NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2019
The latest on the Sharks, Blues, and Bruins, plus an update on Justin Williams, in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer offered no updates yesterday on the status of Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, and Tomas Hertl. The three were injured during the Sharks’ 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.
Karlsson appears to be nursing an old injury that he aggravated in Game 4 of the series. Pavelski left Game 5 after receiving a high hit from Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Hertl was also on the receiving end of a high hit from Blues forward Ivan Barbashev.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Down 3-2 in the series and facing elimination tonight, the Sharks’ odds of winning Game 6 become slimmer with three of their best players on the sidelines.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league was “unable to determine conclusively that the head was the main point of contact.” Sure looked like his head was the primary point of contact to me. I stopped trying to make sense of rulings from the department of player safety a long time ago.
WEEI.COM: Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said he’s learned a lot from his early days as an NHL coach. Cassidy recently faced criticism from former NHL player Bates Battaglia, who played for Cassidy with the Washington Capitals in 2003-04. Since taking over as Bruins coach, Cassidy has a regular-season record of 117 wins, 52 losses, and 22 overtime defeats.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: People can change and improve and that’s certainly what Cassidy’s done since his first tenure as an NHL head coach. After being fired by the Capitals, Cassidy spent one season as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks (2005-06), two seasons with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, and eight seasons with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence. In his 2 1/2 years as the Bruins’ bench boss, he’s coached them to three straight playoff appearances and their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2013.
THE SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams is undecided if he’ll return for a 19th NHL season. The 37-year-old winger led the Hurricanes to their first postseason appearance in a decade. If he does return, Williams made it clear it’ll be with the Hurricanes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams scored 23 goals and 53 points during the regular season, along with seven points in 15 playoff games. If he’s willing to agree to a one-year, bonus-laden contract worth the same annual salary-cap hit as his current contract ($4.5 million), I think he’ll come back for another season.