NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2017

by | May 2, 2017 | News, NHL | 35 comments

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is crosschecked by Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

Game recaps, Crosby injured, Hart Trophy finalists revealed & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Kevin Shattenkirk’s overtime goal gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of their second-round series. The Penguins had rallied from a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Justin Schultz to force the extra frame.

The Capitals win, however, was overshadowed by an upper-body injury suffered in the first period by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby after he was cross-checked by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who received a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Crosby left the game and didn’t return. The Penguins provided no update on Crosby following the game and there’s no indication if Niskanen will receive supplemental discipline, though the blueliner claims he didn’t deliberately target Crosby’s head.

Penguins forward Conor Sheary also left the game with a facial injury after a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist and didn’t return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Crosby’s concussion history there’s legitimate concern over his status. An update on his status could come later today. If he’s suffered a serious injury it could prove the turning point of this series. 

Speaking of Crosby, he joins Columbus Blue Jacket goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid as finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just my opinion but I believe McDavid will win the Hart this season. He was the league’s top scorer and without him the Oilers probably don’t reach the playoffs. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Clarke MacArthur said he’ll be ready to play in Game 3 of his club’s series with the New York Rangers. He left Game 2 with a pinched nerve in his neck. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Anaheim Ducks winger Patrick Eaves is day-to-day with a lower-body injury (right foot). 

THE TENNESSEAN: NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury attempted to walk back his comments accusing Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban of acting like a “clown” during the warm-ups for Game 2 of his club’s series against the St. Louis Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Milbury’s remarks drew considerable criticism from hockey fans on Twitter. Considering the most notable moment in Milbury’s NHL playing career was hitting a fan with a shoe, he’s in no position to call anyone a clown. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames announced the re-signing of general manager Brad Treliving to a multi-year contract extension. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Christian underwent surgery on his right shoulder. He’s expected to be ready for training camp in September. 

TSN.CA: The NHL lays blame on the NHLPA for repeatedly interfering with attempts to implement rules to limit staged fights, improve player safety and implement tougher penalties for hits to the head in an affidavit related to a lawsuit filed by former NHL players. The league is also asking that the case not be certified as a class-action lawsuit. 



  1. Milbury? Calling ANYONE else a clown??? That’s hilarious! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    • The shoe is a good example of Milbury being a clown, but his biggest joke was what he did to the Islanders.

      • how does mad mike have a job still?

        2011 and this did not hurt his career?
        ‘NBC analyst Mike Milbury charged with assaulting child’
        Milbury’s son got into a tussle during a game and afterwards the former NHL player and general manager went onto the ice and “verbally berated and grabbed and shook” the alleged victim.

      • Milbury’s current career is completely predicated on his over the top persona, and previous crazy antics.

        So it’s pretty funny when he calls a player who is very skilled a clown for having any sort of personality that goes against the prototypical hockey player’s reserved public persona.

        On one hand, being a loud and contrary personality is the only reason Milbury is on TV. On the other, the fact that he would call a player a clown is an example of the type of thing that keeps him on TV (for better or worse).

        So anything involving Milbury is, by definition, a farce.

  2. And the NHL should be considering calling guys like MacArthur Staal Crosby and many others as their witness in this law suit guys who obviously know the ramifications of continual head trauma and choose egar and willingly to keep returning to that well despite the risk.

    • Well Sid’s out for at least 1 game with a concussion

  3. Let’s hope no one dies after the Caps next closed door player’s only meeting.

    Loser choke artist goons.

    Ovie tries to hit Sid in the shoulder/head area instead of the elbow on his scoring chance. After missing the first time, he swings his stick again, this time hitting Sid in the head, he then slew foots Crosby.

    Simple question…

    When you hockey and someone is unexpectedly about to hit into you, you raise your stick up to protect yourself, right? Do you hold the stick like a guard rail and let them hit into it? Or do you use it like the battering ram of a SWAT vehicle?

    Niskanen makes a short precise, two handed stab at Sid’s head instead of using his stick as a guard rail.

    • Yeah it was an appalling sequence on the part of the Caps and it’s quite obvious that, realizing they can’t win playing fair, there was a team mandate to try and take Crosby out. Looks like he’s ok though and should be able to play next game. Still the Caps should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Sorta like Crosby slashing Methot’s hand hard enough to sever the tip of his finger. With no penalty.

      • Exactly George any other player other than the baby Crosby and no penalties let alone a 5 min major! That was an absolute joke

      • Closed door meetings of intent to injure? Using stick like a battering ram? A tad conspiracy theory, a tad over exaggeration?

