NHL Canadian Corner – Sunday, January 27, 2013.

Recapping the Maple Leafs-Rangers and Oilers-Flames games, plus the latest on Sergei Gonchar, Evander Kane, and Max Pacioretty.

Stempniak's 3 points helped Flames edge Oilers 4-3.

Stempniak’s 3 points helped Flames edge Oilers 4-3.

CALGARY SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Lee Stempniak (1 G, 2A) and Jay Bouwmeester (1G, 1A) led the way as the Calgary Flames held off the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in another entertaining game in the ongoing “Battle of Alberta”. Justin Schultz (1 G, 2 A), Jordan Eberle (1G, 1A) and Sam Gagner scored for the Oilers in a losing cause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be fun watching the ageing Flames clash with the young Oilers this season.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs blew a two-goal lead for the second straight game as the Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Leafs 5-2. Marian Gaborik powered the Rangers comeback with a four-point performance. Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk tallied for the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs goalie James Reimer made 37 saves and couldn’t be blamed for the loss, as the Leafs offense dried up after the first period, and their sloppy defense cost them against a very deep Rangers team. Still, it won’t surprise me if some pundits use this game as another reason for the Leafs to land Roberto Luongo from Vancouver.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar has maintained his close friendship with Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, which stretches back to Gonchar’s days with the Penguins. The Senators and Penguins face off today in Ottawa.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets forward Evander Kane is known more as a scorer, but he’s begun to incorporate more play-making into his game.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens offense suffered a blow as Max Pacioretty underwent an emergency appendectomy on Saturday and could be out a month.


  1. I thought Riemer played well and is climbing back to his old form.

    The problem was the so called “Top line” once again. I don’t even no why the announcers keep calling this a top line ever since Lupul got injured with only Kessel and Bozak left. Let’s face it Grabovski and Kulemin have just as much talant and so do JVR, Kadri and Frattin. Kessel has gone back to his old ways of staying to the outside because he’s to scared or fragile to head to the net. Bozak thinks he has Kessels talent so he does the same thing. These guys generated nothing all night as they rarely do against bigger teams.

    The only way to beat the Rangers is to nullify their top line and the only way to do that is to work harder then them and keep the puck in the Rangers end when they are on the ice. The Leaf’s did this for brief moments last night at the beginning but then fell apart.

    The Leaf’s are bigger and tougher then last year under Wilson but still a far cry from where they will need to be against teams like the Rangers and Boston. Here’s to a draft pick in the 8 to 12 range over all again. No top 3 pick and no playoffs. Boohoo

  2. The Leafs are starting to look like the team many of us know all to well. Reimer faced 42 shots. Tough to fault him for the loss given the shot total. Now Buffalo on Tuesday to face Ryan Miller. Hope they show up to play and not just psychologically mail in the two points once they see Miller standing there?

  3. The Leafs play against the Rangers, for the most part, could be termed the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. One of the bright spots was the good play of James Reimer and even though he was in net for four of the five goals (the fifth being an empty netted) he stopped chance after chance that a porous Leaf defense gave the Rangers. The other player who I though was good was James van Riemsdyk. He stood tall and gave as good as he got. It seemed many of the Leaf forwards were no match for the size and strength of the Rangers and overall the team was bad when it came to being able to contain the Broadway Blueshirts, especially their first line. Two players I am centering out for being just plain ugly last night are Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel. Aside from being on the ice for four New York goals, Phaneuf made so many poor choices and dumb plays you would have thought he was the rookie instead of his defense partner. How can a player who is making over $6 million a year and is the team captain justify last nights horror show? The other player who should have a hard time looking at himself in the mirror this morning is Phil Kessel. I want to call him Houdini for his ability to disappear in front of millions of Leaf fans who were watching the game. It seems that when the going gets tough and when then Leafs play a big, mean team Kessel takes a pass on the game. Even though both Mike Brown and Colton Orr to their credit set the tone right off the bat that no one was to pick on any Toronto players Kessel didn’t get the memo and instead mailed in last nights minus two performance.

  4. here we go again I love my leaf team but this is getting stupid I would use phil kessel has part of the package to Vancouver james reamer played not bad but the last 2 games they look like AHL goalies and dion phaneuf ever time he take’s a slapshot its head high,the new gm. better start working his iphone soon or year number 9 with out a play-off games will happen.

  5. I don’t understand why they keep trying to play Phanuef over 25 minutes a game. He would be fair better playing 20 mins each night. I don’t expect the leafs to make the playoffs and I am really excited to approach the deadline this year without a shot at them.