NHL Canadian Corner – March 12, 2012.

Flames move back into eighth in the West…Leafs fall to Capitals…Jets struggling on the road…Erik Karlsson becoming focus of attention…Andrei Markov adds punch to Habs power-play…Nikolai Khabibulin frustrated over lack of wins…Canucks management concerned with officiating.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames moved back into eighth overall in the Western Conference, downing the Minnesota Wild 4-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings and Avalanche are tied with the Flames with 76 points, but the Flames hold eighth on the basis of goals. This isn’t the first time this season the Flames have reached a playoff spot, but they’ve struggled to hold onto a berth. They’ll need to step it up down the stretch.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs playoff hopes took another blow on Sunday, falling to the Washington Capitals 2-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are now eight points behind the eighth overall Capitals.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets must overcome their road jinx if they’re to secure a playoff berth. They’ve won only 11 games on the road this season.

Karlsson gaining attention from rival clubs.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson is becoming more of a focus of attention from rival teams.

LA PRESSE: The return of Andrei Markov provides valuable punch to the Canadiens listless power-play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully, Markov can remain healthy over the remainder of this season. His presence won’t be enough to overcome the Habs points deficit and get them into a playoff berth, but at least it’ll provide some confidence heading into the off-season, especially for Markov.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: A frustrated Nikolai Khabibulin is trying to find answers to win more games. He’s had only two victories since December 17th.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Part of the reason is the woeful defense that’s been in front of him this season.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks management is expected to voice concerns over inconsistent officiating during this week’s NHL GMs meetings in Florida.


  1. Not shocking the Canucks would be concerned. Montreal vs Vancouver was a physical and intense game and the refs let a lot go … ON BOTH SIDES. Honestly I get we have to enforce rules but that was one heck of a game I tell ya.

  2. NHL officiating has always been prone to wild swings game to game in comparison to other sports, but this season does seem exceptionally inconsistent. I’ve heard some rumblings that recently the referees have been unofficially instructed to allow hooking and other obstructions in an effort to slow down the pace (in an effort to reduce concussions). This might be baseless talk, but apparently the amount of PPs this season are at a 3 decade low!

    Above all, I still have an issue with the regular season being officiated differently than the regular season. The disparity is greater than any other major sport (by far) and as such adds a rather bush league element to our sport. What is a penalty in game 18 of the regular season should also be a penalty in the playoffs