NHL Canadian Corner – Sunday, February 10, 2013.

Recaps of all Saturday’s games featuring Canadian NHL teams.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE/CALGARY SUN: Jordan Schroeder scored twice and Cory Schneider made 33 saves as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 5-1. Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, and Alex Burrows all had two-point nights for the Canucks. Lee Stempniak scored the Flames only goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s two straight wins for Schneider, which should heighten media calls for the Canucks to trade Roberto Luongo.  Don’t expect management to be swayed by this. Until GM Mike Gillis gets his asking price, Luongo isn’t going anywhere.

James Reimer backstopped Leafs to 6-0 pounding of the Canadiens.

James Reimer backstopped Leafs to 6-0 pounding of the Canadiens.

TORONTO STAR/MONTREAL GAZETTE: James Reimer made 37 saves and Phil Kessel scored and set up two others as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the hapless Montreal Canadiens 6-0. A bit of controversy erupted late in the game, when Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty claimed Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski bit him on the arm in a scrum.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A week ago, Maple Leafs fans hated their roster and wanted half of them (including Kessel) traded. Three straight wins later, they’re positively giddy over the club’s improvement. A week ago Canadiens fans were entranced by their club’s strong start, but three straight losses later, they’re now complaining their club is too small and too soft and half the roster should be traded. Tune in next week around this time to see if the roles reverse again!

WINNIPEG SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: Al Montoya won the battle of the backups over Ben Bishop, as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the Ottawa Senators 1-0.  Montoya made 33 saves for the win, while Bishop turned aside 36. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored the game’s only goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hate to say it, but that game was the least exciting of all those involving Canadian teams yesterday. It was hockey at its dullest.

DETROIT NEWS/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Niklas Kronwall’s third period power-play goal lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, which suffered its fifth straight loss. Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made his season debut and couldn’t be faulted for the loss, looking sharp as he made 28 saves.


  1. Spector – Unless you count about the last 2 1/2 – 3 minutes of each period where the Sens found life and had the Jets scrambling, but Montoya was just golden … ya it was a lackluster game.

  2. I am sensing some sarcasm in Lyles leaf canadians post. Lol

    The big difference as Cherry pointed out last night is the addition of McClaren and Frazer. These two guys have single handedly added 2ft and 50lbs on to every Leaf player. Suddenly you have guys like Grabo protecting his teammates and jumping into scrums. I still don’t see much improvement is Orr’s game so as soon as Brown is cleared to play I’d sit Orr. I can’t believe Frazer was passed up and available. I wonder if NJ just got sick of his salary arbitration attempts. I wonder where Gardiner fits in when he’s ready to come back?

  3. The canadiens have no business trying to stir up trouble with any team.
    Plekanec is such a crybaby it makes me sick. He gets hit by Orr. His reaction is to throw Orr’s stick down the ice. You know who throws stuff? Kids who don’t get their way. When plekanec got up off the ice after almost being hit by a train, did you see the look on his face? Something in between get me the Kleenex, and I’m not getting what I want.
    Prust could be a great player, but he is a joke as a tough guy. Bourque has no business stepping up to Orr. Two guys to take on grabovski and three to take on Orr. Pacioretty is upset that grabo bit him. Well boo hoo Max. Call 911 if your so upset. Prust throws a cheap shot at grabo. Patch face locks grabo from behind. If you look carefully, grabo’s mouth and nose are covered by Max’s forearm. When a fight becomes two on one, the kid gloves are off. I love how grabo didn’t shy away from max, even though max is at least 5 inches taller than he is.
    What a game!!!!!!

    • Agree one hundred percent on the Grabo bit. After the cheap shot taken by Prust on Grabo then followed up by Patch cranking Grabo’s head back by wrapping his arm around Grabo’s nose and mouth its all out war “do what you can to get free of the hold”. It’s possible Grabo couldn’t breath since Patch’s wrist was tightly secured over Grabo’s nose and mouth as he wrenched his head back.

      The bigger story is that Riemer has the 8th best save percentage in the NHL. Sooooo glad Nonis didn’t take on Lu’s contract.

    • Graboski is a weasel and deserves to be treated like one.

      • Good one shaker
        The habs really made a great choice with the crap-stitsens over grabovski.

        • Ahhh – did I hit a sore spot with the poor sensitive Toronto fan?

  4. Burke must be pissed watching all his moves come together. Riemer is proving to be a number one guy, Kadri is finally NHL ready and playing responsible, Eakins continues to get AHL lifers ready for the NHL giving the Leafs a ton of players to choose from, JVR is showing why he was picked second over all. To bad Burke was such a big mouth ego maniac. He was also way to loyal to Wilson and his undeserving veterans like Komiserik and Connelly. I like Nonis’s – play big and play hard or we have lots of guys on the Marlies that will.

