Senators continue to stay alive against the Canadiens, reaction to the Oilers hiring Peter Chiarelli and more.
OTTAWA SUN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Ottawa Senators continue to stay alive in their best-of-seven series against the Montreal Canadiens, downing the Habs 5-1 in Game Five. Bobby Ryan scored twice while Craig Anderson made 45 saves for the victory. Game Six goes on Sunday in Ottawa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens still lead the series 3-2, but if the Senators should win Game Six, it becomes a one-game, winner-take-all in Game Seven and that favors Ottawa. The surging Senators have done a great job getting traffic in front of Canadiens goalie Carey Price, scoring most of their goals in the past two games coming on screened shots. The Canadiens, meanwhile, seemingly have no answer for Craig Anderson, who’s outplayed Price since taking over from Andrew Hammond in Game Four. The Habs also aren’t getting anything going with their power-play, which has sucked on toast all season long.
THE VANCOUVER SUN/CALGARY HERALD: Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller is expecting a hot time in Game Six against the Flames, who will be under pressure to finish the series on home ice tonight. The Flames lead the best-of-seven series three games to two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link to read my take on the Chiarelli hiring.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff keeps the faith with Ondrej Pavelec as his starting goaltender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two months ago, I wrote off Pavelec as the Jets’ starter and believed he was an offseason trade candidate. His solid performance down the stretch got the Jets into the playoffs and ensures he gets another shot at strengthening his hold on the role of starting goalie in Winnipeg.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs executives are concerned over the toll this past season has taken upon the club’s brand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs were able to ride the good will of their patient fan base for nearly a decade, but after reaching the playoffs only once in that period, that patience has finally run out. Leafs fans are justifiably pissed off. They’re starting to feel they’ve been taken for granted and there’s a perception ownership only cares about money, rather than building a contender. Little wonder there was a major front-office housecleaning at season’s end, which will likely be followed by a major roster overhaul this summer.