NHL Olympic Canadian Corner – February 19, 2014

Updates on Canada’s men’s hockey team, plus the latest on the Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Jets and Canadiens.

TSN.CA: Canada’s coach Mike Babcock is pleased with his current defense pairings, admitting there’s little chance P.K. Subban and Dan Hamhuis will see further playing time in this tournament.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s fans are undoubtedly unhappy he’s not getting much playing time, and I’m sure they’ll pounce if Canada fails to repeat as gold medalists. Fact is, the Canadians current defense pairings have meshed well, so I don’t blame Babcock for sticking with them.

Martin St. Louis replaces Matt Duchene in Canada's game against Latvia.

Martin St. Louis will replace Matt Duchene in Canada’s game against Latvia.

SPORTSNET: Martin St. Louis will replace Matt Duchene in Canada’s game today against Latvia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If St. Louis doesn’t have a big game against Latvia this could be the last time we see him playing in Sochi.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks coach John Tortorella has spent the Olympic break trying to figure out ways to reverse his club’s losing skid when the NHL returns to action next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Tortorella spent time in a lab building a couple of second-line scorers plus magically healing Henrik Sedin and Mike Santorelli, I don’t think there’s much he can do. The Canucks will keep playing hard but they lack scoring depth and that’s why they’re floundering.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce McCurdy wonders if goaltender Ben Scrivens has a future with the Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given his current play I think so, but they might not commit long term. Two, maybe three years at most.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames coach Bob Hartley won’t waste time getting his club back into shape as they return to practice today.

WINNIPEG SUN: Five burning questions for the Jets, including speculation over how much Olli Jokinen has left in the tank, concerns over Tobias Enstrom’s health, and if a fitter Dustin Byfuglien be more productive down the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The answers to these questions could determine if the Jets make the playoffs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: A look at the development of promising Canadiens blueliners Nathan Beaulieu,  Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn.


  1. This Kunitz experiment needs to be OVER after today. Seriously, what has the guy brought to the team? Sitting guys like Duchene and Benn so he can play because of his ‘Crosby’ chemistry, they just haven’t connected. We are entering a stretch where Kunitz is not high end Olympic material when compared to other teams. I supported the experiment, but it failed. Get Tavares off the bottom line, get him with Crosby and Bergy, get Benn playing with Getz & Perry, leave Toews, Marleau, and Carter together, Nash, Duchene, and Sharp on the 4th and let St. Louis & Kunitz ride the pine.

  2. I second JJB! What the hell is Kunitz doing there? I may be a Sens fan but without being bias, Spezza would have been much better on the big ice. Especially with his skills… yes yes… he is a bit of a defensive liability but we still. There are a load of players that could have taken Kunitz’s place. At the same time, I would have liked to see Subban… again skills help… we need to shoot the puck!