Ducks eliminate Jets, Senators stay alive against the Canadiens and more in your NHL Canadian Corner.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/WINNIPEG SUN: Two third-period goals by Ryan Kesler powered the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, sweeping their best-of-seven series. The Jets reportedly had eight players dealing with significant injuries in this series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Jets were healthy they lacked the experience and depth to match up against the Ducks. Perhaps they could have won a game or two but the Ducks simply were too strong. Still, this version of the Jets gave a good accounting of themselves in their first-ever playoff appearance. They’ll draw upon this experience and be a better team for it next season.
OTTAWA SUN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Hoffman scored the game’s only goal and Craig Anderson made 28 saves as the Ottawa Senators staved off elimination by edging the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game Four of their best-of-seven series. Game Five goes Friday in Montreal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Desperation gave the Senators the edge in this game. Determination could work in the Habs favor back on home on Friday. Barring injury or a poor early performance from Anderson, I think we’ve seen the last of Andrew Hammond between the pipes in this series.
Senators coach Dave Cameron was second-guessed by some observers for starting Anderson in Games Three and Four but that decision was obviously the right one. Anderson has the playoff experience and the ability to pull off an upset. “The Hamburglar” got the Senators to the playoffs, but it’s Anderson who will carry them the rest of the way.
CALGARY HERALD/THE VANCOUVER SUN: The Calgary Flames “big three” defensemen – Dennis Wideman, T.J. Brodie and Kris Russell – are averaging over 26 minutes per game against the Canucks, who will give rookie winger Sven Baertschi his first-ever playoff appearance against his former club in Game Five tonight. The Canucks are also expected to start Ryan Miller in goal for this crucial game.
EDMONTON SUN: Former Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was reportedly in Edmonton yesterday being interviewed for a job with the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation he could be replacing Kevin Lowe as team president or Craig MacTavish as general manager. Most likely he’ll be in an advisory role, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction if he were to replace Lowe or MacTavish. Time will tell.
TORONTO STAR: When the Maple Leafs miss the playoffs, it adversely affects the NHL’s revenue.