Flames coach shows rare elation in OT win…Maple Leafs crushed by Panthers…Wondering why Cory Schneider isn’t playing more…Senators cannot take Canadiens for granted…Bryan Little playing well on Jets top line…Max Pacioretty Canadiens candidate for the Masterton Trophy…Ryan Smyth’s numbers take second half nosedive.
CALGARY HERALD: The usually grumpy-looking Brent Sutter erupted into a rare display of joy when Matt Stajan scored in overtime to give the Flames a 4-3 OT win over the San Jose Sharks. The win keeps the Flames in a four-way tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, though the Sharks currently hold the spot because they have a game in hand.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers marked a sweep of the former by the latter in their four-game season series.
VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre wonders why Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault isn’t playing Cory Schneider more often as a means of snapping the club out of its current slump.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s probably because the Canucks are second overall in the Western Conference, are in no danger of missing the playoffs, allowing Vigneault the opportunity to keep going to Luongo as often as he wants. If the struggles continue, however, I daresay we’ll see Schneider more often.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are aware they cannot take the woeful Montreal Canadiens for granted, remembering how only a year ago, they were in the same boat as the Habs, playing with nothing to lose in the final month of the season.
WINNIPEG SUN: Bryan Little has played well centering the Jets first line, leading the club’s forwards in ice time (20.08) and game-winning goals (6).
CANOE.CA: The Montreal Canadiens have made Max Pacioretty their candidate for the Masterton Trophy. Given the high-profile nature of his injury last season, and his strong performance this season, Pacioretty will be among the favorites to win the award.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Ryan Smyth’s offensive numbers have plummeted over the second half. Age is catching up with Smyth, and while he’s still a valuable forward, if the Oilers re-sign him, they’ll have to pare down his playing time to keep him effective.