Playoff race update, Oilers bid farewell to Rexall Place and more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 30 saves to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. The Wings opened a two-point lead over the Flyers (93-91) in the Eastern Conference playoff race, though the latter has a game in hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings’ victory is bad news for the slumping Boston Bruins, whose fading playoff hopes are hanging by a thread in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers also hold a game in hand over the Bruins.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton Oilers played their final game at Rexall Place, downing the Vancouver Canucks 6-2.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have shut down goalie Carey Price (knee injury) and defenseman P.K. Subban (neck injury) for the remainder of this season. The Habs also revealed a detailed description of Price’s injury, announcing it was the MCL in his right knee that plagued him since November. He’s expected to continue rehab treatments and make a full recovery for next season.
TSN: New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh reportedly suffered “a small break of the metacarpal bones in his right hand.” He could miss the start of the upcoming playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s very bad news for the Rangers, who are also missing blueliner Dan Girardi with an upper-body injury.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Sharks center Logan Couture is heating up in time for the postseason.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: Veteran defenseman Brian Campbell played a major role in the Florida Panthers’ success this season.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks recalled left wing Bryan Bickell.
BOSTON HERALD: Mismanagement, not Claude Julien’s coaching, is behind the Bruins’ struggles.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: There’s hints of turmoil within Rogers Media following the recent firing of their top hockey producer. Its NHL ratings have steadily declined and a recent poll of Canadian fans indicate many will be tuning out this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs,
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The lack of Canadian teams in the playoffs this season doesn’t help, but ratings have been falling for Rogers ever since they won the NHL’s national broadcasting rights in Canada two years ago and took over Hockey Night in Canada. From dumping the popular montage videos of Tim Thompson, replacing mainstay host Ron MacLean with former talk-show host George Stroumboulopoulos, bringing in an army of talking heads to chatter endlessly over minutiae in a soulless “state of the art” studio, Rogers’ NHL coverage has turned off a number of Canadian hockey fans. Replacing the producer just before the upcoming playoffs could signal more changes to come before next season.
CTV MONTREAL: Canadian senator and former NHL coach Jacques Demers was hospitalized last night after suffering a stroke.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Demers for a speedy and full recovery.