NHL Canadian Corner – March 28, 2014

Canadiens beat the Red Wings, Canucks narrowly fall to the Avalanche, Jets bite the Sharks, plus the latest on Bobby Ryan, Phil Kessel, Ryan Jones and Brian McGrattan.

Tomas Plekanec celebrates one of his two goals against the Red Wings.

Tomas Plekanec celebrates one of his two goals against the Red Wings.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Tomas Plekanec scored twice as the Canadiens extended their winning streak to four games with a wild 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tyson Barrie scored in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Yannick Weber and Zack Kassian scored for the Canucks.

WINNIPEG SUN: Tobias Enstrom’s third period power-play goal lifted the Jets to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens maintained a two-point lead over Tampa Bay for second in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings still hold the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Canucks pick up a point but are five points out of playoff contention in the Western Conference, while the Jets are nine points back.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Hernia surgery brings Senators winger Bobby Ryan’s season to an end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a happy ending to Ryan’s first season with the Senators. Could it be his last? Discuss.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel rose to the defense of team captain Dion Phaneuf, who’s become the whipping boy for Toronto fans and media over the Leafs recent demise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel is usually reticent with the press so you know he felt strongly about defending his captain, who’s unfairly become the scapegoat for the Leafs defensive woes. Phaneuf is not being employed properly, as coach Randy Carlyle is trying to use him in a two-way role as he did with Chris Pronger in Anaheim. Phaneuf is a good puck-moving defenseman who’s doing his best in the role he’s been given, but he’s no Chris Pronger. 

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers forward Ryan Jones absorbs the pain of shot-blocking.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames enforcer Brian McGrattan reflects on playing 300 NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McGrattan’s overcome personal demons to become a more effective role player during his NHL career. 


  1. I believe it will be his last almost full season…Ryan will go home to Philly or NJ. He knows the vault will open for him there plus playing close to home, can hardly blame him. Cant see him signing an extension before becoming a UFA. Again no sense bidding against yourself, this time its from a player perspective.

  2. What could be interesting is get a good defense first D Man play him with Gardiner as the top pair and see how Rielly and Dion do together as a second unit. Similar to the year he almost won the Norris he was playing with another puck mover Anders Erikksson. Before that he was paired with Hamerlik never really played with Regher. The other reason it takes him away from the heavy matchup reduces his icetime (he plays his best game with less minutes) gives him a set up guy for the bomb from the point. Gunnarrsson Kostika and the like are not near quality enough for him to play with. Dion has been hung out to dry in To.

    • Leaves Gunnarsson and Gleason as the bottom pair. Granberg perhaps as the 7.

  3. Bobby Ryan, I’m confident that the Senator’s mngt. is more than aware of his current contract status and will want to get an idea of his intentions before he has the opportunity to opt for free agency. I’m not convinced its a done deal that he wants to sign in Philadelphia or N.J. This idea that players want to play in their home towns is completely overblown. Like most players he’ll probably choose to go wherever he can enjoy the most success. (Something he was doing quite well in Ottawa before his injury in November.) Whether the Senator’s will actually want to offer him a big contract is another story…

    • Could success depend on who he feels is closer to being a contender? If so I think even If you take money out of the picture I think the answer is still Philly which happens to be very close to home. The Sens will have to feel things out agreed, but I believe he will not be in Ottawa for another full season.

  4. Well, I was at the Habs game last night with a bunch of family and my 5 month old boy (all decked out in Habs gear of course). What a game! We had a great night and even the wings fans showered my son with compliments. Just a great night. We had brought our good friend who was a wings can and we were both hoping for a 3 point game but I’m always very happy when the Habs win, especially when I’m paying good money to sit close! Lol. Great game by patch/DD/Tommy V! Also, we were in the end where the Habs shot twice and my mothers fav player is Plekanec. So to have him blast home 2 right in front of her (we were 8 rows off the ice) was really nice. She was screaming her lungs out hahahahaha. Two more wins and we are definitely in the playoffs.