Michael Russo's short takes: April 1

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 12:59 AM
Ouch Canada

As exciting as things are in Vancouver and likely Ottawa heading into the playoffs, things are ugly in the other Canadian markets.

In Toronto, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is under immense pressure as fans chants, "Let's go, Blue Jays" at games. In Calgary, fans are throwing Flames sweaters onto the ice and coach Brent Sutter almost surely will be fired. In Edmonton, there's the potential of the same thing with coach Tom Renney.

And in Montreal, GM Pierre Gauthier has already been sacked. Possible reported replacements: Francois Giguere, Julien Brisebois, Vincent Damphousse, Claude Loiselle and Marc Bergevin. Patrick Roy is very interested in the impending coaching vacancy.

Sabres striving for a first

Buffalo was last in the East on Feb. 18. If the Sabres make the playoffs, it would be the first time a team made the playoffs when it was last in its conference that late.

"We've figured out how to win. That's the difference," defenseman Jordan Leopold said.

Hustling toward the exit

There's a big question in Columbus as to whether interim coach Todd Richards will be retained, but the biggest question is what happens with captain Rick Nash, who wants out.

"It's a great question. I can't answer," Nash told the Columbus Dispatch. "I will say that as long as I'm a Blue Jacket, I will give 110 percent for the organization and the fans."

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