NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 8, 2017
Lightning keep playoff hopes alive, update on Kyle Okposo & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning moved within one point of the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Nikita Kucherov tallied his 40th goal of the season for the Lightning, giving them 92 points. The Lightning’s final game of the season comes Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres.
TORONTO SUN: The Toronto Maple Leafs (93 points) are in the driver’s seat entering this weekend. Sitting one point ahead of the Lightning and three up on the New York Islanders, they can clinch a playoff berth by winning one of their two remaining games. The Leafs face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
NEWSDAY: The Islanders (90 points) could still make it into the playoffs if they win both their games and the Leafs and Lightning lose their remaining games this weekend. The Isles face the New Jersey Devils tonight and close out the season tomorrow against the Ottawa Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For Leafs, Lightning and Islanders fans, tonight and possibly tomorrow could be nail-biting time. It might end tonight with a Leafs victory over the Penguins, who could rest some veterans in preparation of their opening-round series next week against the Blue Jackets.
WGR 550: Multiple reports claim Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo was released from hospital on Friday. He’d be in Buffalo General Hospital’s Neuro ICU since Sunday. Meanwhile, Sabres forward Marcus Foligno’s season is over as he’s out seven-to-10 days with a knee injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Still no word yet on why Okposo was in ICU, but the good news is he’s apparently showing signs of improvement.
NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks winger Nick Ritchie received a two-game suspension for roughing Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Shane Doan could be playing his final game with the Arizona Coyotes tonight against the Minnesota Wild. An unrestricted free agent this summer, the 41-year-old long-time Coyote said he hasn’t given much thought yet to his future.