NHL Canadian Corner – March 21. 2012.

Penguins crush Jets…Devils blank Senators…Avalanche nip Flames…Islanders pound hapless Maple Leafs…Hemsky leads Oilers to victory over Predators…Patrick Roy denies deal in place for him to take over as Canadiens head coach…Is Alain Vigneault’s tenure as Canucks head coach drawing to a close?…


Penguins shoot down Jets.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets could do little to slow the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins. Lead by Sidney Crosby (4 assists), James Neal (hat trick) and Evgeni Malkin (five points, including his 200th career NHL goal), the Pens humbled the Jets 8-4.

OTTAWA SUN: The New JerseyDevils nipped the Senators 1-0, thanks to a goal by Ilya Kovalchuk, the 400th of his NHL career.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames dropped their third straight game, falling 2-1 in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche. The Flames remain only two points out of a playoff berth, but they must snap out of this losing skid soon, or it’ll prove costly.

TORONTO SUN: A third period collapse by the Maple Leafs resulted in the NY Islanders emerging with a 5-2 victory. And the chants of “Fi-re Bur-kie” have begun.

EDMONTON SUN: Ales Hemsky netted his first career hat trick as the Oilers downed the Nashville Predators 6-3.

CANOE.CA: Quebec Remparts owner/GM/head coach – and Canadiens legend – Patrick Roy denied rumors he had a deal in place with the Montreal Canadiens to take over as head coach following this season. Roy has done well as a coach in junior hockey, but his hair-trigger temper would make him an angrier version of Michel Therrien, who to his credit had a better grip on his temper when he coached the Penguins than he did when he coached the Habs. And no, I don’t believe Roy would be a good choice to become Habs GM. Yes, he’s proven to have a good eye for talent at the junior level, but he lacks management experience at the NHL level, which in my opinion is what’s required if the Canadiens are to replace Pierre Gauthier as GM. If they want to hire him as assistant GM, to one day groom him for the big chair, fine.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher believes Alain Vigneault’s tenure as Canucks head coach is nearing an end. Unless, of course, the Canucks march on to the Cup Final again, in which case, never mind.


  1. The fans screaming for Burke’s head was inevitable especially considering that Carlyle has had little or no immediate winning effect on the team. Firing Wilson was Burke’s one last card to play before the finger pointing came in his direction and now the fans are doing just that.

    Considering that the Leafs have the most expensive management team in hockey and still can’t put together a winning formula to at least make the playoffs suggests to me anyways that this will be Burke’s last chance over the summer to make some serious changes in the personnel resulting in favorable on ice results otherwise it could likely be him being shown the door sometime over the next 12 months.

  2. Hard for a team to change quickly under a new coach.

  3. Totally agree about Patrick Roy Lyle. Even at coach I think assistant should be the starting point. Need someone respectable in the GM chair to improve the image. Like when the Canadiens grabbed Gainey. Everyone was more than happy to have a guy like him there because of the experience (and alum presence I’m sure). I’ve been reading that Carriere (current asst GM/coach) has the inside track for GM and he’s respected. I would like to see Cunny stay as a asst coach though.

    Bout time the Leafs fans started realizing the guy in the luxury suite is the one who assembled this mess. Phanuef has to go, or at minimum lose the “C”.

  4. I refuse to blame Carlyle for the Leafs woes now or until the end of the season. He was handed this dog’s breakfast of players and isnot responsible for them until he has had a training camp to impart his methods. Right now their top scorer, as the infamous Harold Ballard once said about a Leaf of Swedish ancestry, “who could go into a corner with a dozen eggs in his pocket and come out with twelve unbroken.”
    I am not saying that Kessel is not a good goal scorer, I am just saying that he has yet to win or even engage in a puck battle and needs a dictionary to comprehend the words back and check.
    Brian Burke is the architect of this debacle and rather than addressing long suffering Leaf fans about the “wonderful Kessel” and next years outdoor classic he should stand humble, hat in hand, while he apologizes for his mistakes and say that if it is not fixed come next year and the Leafs are not in the playoffs, he will resign.

  5. Joey I believe most fans are… Dumb. I mean they forget that rebuilds, however it is spun ie retooling, rebuild-on-the-fly etc are for the fans benefit. I never bought into a quick rebuild but I was in favor of acquiring some real talent since this team had none at all before Burke. So in 3 short years, considering from where the Leafs were to now, isn’t a big leap but there is progress. One example is the farm team. Ranked lower 20’s in prospect rankings to top 5 in that span of time. On the big club they still need time as the second youngest and possibly inexperienced team in the league they have to develop together and even though it seems like time is running out, it really isn’t because of the farm; however, that’s no guarantee that there will be success because of that but it improves the chances. I like what Burke has done so far which is stack the odds in his favor, it’s just those odds are not enough and the one area he was sure not to overlook really let him and the pervious coach, the team and its fans down was the goaltending. I’m not in anyway suggesting all that ails the Leafs is shoddy goaltending but man it’s a very big part of this mess. But seriously what can you expect you’re gonna have by now when Matt Stajan, Jason Blake and whoever was your top three and your top prospects were Tlusty and Poggie? Both fans and media need to realize that and take that in account when you evaluate this team and all it’s short commings…I think the Leafs halfway there to being a hockey team that can play and ways to go before they can compete in postseason play.

  6. @ Donnybrook: I also posted this the other day as well:….The Bruins beat up on the Leafs again last tonight and again schooled them on just how sh*tty, small and easily intimidated they are; and although Burke has done a decent job of replenishing a barren prospect and draft pick cupboard upon his arrival, this team is simply not big enough, tough enough or good enough to compete for a playoff spot and while a lot of money has been thrown at some of these players, the results are simply not there.

    Factor in shoddy goaltending, factor in Wilson and all he wasn’t, no first line centre for Kessel, inconsistent 2nd line scoring, plus Armstrong and Connolly spent the year trying to see which one could spent the most time on the injury list, plus hockey managements most expensive team blowing gas most of the year, and you have this years edition of sh*tshow Maple Leaf style and all at the leagues highest prices too.

    So when the fans start calling for Burke’s head after their cries for Wilson’s head were answered, you really can’t blame them..even,if as you say, they are dumb and don’t understand the process.

  7. I believe getting rid of Burke is a dumb move. He has made his mistakes but has also brought some great talent into the pool we wouldn’t have sniffed otherwise and I think that this team going forward will be exciting.

    I really do want to see Patrick Roy as head coach of the Canadians, but that is through Roy loving goggles and I can’t lie and say its anything else.

  8. Pierre McGuire for Habs GM.

  9. Hi JJB:
    I am not trying to be disrespectful but what talent has Burke brought to the pool?
    Kessel? Scorer but a huge defensive liability..
    Schenn? Horrible defensively and he is a defenseman.
    Phaneuf? Awful defensively. Over rated and over paid.
    Got rid of Kaberle? Fantastic move and the fact that he found someone, anyone to take him was act of brilliance.
    Gustovson? Jury is still out.
    Reimer? Great potential but Wilson may have ruined his confidence for years to come.
    Keeping Grabovski was a good move..at $5 + a season maybe not so good…we will see.
    Kadre? Maybe a good player but they will play him and see what he’s got to offer instead of sending him down every time he makes a mistake. They stuck with Schenn through thick and thin, what’s wrong with doing the same with Kafre?
    Some of Burke’s moves have a hint of intelligence – some not so much.
    Bottom line – being in his 4th year of a 5 year contract and with new owners coming in he will either head the Leafs into the playoffs or he will be told to take his big head outta town.