With Guy Boucher out as head coach in Ottawa Friday, and 18 games left in the season, the young Ottawa Senators must make a quick decision on their head coaching job this summer. The team gave the interim tag to Marc Crawford, but unless he can turn around the franchise in those 18 games, the Sporting News’ Murray Pam writes that general manager Pierre Dorion may opt to look for a new voice to coach the franchise.
Among the top potential candidates that could take over this summer, Pam suggests that 66-year-old Jacques Martin could be an interesting candidate that can give the team a fresh voice. The veteran coach, who was raised in Saint-Pascal, Ont., not far from Ottawa, has been an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last six years, 31 years of NHL experience and has two Stanley Cup rings.
One obvious candidate could also come from within as the Belleville Senators’ head coach, Troy Mann, who has done an impressive job in his first year as head coach of the AHL franchise and already knows many of the players on the team’s roster. His recent track record is the most interesting as he has led the team to a 16-game unbeaten streak as the team has gone 11-0-5 and is on the cusp of the AHL playoffs. He’s in his fifth year as an AHL head coach. The scribe throws in several other candidates, including Montreal Canadiens’ assistant Luke Richardson and Columbus Blue Jackets’ assistant Brad Shaw.
- Despite missing his sixth straight game Saturday, Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri, who has been out with a concussion, seems to be improving. According to The Star’s Kevin McGran, Kadri skated this morning, which is a good sign for his recovery. “Obviously, our medical staff has to do a good job with those guys and keep them out as long as they’re supposed to be out,” said Leafs coach Mike Babcock. “I think it’s obviously good for him to be out there, just morale-wise. It looks like he’s going in the right direction. I didn’t talk to the coaches since he’s been out, just to see what kind of skate they were able to give him and what he was able to handle. (We’ll) still monitor that and see, and then we’ll see how hard we can push him. I don’t know when he’s ready.”
- Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard has struggled immensely in the month of February, posting a 3.97 GAA and a .866 save percentage in nine games. On top of that, he has been pulled from his last three games, not exactly what you’d expect from a goaltender who represented the Atlantic Division at the All-Star Game. However, don’t expect the veteran to give up. Howard has spent countless hours studying video of his play, trying to figure out what’s gone wrong, according to Dana Gauruder of the Detroit Free Press. “To be honest, going through the video, it’s just being off by a fraction,” he said. “Not having the correct angle. When you don’t have that as a goalie, guys can put the puck in tight areas and that’s what’s happened.”
- With recent injuries to Toronto Maple Leafs’ defensemen Travis Dermott and Jake Gardiner, many fans have wondered why Toronto hasn’t turned to promising young defenseman Calle Rosen. The 25-year-old has been tearing up the AHL with the Toronto Marlies this year and signed a two-year extension with the team back in December. However, Rosen can’t be recalled yet, according to the Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby, because he took a puck off his foot a few days ago and isn’t ready to return to the ice just yet. Regardless, Rosen, who has seven goals and 44 points in 52 games with the Marlies, could be called up soon.