      • George and Bigbear if your going to argue that, I suggest you both watch any given hockey game and see how often there is a slash to the glove, and numerous time much more vicious then the Crosby slash. Unfortunate that the stick happened to get in between the crease of the finger. half inch left or right, it wouldn’t be a thought. There was no intent to injure on that play. I guessing because of your dislike for Crosby, then then abuse he takes on the ice game after game if ok in your view. Try separating your bias views with the actions that took place last night. The slash and the silly cry baby comments have nothing to do with took place on the ice last night. I don’t understand the dislike for Crosby, I’ve been watching Hockey a long time and I can’t remember any other superstar in present or pass who takes the abuse that Crosby takes on any given night and it heightens in the playoffs.

      • On a related note, I figured out how the Steelers can finally beat the Patriots in the playoffs…

        Have some scrub criminally assault Tom Brady, eat the 15 yard penalty and the ejection and then pretend like it’s a completely legitimate victory afterwards.

        Here we go…

      • Caper, plenty of other star players are targets. Especially come playoff time. I remember Eric Lindros getting absolutely destroyed every time he was even near the puck in a Flyers / Lightning series years ago. Not to mention the numerous times people went head hunting on the guy because of his tendency to drop his head…. hello there Scott Stevens and Darius Kaperitis?

      • My opinion of this is that Ovie’s slash was dirty, and perhaps intentional slew foot makes it worse. Niskanen wasn’t trying to hurt Crosby, it was a reactionary play. DS is right, it was a sequence of events.He got 5 and a major because Crosby got hurt. It wasn’t a battering ram, he threw his hand and stick up as a reaction, and then a pushed them forward to give Crosby a push/shot, but it happened so fast I don’t think he even knew it was his head. Look at Niskanen’s head and where his eye’s are focused. He’s watching where the play is going and is not even focused on Crosby.
        The ref’s let everything go in the playoffs, guys are getting hacked, slashed, punched constantly. If anyone gets near you, you would of course, react the same way as it has been for the entire playoffs. That’s what happened with Niskanen. A crazy sequence, and Crosby got hurt. Ovechkin deserved a penalty and Niskanen did too because he was not responsible for his stick. Crosby will be back, nobody will be suspended, and they will keep beating the crap out of each other until the NHL decides to change it.

      • It happens constantly. All it was was an unfortunate turn of events after a non call on Ovechkin. It’s so obvious Niskanen saw Crosby coming at him and was going to take the body but with what Ovechkin did it changed everything within 2 seconds at high speed…no time for Niskanen to change his trajectory. Its not shocking that Pittsburg fanatics see it differently. all fans do the same thing regarding their own team players.

        Every series have been loaded with non calls and wrong calls as well as inconsistent play reviews. Human error will always be part of the game. The fanatics will always believe the refs are conspiring against their team like the ridiculous Wideman effect theory here in Calgary.

    • Ovie with his skate to sid’s skate was the cheap part.
      domino effect for the fall

      • Caper – try shedding YOUR bias. You don’t know if he intended that or not – any more than you don’t know if Niskanen intended to target the head. But it certainly looked like it in both cases. There is no dislike for Crosby here. However, I am fed up with sycophants rushing to the defense of the so-called super-stars when what you should be looking at it as “what goes around comes around.”

      • George O, you gotta be kidding, who in the heck ever comes to Crosby defense? Where in my comment did I say intent? What exactly did Crosby do for such an irresponsible comment as what goes around comes around? How many concussion has Crosby had 6? Not a single super star has but up with the garbage that Crosby puts up with. Basically what your saying is Crosby slashed Methot so I glad this happen. Good for you George. If anything George it’s people like you who are rushing out to celebrate the hit. I wonder what your opinion would be if it was Karlsson on the other end.

      • You are once again reading into others’ comments intent that isn’t there in your furious defense of a “star” who, yes, is a target of other teams – just as was the case with EVERY star that’s played the game. You don’t think the Rangers aren’t targeting Karlsson.

        Where did you say anything about “intent?” How about here “Unfortunate that the stick happened to get in between the crease of the finger. half inch left or right, it wouldn’t be a thought. There was no intent to injure on that play.” Effing amazing how KNOW that beyond a doubt.

        You want to know what I really “dislike?” It’s that idiotic rule that separates so-called super-stars from everyone else when it comes to seeing things as a penalty.

        I am NOT glad he got hurt. Anymore than I was a “cry baby” when Methot lost a piece of his finger. S’*t happens – just be consistent when calling the effing game.

      • Caper you can’t tell me that niskannen deserved 5min? Any other player and he doesn’t get 5 is all I’m saying! And I’m a fan of crosbys skills but he does cry a lot

      • Totally agree there Bigbear. If anyone deserved a penalty it was Ovechkin – but he too is a “star” and so his infraction was overlooked while Niskanen represents an “easy” target for the zebras. McLennan came right out and said the call was made only because Crosby is a “star” and Niskanen isn’t. Then you have Craig Button huffing and puffing that there needs to be a suspension. Say what?

