NHL Canadian Corner – March 3, 2014

Senators rally to down Canucks in Heritage Classic, plus the latest on Roberto Luongo, James Reimer, Markus Granlund, Peter Budaj and more.

Cody Ceci celebrates his goal against the Canucks in the Heritage Classic.

Cody Ceci celebrates his goal against the Canucks in the Heritage Classic.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Ottawa Senators overcame a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goals to down the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in the Heritage Classic before over 54, 000 fans at BC Place. The Canucks also lost forward Daniel Sedin (left hamstring) after he was hit by Senators defenseman Marc Methot. Province columnist Ed Willes believes Canucks coach John Tortorella blundered by not starting Roberto Luongo in goal for this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sedin’s injury and sitting Luongo for this game merely added to the sense the Canucks season is spiraling out of control. That’s stoking speculation management could make a major move or two before the trade deadline.

TORONTO SUN: Could James Reimer get the start when the Maple Leafs face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets? Reimer hasn’t started a game since January 25, when he was chased from the net in a loss to Winnipeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Might not be a bad idea. The Leafs risk burning out Jonathan Bernier down the stretch if they don’t give him a break now and again.

CALGARY SUN: Brothers Markus and Mikael Granlund will face each other for the first time in an NHL game when Markus’ Flames face off tonight against Mikael’s Wild.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens backup Peter Budaj has played well spelling off injured starter Carey Price.

WINNIPEG SUN: League vagabonds Adam Pardy and Keaton Ellerby have found a home on the Jets blueline.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers power play continues to struggle.


  1. Reimer is considered pretty much garbage by Nonis and Carlyle at this point. He will be gone, gone, gone this summer.

    • Reimer could be the poster boy for the “Nice Guys Finish Last” club. If ever there was a case to be made for someone being royally screwed, this is it. There was never a “competition” for the niumber one job. It was Bernier’s to lose right from the outset. All Carlyle had to do was wait for Reimer to falter, which he eventually did, and voila, we have a winner! IMO, the playing field was tipped in Bernier’s favour. They(Nonis & Carlyle) wanted/saw Bernier as the answer between the pipes, and there seemed to be a whole lot more grace and patience for his performances then for the incumbent, Reimer. Even the media point of view seemed skewered in Bernier’s favour. When Reimer suffered a loss, the attention was focused squarely on him, and how it affected the ongoing “competition”, but a Bernier defeat, was nearly always the result of poor defensive play in front of him. The same defense that plays in front of Reimer, I might add! Just recently, I worked up the nerve to revisit last year’s stunning and heart wrenching game seven loss to the B’s. After viewing the highlights open mindedly several times, I cannot fathom how this loss came to be pinned on Reimer. If Bernier had trouble coping with the traffic created by the smallish Habs’ forwards, how will he ever handle the behemoths like Charra come play-off time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to diminish Bernier’s performance this season, I just don’t think Reimer got a fair shake when all is said and done!

      • I think Reimer’s weaknesses has been evident since he started playing in Toronto. His greatest weakness is his rebound control, and I’d have to say it’s pretty bad. His glove hand has always been poor, but it has improved to some degree. I think the Leafs see a lot more upside in Bernier in that he doesn’t have a really big weakness to his game. He’s let a few soft ones in this year, but he’s a first-year starter and as he gains confidence and becomes accustomed to the role, I think those will diminish. I personally believe that these errors made on Berniers part are much easier to deal with than the rebound control problems that Reimer has. Reimer has had a few years to work on his rebound control and hasn’t taken a great step in that regard, which is why I personally believe Bernier has a much higher upside, and makes the game easier for his defensemen to play in front of him.
        Reimer has had his chance to be a number 1, and he played well, but he still had/has some significant holes in his game. Bernier is now being given the chance – I don’t really understand how anyone can say that Reimer has never been given a chance.

      • @Bowman – very well written. You should be writing for the TO Star buddy. I couldn’t agree more. 100% bang on.

        @TML – also well written but you fail to realize Reimer at 25yrs old after only three season of playing less then 104 games (mostly due to injury) was not given a full chance of being the number one. Every year the Leaf brass would bring in another guy to be the starter (Toskla/ Gustavsson) which Reimer would beat out. This year was supposed to be his year to have the number one starter role handed to him after earning it at the tail end of last season and the playoffs. You are right he has rebound issues and maybe in the end Bernier is the better goalie but I think the right way would have been to trade Reimer to a team that would have appreciated his skill set and made him the number one. Destroying his confidence and jumping on him after a loss as Bowman pointed out was disrespectful. He was heart and sole guy as some say Dion is, but Dion was given the keys to MLSE and granted a long extension while Reimer was shoved to the back of the bus and told “we have someone better”. Poor player management is what it boils down to and I’m sure most players noticed how he was treated. To bad..

        • At least hes not luongo in vancouver. I really feel bad for the guy. Talk about being thrown under the bus repeatedly.

  2. BTW Berniers last two starts his save percentage was .857 and .866. No big deal he’s rusty coming off a two week layoff but if this was Reimer he wouldn’t have made it out of the first period of the first game without being pulled. Just sayin…

  3. Holy Reimer fan club…lol, at the end of the day he hasnt really played all that well this year. I like him too been great the past couple years but Bernier has been alot better than him this year. Im not sure Reimer really got an equal shot but he did have some chances and didnt exactly run with it if you look at his numbers over the season. In his last 5 games he has a .842 sv% and a gaa just under 4 thats not good. His numbers for the season are not much better. Even Berniers past couple of rough starts are better than Reimers last 5.