NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6, 2017
Game recaps, Letang done for the season, Okposo hospitalized & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals clinched their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy and the third in franchise history by blanking the New York Rangers 2-0. Justin Williams and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist while Braden Holtby made 24 saves for the shutout. The Rangers will face the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, were edged 2-1 by the Buffalo Sabres. Robin Lehner turned aside 31 shots for the win. The Sabres were playing without winger Kyle Okposo, who’s been admitted to the Neuro Surgical ICU at Buffalo General Medical Center with an undisclosed illness. Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin left the game with a lower-body injury. No update yet on his status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Okposo for a speedy recovery.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will undergo surgery for a herniated disk in his neck and will miss the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Letang’s absence leaves a big hole in the Penguins blueline and will adversely affect their efforts to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. That explains why GM Jim Rutherford pursued defensive depth leading up to the March trade deadline by acquiring Ron Hainsey and Mark Streit.
BOSTON HERALD: Bruins winger Brad Marchand has a disciplinary hearing scheduled today for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler underwent an MRI on his injured right knee on Wednesday. No word yet as to how long he could be sidelined. Ducks blueliners Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm are also injured but Vatanen could soon return to action.
CSN BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (left knee, day-to-day) expects to be ready for action when the playoffs open next Wednesday. Logan Couture (facial injury) is skating in practice with a full face shield.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Long-time Coyotes winger and captain Shane Doan remains uncertain over the possibility of retirement. The 40-year-old is an unrestricted free agent in July.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Former Philadelphia Flyers forward Ilkka Sinasalo died Wednesday in Finland of prostate cancer. He was 58 years old. He played 11 seasons in the NHL, nine of those with the Flyers from 1981-82 to 1989-90. He had six seasons with 20-plus goals and 40-or-more points and helped the Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Final in 1985 and 1987. He tallied 204 goals and 426 points in 582 regular-season games, along with 32 points in 68 playoff games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sinasalo’s family and friends.