NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2018
Game recaps, Ducks and Kings clinch playoff berths, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: For the sixth consecutive year, the Anaheim Ducks have clinched a playoff berth. Ondrej Kase snapped a 1-1 tie early in the third period and Andrew Cogliano got the insurance goal to give the Ducks a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. With 97 points, the Ducks sit third in the Pacific Division, one point behind the San Jose Sharks.
The St. Louis Blues’ playoff hopes suffered another blow as they fell 4-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues remains stuck at 92 points, one behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Both teams have two games left, including a season-ending showdown with each other on Saturday.
The Blues’ loss also ensured the idle Los Angeles Kings clinched a playoff berth. The Kings (96 points) hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth, sitting fourth in the Pacific Division.
The Buffalo Sabres are assured of finishing last in the NHL’s overall standings after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres have the best odds (18.5 percent) of winning the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery on April 28. Speaking of the Sabres, forward Zemgus Girgensons’ season has come to an end after undergoing facial surgery on Wednesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres have the best odds but it’s no guarantee they’ll win the lottery. They were in the same position in 2014 and 2015 but the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers won the top picks. The Panthers selected Aaron Ekblad and the Oilers took Connor McDavid while the Sabres took Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel.
TSN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson missed the game against the Sabres to spend time with his wife after their baby was stillborn two weeks ago. Sens coach Guy Boucher doesn’t expect Karlsson to participate in the club’s final two games of the season. The club also announced goaltender Mike Condon will miss the remainder of the schedule due to a concussion he suffered in practice on Tuesday and winger Marian Gaborik is also sidelined for the rest of the season with a back injury.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun will miss the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Nikita Scherbak has suffered a season-ending concussion.
TSN: Hall of Famers Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Bobby Hull are among the notable players who won the Stanley Cup between 1954-1965 to have their names removed from the big mug. The ring containing the names of those teams and players is being removed to make room for a new layer of names. That band, along with previous ones that were removed, will reside on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This procedure is necessary to ensure the trophy doesn’t become too big for the players to carry.