        Anyone with an open mind will tell you that, had it been, say, Kunitz who had taken the tip off Methot’s finger there would have been at least a major penalty. Plus ça change … plus ç’est la même chose.”

      • See there u go again George bring everything back to Methot. Try looking at it with an open mind and not clouded by an incident that was a slash. Crosby with 6 concussion gets special treatment. Because he wasn’t called for a penalty on his slash to the hand of Methot. Crosby is no angel and has done his share of slashing. I have no issue with the call on the ice, should’ve been a penalty to Ovie, as his was the worst. But give me a break that this guy gets special treatment when he is now suffering his second concussion in 7 months.

      • That Methot thing was a comparison – that’s all – to underscore my contention that there is one effing rule for “super-stars” and another for everyone else. Read the effing thing again and while you’re at it climb down off your sanctimonious horse.

      • It was a crime of opportunity. He didn’t have to drive his stick into sids head. If it were a white jersey coming at him there’s no way the stick strikes the head. He chose to do it. Don’t give me that crap about you can’t prove he meant to do it. You can, just play hockey. Just like the other Washington weasel steckel he didn’t have to do it, players just know how to hide things better. And they lie afterwards but we have to believe them.

  4. It’s really too bad the hit on Crosby will likely dominate the story of this series. Seeing as this series seems feels like it is almost deciding who wins the cup this year.

    This hit was the type of hit we can pretty well all agree we want to see out of the game. However, I don’t think it was overly predatory, or some game plan on the capitals part to knock Crosby out of the series. Ovehckin’s slash/high hook was a play that most players make when they realize that a dangerous player just blew by them to the net. The skate to skate contact looks incidental. The dirty play is the hit on a player in a vulnerable situation, but it’s a common defensive tactic to punish guys near the crease or going hard to the net. Not excusing it, just stating that I don’t think it was a targeted predatory hit with intent to injure. I think Niskanen should probably have gotten a game, but overall, I don’t think it was some pre-meditated strategy to remove Crosby from the play.

    It’s too bad for anyone watching this series that there will be any sort of dark cloud hanging over it, as I think this is the most interesting series to watch if you don’t have a favourite team left in the playoffs. Either the Penguins make a bid win back to back cups for the first time of any team in the pre-cap era, solidifying Crosby’s status as the greatest player of a generation, or the Capitals exercise their playoff demons and try and prove they are a championship calibre team.

    Either way I really hope that Crosby returns so the story doesn’t envelope the entire series, and while I hope it adds a layer of hate, I hope that we don’t see these teams just start taking runs at each other putting star players out of the playoffs.

  5. Flyer fans should not be allowed to post. … or reproduce.

    • Just a general statement? Or a response to anything in particular?

  6. Everything has an antecedant — Hey NYR4Life — you probably don’t remember Michele Petit. He was the guy early in the series who was pinned to the boards by Lindros, who then used the butt of his stick to crush his jaw. ending his series and essentially his NHL career tho he played a few more games before going to europe. Superstars take a lot, dish out a lot, and often get special dispension from the refs.

    • I kinda remember. And by no means was I saying Lindros was an angel. Just pointing out that superstar players are often a target. And honestly hard to find a guy imo that was targeted more than Lindros. I’m a Ranger fan 1st, but have been a huge lightning fan for about 20 years. Season ticket holder from 97-01 until I had to relocate. …..

      Ranger fan, Lightning fan, but I ain’t gonna lie…. huge fan of the Legion of doom line! Lol next up was Molgilny, Lafontaine , Andreychuk…. can’t help it!

  7. Toronto resigns Zailtsev 7 yr 31.5 mill 4.5 cap hit. Would have liked to have seen a 4 or 5 yr instead of 7. B. Smith resigned 1 yr 600 thousand, didn’t think he’d get a new contract.

    • I think they probably got a deal on Zeitsev for the last 2 or 3 years of that contract.

  8. Yep Niskanen got the major and the misconduct but anybody else notice Ovechkin’s slash to Crosby’s hand and wack to the head with his stick that set the eventual injury in motion that went uncalled by the refs?

    • It seems everybody’s replies to this article wasn’t posted upon my arrival. Just ignore my comment as apparently everybody has noticed Ovechkin’s antics

  9. Ovechkin’s slash and bash to Crosby’s head put in motion the end result cross check by Niskanen to Crosby. Both Ovechkin and Niskanen may not have operated on an intend to injure premise but they sure did find a way to take advantage of a vulnerable player who just happens to come with far more class and talent than either of the trash that concussed him.