Updates on Cory Schneider, Tyler Bozak, Jason Spezza and Brendan Gallagher plus the latest on the Oilers, Flames and Jets.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The ongoing mystery over the “body injury” of Canucks goalie Cory Schneider persists the day before their opening round series with the San Jose Sharks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider appears to be shaking off some sort of illness rather than an injury. I’m sure in time the super-secretive Canucks will reveal what it is. In the meantime, if Schneider’s unable to go, they can fall back on Roberto Luongo, who isn’t exactly a playoff neophyte.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs hope to have center Tyler Bozak in the lineup for their opening round series against the Boston Bruins. Bozak has been sidelined by a suspected shoulder injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs will most feel Bozak’s absence in the faceoff circle, where his 52.6% is tops of all sixteen playoff clubs. Linemate Phil Kessel will also miss him. Some Leafs fans believe Bozak should have been traded before the deadline for a goalie or doubt he’s worth re-signing before he becomes a UFA this summer. We’re about to get a good idea of Bozak’s value if he misses this series against the Bruins.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Don’t expect to see Senators center Jason Spezza (back) returning to the lineup for his club’s opening round series against Montreal. GM Bryan Murray believes his club will have to go “a little distance” in the post-season to see Spezza return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have adjusted well to Spezza’s absence, but this is the time of year when a player like him would make a huge difference. They might be able to get through a round or two without him, but at some point, his absence will be costly.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens rookie Brendan Gallagher is looking forward to his first NHL post-season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher’s pesky style is one reason the Habs made the playoffs this season. Expect him to be an impact player for the Canadiens against the Senators in their opening round series.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish believes he needs to add more grit and scoring depth to his roster.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames failed to move up in the NHL entry draft lottery, and will pick sixth overall.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets will pick 13th overall.