Well, well, well, isn’t this interesting…
Chiarelli was, of course, fired by the Boston Bruins last week.
In a related story, the Oilers have a new CEO in Bob Nicholson, who earlier this week hinted at possible changes to the club’s hockey operations.
Kevin Lowe is the current president of Edmonton’s hockey operations.
Craig MacTavish is the general manager.
Always interesting to take the temperature of various media markets during the playoffs.
In St. Louis, the heat is definitely getting turned up on the Blues.
From Jeff Gordon of the Post-Dispatch:
Let’s get right to the point: If the Blues fall behind three games to one to the Minnesota Wild, winning this playoff series will be very difficult for them.
And if they don’t win this series, major changes could occur in the Blues’ organization.
[Coach Ken] Hitchcock must find solutions or face the consequences. Core players on this roster must elevate their play or face the consequences.
The Blues have been unlucky in the sense that they’ve drawn some very good first-round opponents the last three seasons, including this one.
At the same time, you have to beat good teams to win the Stanley Cup. And remember, it was Hitchcock himself who said a year ago, “The playoffs tell you everything as a coach. They tell you everything about yourself, they tell you everything about your players, they tell you everything about how close you are … what you need to do better, what you’ve done well … they tell you everything.”
The obvious follow-up to that is, if the playoffs “tell you everything,” what are they telling everyone about the Blues?
Last word to Gordon:
So Game 4 will be one of those statement games, telling the world who the Blues are or are not. Either they’ll take a big step in the right direction or they’ll take a very dangerous step toward another playoff failure.
Related: Wild made the Blues ‘crack’ with their checking
Trailing 3-0 and facing elimination, the Ottawa Senators will go back to their veteran netminder tonight at home versus Montreal.
Coach Dave Cameron confirmed this morning that Craig Anderson would get the start over rookie Andrew Hammond.
“He has a proven playoff record of being a real good goalie,” Cameron told reporters.
Anderson stopped all but two of the Canadiens’ 49 shots in Sunday’s 2-1 overtime loss — a defeat that put the Sens on the verge of being swept.
As noted by his coach, the 33-year-old has been a solid playoff performer, registering a career postseason save percentage of .928 in 25 appearances. Among active goalies who’ve started more than 10 playoff games, only Mike Smith, Jonas Hiller, Braden Holtby, and Tuukka Rask have a higher save percentage than that.
Trailing the New York Rangers 2-1 in their first-round series, the Pittsburgh Penguins should be a desperate team tonight at Consol Energy Center. Lose and they’ll face elimination Friday at MSG.
The challenge will be to channel that desperation into a much better start than they had Monday, when they got outshot 7-3 in the first period and 12-8 in the second. The Rangers opened a 2-0 lead in those two periods, and the Penguins could only muster one goal in the third.
“Our desperation level was much higher in the third, and you saw the difference in our game and our play,” said captain Sidney Crosby. “Sometimes it’s hard to realize what you are doing in the first or second means as much as it does, but you have to find that desperation for the entire game.”
When asked for the key to tonight’s game, veteran forward Maxim Lapierre told reporters, “It’s pretty simple — play like we did in the third period last game.”
Now, granted, part of the reason the Penguins were able to outplay the Rangers in those final 20 minutes was because their opponents sat back in protection of a two-goal lead. It was bound to happen, and it did.
In addition to desperation, the Penguins just need to hit the net more. Yesterday, coach Mike Johnston referenced the “35 shot attempts that were blocked or missed (in Game 3). Those are the ones we have to get eight or nine of those to the net, for sure. You can’t have 35 that are blocked or missed.”
The two teams get going at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Related: Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight
If the Winnipeg Jets could protect a third-period lead, the Anaheim Ducks would be trailing their series 3-0, not leading it.
But credit where credit’s due — the Ducks have outscored the Jets 6-1 in the third period, and now Anaheim’s just one win away from meeting the winner of Calgary-Vancouver.
Related: For the Anaheim Ducks, it’s ‘time to step up’