Updates on Max Pacioretty, Eddie Lack, Jonas Hiller, Mathieu Perreault, Phil Kessel and more in your NHL Canadian Corner.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty (upper-body injury) participated in practice but isn’t expected to be in the lineup when the Canadiens open their series against the Ottawa Senators.
OTTAWA SUN: The recent passing of Ottawa Senators assistant coach Mark Reeds has provided the Senators with another rallying point. Reeds, 55, succumbed to cancer earlier this week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Reeds’ family and to the Senators organization.
TSN.CA: It appears backup Eddie Lack will get the start in Game One of the Vancouver Canucks’ opening-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames. Starter Ryan Miller is still trying to regain his form after returning from a knee injury. This will be Lack’s first taste of NHL playoff action.
CALGARY HERALD: Jonas Hiller is expected to be the Flames’ starting goalie for Game One of their upcoming series against the Canucks.
WINNIPEG SUN: The status of center Mathieu Perreault (lower-body injury) remains uncertain as the Jets prepare for their first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks.
TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk believes the Maple Leafs need to push Phil Kessel, not push him out the door. Feschuk thinks the time to cash in on Kessel’s cachet as a goalscoring star has come and gone, and it’s in the club’s best interest to retain him and push him to improve his play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with much of Feschuk’s points, but I think team president Brendan Shanahan has made up his mind that Kessel must go.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Drafting and developing quality defensemen is the only way the Edmonton Oilers can improve their blueline corps.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Trying to acquire a proven top-two defenseman via trade will only cost them young assets. It’s very difficult to lure top free-agent talent to Edmonton, and doing so will cost a boatload of money. Of course, it would help if the Oilers could properly develop young talent.