Canadiens draw first blood in their series against the Bruins, reaction to the Canucks firing John Tortorella, plus the latest on Nail Yakupov.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/BOSTON HERALD: P.K. Subban scored twice (including in double overtime) and Carey Price made 48 saves as the Canadiens edged the Bruins 4-3 to take Game One of their best-of-seven divisional final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The better team lost. If not for Price’s outstanding goaltending and Subban’s timely offense, the Canadiens would’ve been blown out of this one. Indeed, someone should call the cops on Price for theft because he stole this game for the Habs.
As the game progressed the Bruins took over the game, dominating the Habs and rallying back twice from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. The Canadiens top line (Vanek, Pacioretty and Desharnais) were notable only for their invisibility in this game. Put simply, the rust of a lengthy layoff showed and the Habs need a better overall effort throughout this series if they hope to defeat the Bruins.
VANCOUVER SUN: Cam Cole believes Canucks president of hockey ops Trevor Linden did the right thing by firing coach John Tortorella, He also noted it’ll cost the Canucks a fortune to pay off Tortorella and former GM Mike Gillis, who each reportedly had four years and $8 million remaining on their contracts when they got their walking papers. Iain MacIntyre believes the firings are only the first step in addressing the Canucks woes, citing the lack of talented depth in their system to replace their ageing stars. Ben Kuzma, meanwhile, listed 11 possible coaching candidates for the Canucks,
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The hirings of a new GM and coach should come over the next four-to-six weeks, in time for the NHL Draft during the final weekend of June. I agree that replacing Tortorella was the right move. As I noted yesterday, it was either fire Torts or overhaul the Canucks roster to suit his physical defensive style. The former was the lesser of two evils.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis examines Nail Yakupov’s numbers to determine if the young winger is on his way out of Edmonton. While Yakupov struggled last season, Willis doubts the Oilers will move him.