Game recaps, updates on Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Burrows, Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Hammond, plus the latest on the Canadiens.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Anaheim Ducks clinched first in the Pacific Division with a dominating 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg collected three assists while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tallied the lone Oilers goal.
TORONTO SUN: In a “battle” between two of the NHL’s most pathetic teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 3-1 lead to fall 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether you believe these teams are “tanking the season”, the sight of Leafs and Sabres fans actively cheering for their respective clubs to lose in order to improve their chances of winning the draft lottery should spur the league to consider more effective improvements to its lottery system beyond those to be implemented in 2016. This is an embarrassment for the NHL.
NBC SPORTS: Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau was named NHL rookie of the month for March 2015.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An honor well deserved. Young Gaudreau has become an indispensable part of the Flames rebuild and a key reason they’re in contention for a playoff berth.
THE PROVINCE: The NHL department of player safety has decided Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows won’t receive supplemental discipline for a hit on Nashville’s Paul Gaustad, considering the hit accidental rather than intentional.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will have a phone hearing with the league regarding his dangerous crosscheck on New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller. Byfuglien could be suspended for his actions. If so, the maximum suspension is five games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien’s undisciplined actions could take him out of the Jets roster at a crucial time when they’re battling for a playoff berth.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators have nominated goaltender Andrew Hammond for the Masterton Trophy.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Their pride stung by a recent loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Canadiens claim they’ve moved on from that defeat but claim they’ve taken the lessons from it to heart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Saying it and proving it are two different things. As I said following their loss to the Lightning, Habs fans better pray their club doesn’t face the Bolts in the playoffs because they’ve certainly had no answer for them during the regular season.