NHL Canadian Corner – November 29, 2013.

Canucks beat the Senators, Oilers blank the Predators, Canadiens blueliners P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov working well together, Flames lose Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman to injuries, plus updates on the Jets and Maple Leafs.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/OTTAWA CITIZEN: Thanks in part to a first intermission scolding from coach John Tortorella, the Vancouver Canucks rallied from a poor start to down the Ottawa Senators 5-2, chasing Senators starter Craig Anderson from the net in the process. Daniel Sedin scored his 300th career goal in the victory.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Canucks are still struggling with consistency, the Senators continue to lose ground in the Eastern standings.

Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov makes one of his 33 saves in his shutout of the Predators.

Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov makes one of his 33 saves in his shutout of the Predators.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Ilya Bryzgalov starred in his first start with the Oilers, making 33 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators, who also lost captain Shea Weber when he was struck in the face by a puck and didn’t return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have now won four of their last five games. Perhaps they’re finally righting what was until recently a steadily listing ship.Oh, and so far, Bryzgalov has been anything but an “unnecessary distraction” for the Oilers.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov have been a dynamic duo on the Canadiens blueline this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Markov can stay healthy and productive over the remainder of the season the pairing should remain among the best in the league.

CALGARY SUN: Flames rookie Sean Monahan is day-to-day with a fractured left foot while veteran defenseman Dennis Wideman could miss up to two months with a broken bone in his left hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those are two roster losses for the rebuilding Flames.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets coach Claude Noel downplayed what’s considered a minor squabble in practice yesterday with captain Andrew Ladd.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s all it may have been, but expect those folks currently engaged in a death watch on Noel’s coaching tenure with the Jets to use this as ammunition to claim his job is in jeopardy.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs early strengths appear to be fading.


  1. 4 wins in their last 10 a .500 team since the first 2 weeks of the regular season when they were stealing games they should have lost due to goaltending and special teams…not a playoff team unless there is a big change in attitude and compete level. Its only been 90 games for Randy but its been spread over nearly 2 years and the D is no better than it was when Wilson was here and the offense is worse. Maybe just maybe Randy’s system dosent work with these type players. Somewhere between Wilsons run and gun no d system and Randys you need a degree in rocket science and big forwards with some Skill (Getzlaf Perry Penner Phalsson Moen May Thornton)and Norris winning D (Pronger Niedermayer.) Somewhere between the far left and far right of coaching there is probably a happy medium that would suit the Leafs typ players more and bring more success. I get that Randy has won a cup but there are other coaches around who have some pretty good credentials Carbonneau 3 rings winning coaching record Laviolette has a ring winning record. There are some candidates around that could be better fits for this club.

    • ‘There are some candidates around that could be better fits for this club.’ Like who?

      • Slowly sound out the words in the last 3-4 sentences…maybe a couple will come to you.

    • Pretty sure that goaltending and special teams are part of hockey – pretty sure that Randy Carlyle is an improvement over the previous coach – pretty sure that we’ll know a lot more about this team at the end of December and that calls to replace the head coach are just a tad premature.

      • Not saying he is not better than Wilson I agree he is Im not saying he isnt a good coach. I am saying he might not be the right coach. 16th in pk isnt good and even Wilson had a pretty decent power play. Randy has better goalies than Wilson had aswell.

      • What happens if it continues in Dec? Going to trade the team? Should they miss the playoffs before Nonis and the gang figure it out would that make you feel better?. Ive seen enough I think, 2 years with Randy and no real improvement and he has been given the types of tools he wanted to do the job. No sense beating your head against a wall then complaining you have a headach. Fire Carlyle.

  2. I’m not a Leafs fan by any stretch of the term (quite the opposite really), but I’ve always been intrigued by the revolving door strategy the team has in terms of player personnel.

    The team made the playoffs for the first time since 2004 last year, and management decides its time to blow up the ship again. Guys that played on the Leafs last year that are gone include MacArthur, Grabo, Frattin, Liles, Komorov, Kostka, O’Byrne, Hamilton, Brown, Steckel, Komisarek, Colbourne, Scrivens and Rynnas, and they’ve added Raymond, Bolland, Smith, Ranger, Clarkson, Bodie, Holland, Smithson and Bernier.

    Obviously a lot of these moves are for the best, but I can’t think of any teams who have been successful for a prolonged period of time that move guys in and out like the Leafs do. Looking at their roster, they don’t have many players developed from within (Kadri, Kulemin, Reilly, Reimer and Gunnarson are the only guys that I can think of and most of them are being suggested as trade bait by fans). Seems to me that they really need to work on internal player developement and let the team become a team, rather than switching staff more than a fast food resturaunt.

    • Well its been 2 coaches over the past 5 almost 6 years not an over amount of hiring and firing there…a couple of the player moves I have agreed with, but to a point thats what I am getting at now the calls to trade Gardiner, Phaneuf Kadri this guy and that guy because of struggling is overkill. It has taken a few years to develop the talent thats here and although not all were drafted by this club its still young and potentially very good. Now deal all that away too? Look at the reason its struggling systems or the message is not getting thru they develop to a point enough to get in the line up and then are over used (hello Dion Gardiner McClement and the goalies) or put in roles that dont suit them (Kessel and kadri are not cycle players Grabovski was not a checking center etc) at what point does it become clear the coach does not suit the team? You cant deal away a team to get players that suit your coach it should be the other way around.

      • I completely agree.

        The Leafs have some quality pieces, they just need to be used in roles that accommodate their skills. If Carlyle can’t or won’t adjust, its his turn to be shuffled out. Watching the team completely redo their roster every July seems to be a lateral movement rather than a forward one.

        • Exactly.

  3. Bryzgalov and others show us again that there is always the chance for players, coaches and teams to redeem themselves. Here’s hoping that Dallas Eakins and the Oilers keep on improving, and that Eakins’ former organization turns things around in December – not that the schedule favours redemption – but, hey, more good goaltending, a spell of scoring from Phil Kessel and others, and perhaps the Leafs bandwagon will start to regain some of the fickle fans that jumped off at the first sign of trouble.

    • Again read the comment not jumping any bandwagons great young team is what I said, dont think we should be dealing them away to suit a coach. I think this could be a very good team. Nonis gave Randy all the pieces and what has Randy done? Name 1 aspect of this team that has improved due to Randy. (Goaltending isnt his department.) Offence worse defense no better, but hey lets deal Kadri Phaneuf and Reimer that should help. 2 years still not a playoff team. Last year was the same thing as always strong start awful ending. Its just that it was a short season so the ending was not drawn out enough. Last April was a terrible month but they made the playoffs regardless. In a full sched. They would not have made the playoffs and they wont this year if things continue. The Leafs are not the Ducks. Get a coach who coaches to a teams strength instead of trying to make them something they are not.

  4. How bout now? Starting to think About it yet 6 straight road losses loose an out worked by the last place team that has only won 3 games in its past 10 and they beat you twice? Fire Carlyle. Or do you wanna blame the ref for being out worked again?