NHL Canadian Corner – November 1, 2013.

Latest on the Leafs goaltending, Canadiens still reaping rewards from former GM Gauthier, concern over the Canucks recent performance, the Senators shake up their lines, Oilers coach understands fans frustration, plus updates on Tobias Enstrom and Mikael Backlund.

Jonathan Bernier (l) and James Reimer are key to the Leafs strong start.

Jonathan Bernier (l) and James Reimer are key to the Leafs strong start.

SPORTSNET.CA: Chris Johnston on how the Maple Leafs goalie tandem of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer are key to the club’s strong start.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Leafs are among the league leaders in shots-against per game, they need strong performances from their tandem if they want to avoid lopsided losses. They must address this issue or risk burning out their goalies come playoff time.

SPORTSNET.CA: Ryan Dixon explains how the moves of former Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier (acquiring Lars Ellers and Michael Bournival, drafting Brendan Gallagher) have paid dividends for the Habs this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dixon isn’t saying the Canadiens were wrong to fire Gauthier, merely pointing out that not all of his moves were horrible.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher wondered if the Canucks latest lethargic loss was a “one-off” or a sign the club is tiring under John Tortorella’s demanding system.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: The Canucks are probably still adapting to Tortorella’s system. More time is needed to determine if they’ll better adjust as the season progresses or if their conditioning has become a problem.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators coach Paul MacLean is shaking up his lines in hopes of snapping his team out of its early season funk.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom has decided to pass on playing for Sweden’s Olympic team in Sochi, preferring to put his focus on this season with the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable. Enstrom is coming off two injury-shortened seasons and said he wants to use the Olympic break to rest and be better prepared for the final stretch of the regular season. 

CALGARY HERALD: Flames center Mikael Backlund is once again dealing with adversity, this time becoming a healthy scratch following a so-so start to the season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers coach Dallas Eakins says he understands the fans frustration over his club’s poor start, but insists he and his players aren’t giving up.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For most frustrated Oilers fans, action speaks louder than words.


  1. I posted here about 3 weeks ago and broke down all the top 9 players on the Oilers and posted along with that the size and age of the player ….the Oilers top talent is to small and the average weight is about 180 pounds in RNH Eberle Hall Yakupov Acton Arcobello and so forth …they are being out muscled in every area as well as out skated ….they have no insulation and no real veterans that can still play to weave with the play of young star players …..in other words the FORMULA is all wrong ….TOO YOUNG < TOO SMALL < TOO PRETTY and not enough power forwards combined with a slack offensive minded Defense creates odd man rushes and no support for the Goalies …they need 2 of them also !

  2. The BEST problkem to have right now in the NHL is 2 goalies who will play 40 games each and win 30 of them …..this is quite possibly the best tandem in the league by far !

    Senators ….I think Murray with his silent but deadly way to make trades should look at trading Anderson to Oilers help them with the Goalie situation and get a star player back to play with Ryan and Spezza ….Lehner is the go to guy in the not so distant future anyways !

    • If you ever listen to Bob Stauffer’s Oilers Now program, he has suggested something similar. Although he was more inclined to wait the Sens out until the summer when they have to re-sign Lehner. The Sens will value Lehner more, making Anderson more likely the one to be traded.

    • The problem with this is that it won’t address the Senators need to improve their defense. The Senators are my team and I love them, but Phillips is getting old, I am not a huge fan of Gryba, and Corvo is overrated. The Senators need another big 3rd line pairing guy … I’d be willing at this point to trade Anderson for a top notch 3rd pairing d-man, a back up goalie for Lehner and maybe a pick.

      If we aren’t going that way then the Senators need to be looking at picking up a top 6 power forward with some size who is responsible defensively in a deal and those are hard to come by. The only two forwards on the Oilers I would consider targeting are Jordan Eberle and David Perron and I am not sure they would part with them and/or that is what the need would be.

      • So your saying no to Yakupov?

        What about a Yakupov , Klefbomb, Dubnyk
        Cowan and Anderson and Greening

        • I would say no to Yakupov for sure, the last things the sens need is a self entitled guy who thinks hes great because he was drafted 1st over all. He doesn’t want to work for the win. seeing the way Galchenyuk plays in montreal you could probably contribute some of his juniors stats to that kid.

          Last time the sens gave up on a big bodied D man who could move the puck he went on to win the stanley cup, Cowen is young and is a good defense man with to much potential to give away. Cowen > Klefboom, Anderson > Dubnyk and well obviously yakupov out ranks greening but i dont think he fits in to the sens mold.

        • Worst trade ever
          Yak doesn’t play hard, klefbomb is unproven and dubie can’t stop a pick. Maybe if it was just for Anderson, but adding other players makes it an easy no

  3. Regarding Pierre Gauthier, you could say the same for Brian Burke’s time with the Leafs, beginning with a re-visit to the Phil Kessel trade. It’s not looking so bad right now, is it? Ditto for Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul, etc.