Game recaps. Flames fire coach Bob Hartley, Kris Letang suspended & more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines.
NHL Playoff News.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/NEWSDAY: Brian Boyle scored in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 victory over the New York islanders in Game 3 of the second-round series to go up two games to one. It was a hard-hitting game, which saw Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin temporarily leave the game in the second period after receiving a hard, clean hit from Isles defenseman Thomas Hickey. Prior to scoring the game-winning goal, Boyle leveled HIckey with a questionable hit that incurred the ire of Islanders coach Jack Capuano.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Boyle will be suspended. If we go by the recent suspensions in the Pittsburgh-Washington series, I’d say he’ll be suspended. However, it seems what the department of player safety considered a hit worthy of suspension seems to be open to interpretation.
THE TENNESSEAN/THE MERCURY NEWS: James Neal, Shea Weber, Colin Wilson and Filip Forsberg scored as the Nashville Predators overcome an early 1-0 deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 and narrow the latter’s series lead to 2-1. After struggling on the power player in the first two games, the Preds went two for five with the man advantage while killing off four penalties of their own.
STLTODAY.COM/THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: After giving up the game’s first goal, the St. Louis Blues tallied six times and romped to a 6-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. David Backes and Alexander Steen each scored twice while Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists. The win gives the Blues a 2-1 series leads. The chief concern for the Stars is their defense, which seemed to crumble against the Blues aggressive forecheck.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars need a better effort defensively and between the pipes in Game Four or this series could be over quickly. The Blues looked like a club taking command of the series with this lopsided win.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang received a one-game suspension for his hit to the head of Washington Capitals winger Marcus Johansson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision didn’t sit well with Capitals fans after Brooks Orpik received a three-game suspension for his head shot on Penguins blueliner Olli Maatta. The explanation seems to be Letang’s hit was a hockey play gone wrong as Johansson was still playing the puck, while Orpik’s was a deliberate attempt to injure as the puck was nowhere near Maatta.
Notable NHL Headlines.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames fired head coach Bob Hartley, who won NHL coach of the year honors last season. GM Brad Treliving insists this move was not related to the Anaheim Ducks firing Bruce Boudreau as coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps not, but the whole thing seems a little fishy to me. The Flames made notable improvement during Hartley’s first three seasons behind their bench, including reaching the playoffs in 2015. Poor goaltending (the Flames had the worst in the league this season) led to their downfall in 2015-16. I don’t think he deserved to lose his job because management did a lousy job providing him with decent goaltending, but that’s just me. I’m sure others believe otherwise. Flames management obviously did.
NBC SPORTS: Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano, New York Islanders forward Matt Martin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban are the finalists for NHL’s 2016 Foundation Player Award.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Three worthy nominees who’s done a lot for their communities.
BOSTON HERALD: Bruins forwards David Krejci and Matt Beleskey and defenseman Torey Krug all recently underwent surgeries. Krejci (hip surgery) will require 3-4 months of recuperation, Beleskey (left hand) will need six weeks and Krug (right shoulder) will require six months.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beleskey will recover in plenty of time for training camp in September. Krejci is hoping to be ready in time for the World Cup of Hockey in mid-September. Krug, however, might be out until November.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov underwent right wrist surgery. He can resume hockey activities in six-to-eight weeks.