NHL Canadian Corner – Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

Recaps of the Wild-Canucks and Stars-Flames games, plus the latest on Mikhail Grabovski, Jakob Silfverberg, Justin Schultz, Alexander Galchenyuk & more.

STARTRIBUNE.COM/VANCOUVER PROVINCE: In what could be the last divisional game between the Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks, the Wild downed the Canucks 3-1. Charlie Coyle potted the game-winning goal for the Wild early in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Divisional realignment kicks in next season, which sees the Wild moving into a more central division, while the Canucks will be groupted with teams closer to the Pacific coast.

STAR-TELEGRAM/CALGARY HERALD: Loui Eriksson’s two goals lifted the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, snapping the Stars four-game losing skid.

Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski hasn't had much to celebrate this season.

Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski hasn’t had much to celebrate this season.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski is in the dog house of coach Randy Carlyle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans are blaming Carlyle for Grabovski’s struggles this season, believing he’s being used in the wrong role.Whatever the reason, Grabovski’s decline this season isn’t helping the Leafs’ efforts to clinch a playoff berth.

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers are taking steps to ensure they don’t burn out rookie blueliner Justin Schultz.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators rookie Jakob Silfverberg is turning heads with his lethal shot and solid two-way player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Silfverberg has really stepped up his play over the past couple of weeks, and his wrister is nearly as wicked as that of Colorado Avalanche great Joe Sakic. He’s among several reasons the injury-ravaged Senators remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Don’t expect Canadiens rookie Alexander Galchenyuk to suffer the same fate as Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko, who was recently demoted back to his Junior A team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Galchenyuk’s been a valuable addition to the Habs this season. He’s earned his roster spot.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff wasn’t impressed by speculation he worried over the development of prospect Mark Scheifele, who failed to stick with the club for the second straight season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame Cheveldayoff for being pissed about those rumors. Scheifele only just turned 20, and some players take a little longer than others to develop. Worry about him in a couple of years if he hasn’t earned a regular roster spot by that point.


  1. I have to figure Grabo is on the trade block at this point. The Leafs can’t be stuck with another Komi deal and have Grabo eventually sitting in the press box with 4 more years at 5.5M. It’s to bad the guy has heart, skill and always plays as well as his size will allow defensively.

    I now really wish they gave Dallas Eakins a try instead of Carlyle. Don’t get me wrong I like a lot of the things Carlyle has done I just think Eakins would have had more success with both the Vets and the young guns. I can’t see a coaching change even if the wheels fall off this year. It would take at least two years of missing the playoffs for Carlyle to get canned in favour, but Eakins will most likely be gone by then.

  2. If it happens, I’ll be interested to see how Kadri, Lupul and Frattin do together. Might be a decent line. Sure wish Kessel would get hot.
    As for the Canucks, two words – Cody Hodgson.

    • Kessel is limited with Bozak centering the line. Last year the Kessel/Bozak/Lupul line was new and lit it up for 2/3rds of the season until Boston showed the rest of the league how to deal with that line. Hit’m and hit’m hard keep the puck in the corners. By the end of the season Kessel and Bozak looked like the fanishing twin sisters especially once Lupul got hurt and we have seen more of the same this year. Kessel very soft but has talent, JVR is also talented but Boz is a soft third line center so until that changes expect more of the same from that line. At this point I would like to see McClement centering JVR and Kessel to see how he does. The guy hussels every shift, cycles, digs, stands in front, plays very defensively if required, is good on draws and has decent hands. I think he would be a significant upgrade over Bozak since he would bring about 4 more things to the top line then Boz. Worth a try

  3. Other than the Sedin brothers, and only because where one goes the other must follow, I believe every player on the Canucks should be getting nervous as trade day approaches. After getting their butt handed too them once again by Detroit they had a chance for a bounce back game as well as a fight for first place in their division against Minnesota last night and they came up lacking. They lacked in just about every area they could lack in.
    One goal and that was scored on the power play, which had previously gone 0 for 35 and then was scored only after the coach finally relented and put former power play specialist Jason Garrison on the number one unit.
    Energy & desire….definitely lacking.
    General manager Mike Gillis must make some moves prior to or at the trade deadline not only to address what the team lacks this year but to shore up things for the foreseeable future or else his position will soon have lacking behind it.

    • Something has to be done to shake up the Canucks. Didn’t Mike Gillis promise bold moves during the presser when he became gm? Haven’t really seen them yet since the Sundin offer.
      Too many guys that are supposed to be “skill” guys not scoring. Too much of the same on defense. Need a real #1 d life Buff from the Peg. Need a second line. Need to have some faith in the youngsters like Kassian and Schroeder- yes they will make mistakes, but so do the vets- who doesn’t? And of course, they have to trade a goalie at or before tdl because the off season will have more goalies available….
      The effort on the ice has been lacking for too long/too often this abbreviated season.
      Players only meetings haven’t done anything… AV’s lines don’t seem to be able to cut it. Hate seeing Lappy as the second line centre.


  4. Did not like the carlyle move from the start. He has done some good things then someoneless could have done good things as well. Grabo and his treatment regarding the shoot out BS (Carlyle talking out of both sides of his mouth will giving the I’m right cheese smile) is not the a first from this coach. He has a history of treatment to player…..say was it not a great game that Lupul played that night and say was that not the guy that Carlyle had no use for on that other team he came from. Leopards do not change their spots and the other 22 sets of eyes that were watching from the bench got the same message as Grabo got…….this is a guy that will sacrific a point which could cost a playoff spot so he can say “I’m the Boss”

  5. I think Grabo is just trying to figure out what the hell to do. 2 years ago he is a hero racking up points with Kulemin and McArthur and this year he is supposed to be a third defenceman. I like that Carlyle wants to have structure and balanced scoring, but if you want pure skill on your top line, and that’s supposedly Kessel and JVR, have Grabo centre them! He has skill and can take a pounding. Zdeno Chara anyone? Not to mention he is being paid like a first line centre!!!!!Let Bozak, a clearcut 2nd line centre, who plays well defensively and can add a bit here and there, be the shut down centre. Add Lupul and Kulemin and see what you get. Leave Kadri , McArthur and Frattin. Let McClement handle PK duty and 4th line centre with Komorov, Orr or McLaren. Like trying to make Lupul a right winger in Anaheim, Carlyle needs to let Grabovski be the player that convinced the brass to sign him as the current highest paid forward on the team!