far as you can with the TIN MAN as head coach.

  5. Thanks for another look at that PK hit. That was a beauty. Watching Marchand catch his breath on the bench was priceless.

    Changes in Montreal came too late. Playoff contention is a very long shot at this point. But we know they will not submit to a rebuild and will play for 9th spot. There are a couple of moves that may make for an improvement both now and also contribute to a mini rebuild. One of Cammy or Gionta has to go, and bring back a cheaper, bigger, true third liner. In so doing, the team is both better now since we are getting some real third line capacity, and in the long term because we have freed up cap space. I would do that even if we are still battling for a playoff spot. Any takers?

  6. Well it’s pretty tough to hit Marchand when he’s turtling. Tough to fight him when he won’t drop them.

  7. @ Casey………I am pretty sure there is a long list of takers if Cammalieri is available.

  8. A long list of takers for Cammy? Not sure. He has had a piss poor season. A good team looking for a playoff sniper may want him, but his contract may be a problem for most of those teams. Gionta also offers snipe and leadership to a playoff bound team, but again, the contract sucks a little. They are not bad players. We just have too many small ones. DD is costing us so much less, is younger, and is working his ass off. One of the cash cows has to go.

  9. It’s funny how Alian is crying about the Marchand hit..but forgets that six of his Canuccks were jumping on Thornton in front of him! Then, when Thornton challenged his players, they did nothing. Please, Canuck fans, we have had enough of your complaining. Remeber, when Marchand was speed bagging Sedin in the play-offs not one of your Canucks challenged him. How embarassing is that? You saw the Bruins respond when one of them was attacked.

  10. I forgot about that hit on Marchand. Kronwall-esque. I don’t like to endorse injuring players as I believe the game has enough of that without actively intending to do it, but I will say if there is one player I was actually happy to see get cleaned out like that, it’s Marchand.

  11. @ Jimmy
    actually, all I’ve heard/read since Sat. afternoon are Bruin fans and coach complaining and making lame-ass excuses for a dirty play. Your team lost, deal with it.

  12. as a quasi-fan of Boston dating back to the Andy Moog, Nealy/Oats days, it’s actually more embarrassing as a Boston fan, in that the Art Ross trophy winner takes several punches to the head with a gloved hand, barely even flinches, has restraint and decides not to waste his time or energy on some rookie pest.

    There were are lot of things to be proud of with Boston’s Cup win, but that was not one of them.

  13. lol great hit by PK. im sure the bruins play by play guy jack edwards found a way to say it was dirty and how much everybody hates subban because of plays like that. then explain how great the bruins are.

  14. hal gill for john scott

  15. @Ace Newton
    I was at the game and found it entertaining. I am not complaining about the loss. Vancouver took advantage of the 5 on 3 power play and won. I am complaining about this non-stop complaining from people who say that Boston is a cheap team, when Vancouver jumped Thornton 5 to 1!! Vancouver should look in the mirror, realize it got out-hit, out-played, out-scored and shut down in the Stanley Cup finals by these “cheap” Bruins and move on. As for the “Art Ross winner” who showed constraint, please, where were his teammates to help him with this “rookie”?

  16. @Casey: Great post. I agree the Habs will end up playing for 9th and end up with a mediocre 1st. Trading Cammalleri will get a return. The early season was abouyt injury but he is showing signs of hus old self. How about Cammy and Nokelainin to Buffalo for Boyes and Gaustad? The money works and I woud love to have Gaustad as our shutdown centre. I’m sure there will be a lot of holes poked in this, same division trade the most obvious…
    As for Gomez, I think he will be given a chance to come back but RC I think has free reign to put him permanently in the pressbox if he under performs again. I mean, what is PG going to do? Fire him? he has to coach the team into the playoffs if he is to have a chance at keeping his job and ho else do they get? Demers? Therien? Carbo? Really????

  17. Well I’m not sure just how much the stakes raise in the second half for the Leaf players as such but you can be fairly sure that Wilson will be shown the door should they not make the playoffs again.

  18. i watched the Boston vs Vancouver game live and saw typical Bruin behavior in the first melee when Thornton attacked Burrows. if you step back and try to look at how it started objectively what you see is Burrows tap Paille’s skate as they go to the bench, (a barely noticeable incident that happens all the time WITHOUT any of the fallout that followed) Thornton sees this and gives Burrows a two hander to the back of the leg, Burrows turns and holds up his stick then Thornton knocks it away and attacks punching Burrows in the head. i’ll stop with the description to ask a question of the Boston supporters. what would your team do if a knuckle dragging 4th line goon attacked Seguin or some other smaller player known more for his skill than his fighting ability. to save time i will answer for you as well you would go after him on masse to protect your player. Burrows is Vancouver’s top line winger with 4 times the goals of Thornton (who also has more penalty minutes than shots, another telling stat). as far as Lucic being thrown out you have to ask yourself who he was replacing on the line change, despite the NHL’s response after the game i would bet a large amount of money that he was supposed to replace Thornton as they’re both left wingers. i don’t think even the most ardent Boston fan would deny that the Bruins were trying to intimidate the Canucks but they stepped over the line and got penalized for it eventually this tactic cost Boston the game as the Canucks powerplay made them pay.