Flames crushed by Ducks, Canadiens and Lightning prepare for their second-round series and more in your NHL Canadian Corner.
Playoff Game Recaps and Headlines.
LOS ANGELES TIMES/CALGARY SUN: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry recorded four points each as the Anaheim Ducks crushed the Calgary Flames 6-1 in the opening game of their best-of-seven second-round series. Flames starting goalie (and former Ducks starter) Jonas Hiller was replaced after the score was 3-0 for Karri Ramo. Flames forwards Jiri Hudler and Michael Ferland left the game with injuries. No word on their status for Game Two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you’re a Flames fan, that was ugly with a capital “Ugh”. The Ducks’ physical style overwhelmed the Flames and neutralized their speed. It’ll be interesting to see what head coach Bob Hartley does to counter that in Game Two.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Despite having home-ice advantage, the Canadiens see themselves as underdogs in their upcoming second-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are keen for another crack at the Habs after being swept in last year’s opening-round series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning swept the Canadiens during their regular-season series and the Habs struggled offensively in their opening-round series against the Senators. However, the usually high-scoring Bolts had their hands full eliminating the underdog Detroit Red Wings in seven games. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has yet to score in this year’s playoffs.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: If Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock decides to move on, the Edmonton Oilers could be a destination, as he has long-standing ties with Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson. There’s also the allure of coaching a team stocked with young talent, in particular wunderkind Connor McDavid.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Babcock becomes a free agent there will be several times vying for his services. I don’t doubt the Oilers will be among the suitors. Landing him, however, is another matter, as this could turn into a significant bidding war.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond is a finalist for the 2015 Masterton Trophy.
THE PROVINCE: The Canucks management must decide if they can afford to re-sign pending UFA checking-line forward Brad Richardson.
WINNIPEG SUN: Several former Jets enjoyed the club’s return to the playoffs this year.