Analysis of the Maple Leafs and Canucks losses in their respective opening games of their conference quarterfinals, plus the latest on Carey Price, Daniel Alfredsson and Evander Kane.
TORONTO STAR/TORONTO SUN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Damien Cox lamented the Maple Leafs pathetic performance in the opening game of the conference quarterfinal against the Boston Bruins. Terry Koshan observed the Leafs best players were anything but in that game. David Shoalts reports Leafs coach Randy Carlyle is promising changes to the Leafs roster for Game Two.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puck possession, or rather, lack of it, was ultimately what killed the Leafs last night. Far too many turnovers proved costly. One of those changes could be a replacement for Cody Franson, who injured his foot blocking a shot and appears doubtful for Game Two on Saturday.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher and Ed Willes agreed it was the same old story for the Canucks in Game One of their conference quarter final against the Sharks. As the headline for Gallagher’s column observed: “Same old players and the same old coach playing the same old game with the same old results”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That assessment dates back to last year’s playoffs, when the Canucks were swept by the LA Kings in the opening round. It really did appear to be more of the same. The Canucks goaltending was solid, but the rest of the team struggled, especially the Sedins and Ryan Kesler, who obviously hasn’t fully recovered from the injuries which sidelined him for part of this season.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jack Todd believes the time is now for Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price to shake off his previous playoff inconsistency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. In the past I was willing to give Price a mulligan because of his youth and the inconsistent play of the team in front of him. He’s 26 now, with six NHL seasons and five postseasons under his belt. Price has to elevate his game.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson dispenses advice to his young teammates facing their first NHL postseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the talk of the Senators youth, they have veteran leaders in Alfredsson, Chris Phillips, Sergei Gonchar and Chris Neil who can lead by example.
WINNIPEG SUN: It’s possible Jets winger Evander Kane could have wrist surgery this off-season. He’ll consult another specialist before deciding if surgery is necessary.