Canadiens edge the Lightning, Jets re-sign coach Paul Maurice, plus the latest on the Senators, Canucks, Flames and Oilers.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/TAMPA TRIBUNE: Dale Weise was the hero for the Canadiens as his overtime goal lifted his club to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a very entertaining opening game of their best-of-seven series. Steven Stamkos scored twice for the Lightning, while the Habs got two-point performances from captain Brian Gionta and Lars Eller.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens dominated this game and would’ve won it easily if not for solid goaltending by Lightning backup Anders Lindback. Canadiens starter Carey Price looked shaky on two of the Lightning goals (except for the Stamkos goals, nothing he could’ve done about those) but was steady in overtime. The Lightning’s inexperience (they’re carrying ten rookies) was evident in this one, as mistakes led to most of those goals by the Habs.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets yesterday announced the re-signing of coach Paul Maurice to a four-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Now that their coaching’s resolved, Jets management must do something to improve their goaltending and their scoring depth. Why do I have a feeling GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will remain his usual cautious self and bring back pretty much the same lineup for next season?
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators felt the true cost of losing former captain Daniel Alfredsson to free agency last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray. They treated Alfredsson shabbily. Now he’s setting an example for his young Detroit Red Wings teammates as they prepare for their opening round series against Boston, while his former team hits the golf course. I feel sorry for Alfie’s former Senators teammates, as they definitely could’ve used his leadership and experience this season.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison is hoping to improve next season.
CALGARY HERALD: Eight items on the Flames off-season “to-do” list. Topping the list is finding a new general manager.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers UFA defenseman Anton Below has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.