The Senators clinch seventh overall in the East, the Canucks may have to lean on Roberto Luongo, Phil Kessel gets a chance to slay his Bruins demons, plus the latest on Miikka Kiprusoff, Ryan Smyth, Lars Eller and more.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2, clinching seventh overall for the Sens in the Eastern Conference and knocking the Bruins to fourth overall. The Senators will now face the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, while the Bruins face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
TORONTO SUN: Phil Kessel has struggled against the Boston Bruins since they dealt him to the Maple Leafs in 2009. He’ll have a golden opportunity to slay those demons when the Leafs face the Bruins in the opening round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have been slumping over the past couple of weeks, but they’ve beaten the Maple Leafs in 12 of their last thirteen meetings, stifling Kessel in nearly all those games. If the Leafs are to advance, they’ll need Kessel at his best.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Cory Schneider is questionable to start Game One of the Canucks- San Jose Sharks series, forcing the Canucks to lean once again on veteran Roberto Luongo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t it be interesting if Luongo had to make all the starts against the Sharks? It would be more interesting if he carried them over the Sharks.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: An early season visit with the Canadiens sports psychologist helped then-struggling Lars Eller become one of the Habs key players this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since being placed on a line with rookies Alexander Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, Eller has been among the Habs best players. That young line has also been the Habs best in recent games.
CALGARY SUN: No official word yet on Miikka Kiprusoff’s future plans. While his teammates hope he’ll return next season, it’s widely assumed “Kipper” will retire.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers veteran Ryan Smyth still believes he can be a productive contributor for the Oilers.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets have two chance of clinching the first overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft lottery: slim and none.