The Canucks window of opportunity to win the Stanley Cup is closing, Phil Kessel meets the press, Craig Anderson seeks his first playoff series win, Tomas Plekanec looks forward to facing off against the Senators, and more.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: For the Canucks core players (the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa and Roberto Luongo), the time to win a Stanley Cup is now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is definitely the end of an era for this group, as Luongo is expected to be traded this summer. The others will be around a little longer (some likely longer than others), but after this season, this core group which, since 2008-09, made the Canucks one of the best teams in the NHL is enjoying its last hurrah.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel was bemused by the Toronto media’s reaction after he seemingly blew them off earlier in the week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several Toronto pundits got their knickers in a twist over Kessel’s snub, calling him selfish and moody and unfriendly. Yes, it’s oh so important to corral a player who is notoriously media-shy to squeeze some monosyllabic cliches out of him two days before the puck drops in his club’s series against the Bruins. Meanwhile, Leafs Nation could care less. They want Kessel to do his talking on the ice.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators goalie Craig Anderson will be seeking his first playoff series win when his club squares off against the Montreal Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a good chance he could get it in this series. While the Canadiens were among the highest-scoring teams in the league, the two clubs split their season series, with three of those games going to extra time, and two of them to a shootout. The Senators had one of the best goals-against averages in the league, and Anderson played a big part in that.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec is looking forward to an exciting series against the Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the Habs to have success against the stingy Senators defense, they’ll need their best forwards like Plekenac at the top of his game.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets management will be watching how prospect Mark Scheifele performs as his Barrie Colts take on the London Knights in the OHL championship series
CALGARY SUN: Breaking down where the Flames stand heading into the off-season.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers will have a variety of interesting picks to choose from with the seventh overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.