The once-sizzling Montreal Canadiens appear to be resting on their laurels of late. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Let’s just say that the reaction in Edmonton was mixed, at best, to the news that the Oilers had fired GM Steve Tambellini and replaced him with Craig MacTavish. There was a heated exchange with reporters over the hiring of the team’s former coach amid a perception that little had changed with the move. I’m slightly more optimistic, but it’s clear from the local reaction that this is the last kick at the can for team president Kevin Lowe.
• Bruce McCurdy takes a hard look at the lineup that MacTavish inherits, with an eye on the holes that need to be addressed.
• Carey Price got the hook for the second consecutive game as the Habs were overmatched in every way against the Flyers. Price will take the heat, but this looks like a team that’s taken its foot off the gas since clinching a playoff berth. They now have three games in four nights to rediscover their mojo.
• Even before his team’s offense finally woke up in that win over the Canadiens, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren indicated that coach Peter Laviolette’s job is safe. I can only imagine how warmly that news will be greeted in Philadelphia.
• Here’s a look at how the postponement of last night’s Bruins-Senators game played out in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosions. Not surprisingly, it was chaotic.
• Nobody should be penciling them into the lineup just yet, but the Penguins were thrilled to see Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Paul Martin back at practice on Monday.
• The injuries have allowed the Pens to get a look at depth players like Joe Vitale, Dustin Jeffrey and Simon Despres, all of whom are likely to be called upon if the team makes a deep playoff run.
• Cam Charron takes another stab at convincing the public that advanced analytics are the wave of the present in hockey. It can be interesting stuff, but when you try to win over non-believers with stats like “score-tied shots differential,” don’t be surprised when eyes quickly glaze over.
• Big Shot, a documentary about John Spano’s ill-fated attempt to purchase the Islanders, gets its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this week. Directed by Kevin Connolly — yes, E from Entourage — the film eventually will be aired as part of ESPN’s 30 For 30 series.