  5. It was great watching the Leafs humiliate the Habs in their own barn as its happened once too often to the Leafs themselves in recent years.

    It seems Carlyle, with the backing of Nonis, is making it clear, you either play and compete or your out of here. Colton Orr, McClaren & Frazer are definitely making a difference and Komarov is the yip yap that stirs the pot it seems.

    As for the Grabbo bite? Well you know, you stick your hand in the mouth of somebody and a lot of things can go wrong so if you get bit, well you what, too damn bad. Why blame the dog for biting you if you stuck you unkind hand in his mouth. Wankin bunch of babies honest to God.

    But now the Leafs go and play at home where they seem to lay one egg of useless after another. Cherry blames the fans..Well like Babcock said on the Red Wings/Kings game today..” the fans pay to see us win.not just show up and skate..so its our job to find a way to do that”..and he’s right. So like Lyle said, should be interesting to see who’s on what bandwagon and when.

    Still think Kessel is not likely to stay and I still think they need a front line centre so that hasn’t changed in my mind but they are improving as a team so lets hope last nights game can carry over on Monday.

  6. Don’t know if I agree with Grabo biting (if he indeed did) but last I checked it wasn’t “code” to grab at someone’s face either. Two wrongs don’t make a right but if you suspend one you should suspend both.

    For those still thinking of trading Kessel, the first line of Kessel-Bozak-JVR might look pretty good, might not need a hulking centre if JVR can fill the power foward role. A second line of Frattin-Kadri-Lupul followed by a third line of Kulemin-Grabovski-Komarov might not be all that bad (guess that leaves MacArthur as trade bait). If they could trade one of Grabo-Kadri-Bozak to get a top centre than that would be interesting. Kadri looks like he has the skill to be top guy but if you need size then a package with him for a top centre would be interesting. The Leafs also have McClement who would be a solid 3rd line centre. Though as I write this it brings up the Leafs main problem, too many 1B or 2As and not enough 1A talent to compete with Pitt, LA, STL, etc. As for MTL, they have the same problem, Desharnais, Plekanec, and Eller are no way to go for top 3 C’s. Desharnais would be a sweet 2nd line centre, and Pleks could be a good 3rd line, but they need a top C as well. Both the Leafs and Habs could use MacKinnon in this years draft.

  7. the Flames can take a great performance from Irving as a positive from this game, the final score gave no indication of just how great he played … perhaps it’s a sign that there is life after Kiprusof and that Calgary can seriously explore the market for him and Iginla at the deadline. the positives for the Canucks were all over the place from the Sedins coming to life, Schroeder scoring his first & second goals, secondary scoring happening without most of the regular 2nd line, contributions from every line and another solid performance from Scneider … maybe the Canucks don’t need to trade Luongo at the deadline instead seeing how far they can ride the 2 headed monster they have in net.

  8. @TGunn12..the pure act of biting as it applies to hockey and all we understand of the game is not cool. However, when an opposition player decides to deliberately test that theory of restraint knowing full well his team is being smoked on national TV and decides to then turn up the heat anyways is quite another matter.In short..too bad and the tears from the Habs themselves and their fans are not justified.

    Kessel is a wonderful one dimensional hockey player who is trying to learn how to be a complete hockey player without the puck. Bless him for that and he’s making progress.But as others have pointed out, he will be a UFA at the end of next season and likely, barring the unforeseen, will move on from Toronto and seek more $ elsewhere. That’s what’s best for Phil Kessel but from the Maple Leafs point of view, a trade that nets them good usable pieces now and in the future would be great and that is where Nonis is presently fielding offers. Kessel may shock us all and say hey man, I want to stay here but most believe that he will move on and then be done with the Leafs

    Phil Kessel and whether to stay here or go is not about Phil and the Leafs, but rather about what is best financially for Kessel and his long term plans to win a Stanley Cup and that will likely determine, more than anything ,the $ or cents that Kessel demands from the Leafs or anybody else for that matter.

    • Yes because when you look at other players hat make his kind of money, you can clearly see that Phil was overvaluating himself with his salary demands and all about the money because let’s ignore the fact hat he was ill treated by his former employer and did not see eye-to-eye with his former coach as many young talented players often do.

  9. To all the leafs fans who are talking big after saturday night, it’s time to put things into prespective, the Leafs are not any better then the Habs. When they start to play the big boys of the NHL you will get a true sense of where the Leafs development is.