NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2017

by | May 30, 2017 | News, NHL | 28 comments

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel celebrates his game-winning goal against the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Penguins win Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final plus updates on Olympic participation, salary cap info & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Jake Guentzel late third-period goal snapped a 3-3 tie and proved the game winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Nashville Predators 5-3 to take a 1-0 series lead in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Nick Bonino scored twice and Sidney Crosby collected two assists for the Penguins, who failed to register a shot on goal in the second period. They were largely outplayed by the Predators, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the third.

The Predators had a game-opening goal by P.K. Subban overturned by a controversial offside challenge in the first period, followed by playing shorthanded by two players when Jame Neal took an undisciplined cross-checking penalty during a delayed interference call on teammate Calle Jarnkrok.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The final score flattered the Penguins, who were largely outplayed for most of this game by the Predators. They’ll need a better effort in Game 2 or this series will head to Nashville tied at a game apiece.

SPORTNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave his annual state of the NHL press conference prior to the start of Game 1 of the Cup Final. Among the notable points was his adamant insistence the league will not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He also raised the possibility of a league-wide policy banning players under NHL contracts from taking part in those Games.

Bettman also believes video reviews on offsides and goaltender interference are working as intended. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the salary cap for 2017-18 could be between $73 – $77 million, depending on if the NHLPA uses its five percent inflator clause. The league also announced Tampa Bay will host the 2018 NHL All-Star Game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There remains speculation suggesting quiet discussions exist regarding Olympic participation between the league, the NHLPA and the IIHF. However,  I believe Bettman’s serious when he says the league won’t take part in the Pyeongchang Games. I also believe a showdown is coming between the league and several players, such as Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who still wish to represent their countries in those games.

As for the salary cap, the PA has annually used its inflator clause to ensure the highest possible cap ceiling to help free agents get the best possible deals. Grumbling persists among the players regarding escrow payments so it’ll be interesting to see if they approve the use of that clause again this year. 

TSN: Erik Karlsson wasn’t the only member of the Ottawa Senators playing through injury during their recent playoff run. Cody Ceci (broken finger), Craig Anderson (back), Zack Smith (ribs), Viktor Stalberg (abdominal), Alex Burrows and Mark Borowiecki (high ankle sprains), Dion Phaneuf and Ryan Dzingel (wrist), Derick Brassard (shoulder) and Mark Stone (leg) were also hampered or sidelined. 

Senators GM Pierre Dorion revealed his intention to protect Anderson in the upcoming expansion draft. 

SPORTSNET: Former NHL player John Scott said his critical comments toward P.K. Subban in a recent documentary about the flamboyant defenseman were made over two years ago, before he met Subban at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. Scott claims he’s now friends with the blueliner and said his remarks weren’t in context with anything Subban is doing now. “He’s such a cool guy,” said Scott. “I like the guy and consider him a friend. To have that come out now is a shame.”

Russian sportswriter Slava Malamud reports SKA St. Petersburg claims Ilya Kovalchuk has changed his mind about playing in the NHL next season because he wants to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Malamud also wonders if the New Jersey Devils couldn’t find any takers for Kovalchuk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk’s NHL rights are held by the Devils and there’s speculation they were considering a sign-and-trade scenario. Hopefully we’ll learn more about his status in the coming days. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: After receiving three years probation and a $10,000 fine for attempting to sell oxycodone, former NHL star Kevin Stevens is trying to put his life back together. He’s battled drug and alcohol addiction for years, losing his millions and his marriage along the way. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Stevens can overcome his addictions and get his life back on track. 



  1. The Pens must have adopted Ottawa’s “boring” style. They jump out to a 3-0 1st period lead – and then go almost 37 minutes without a single shot and to top it off, score the winner with just over 3 minutes to go on their SEVENTH shot of the game!! Now watch the Pitt apologists come out and defend that by saying “you do what it takes to win” – conveniently forgetting that that was exactly Ottawa’s position.

    • LOL. So true!

    • Nope. As a pens fan that game outside of 10-15 mins of the first was one of the worst penguins games I’ve ever watched.

      I’m not delusional. I know how they should play to win, and that wasn’t a defensive effort.

      Sens fans sure were after their 5-1 thumping of Pittsburgh.

      Guess who is laughing now

      • The pens must have something on the refs, they get all the calls a lot phantom and never get called for obvious infractions! The league should be ashamed of the officiating this playoffs

      • I doubt anyone on the Pens is “laughing” – they know that in a game 7 – double-OT – it was probably going to take a lucky or screened shot to win it – and that’s what they got when Kunitz fired that knuckler on which Anderson was screened by Pageau. C’est la vie. But “laughing” ?? Only in the narrow minds of the gloaters.

      • Actually after they beat Ottawa I’m sure they were having fun and laughing. You ever win a round of anything?

      • Probably more than you – but not going into personal history. Of course they were laughing after the win – just not derisively which is what I’m sure you meant. Maybe I’m wrong and if so I apologize – but that opinion is based upon some of your other comments over the past season

    • George as a hockey fan, I’ve never been a fan of the trap and never will be. It’s boring to watch. However what the Penguins did last night wasn’t a 1-3-1 1-4, they were simply outplayed and it’s Nashville that plays more of the Ottawa style but they also able to generate more offense from their back end. That’s a very strong set of 4 dman in Nashville.
      By no means was that an exciting game last night, even with the territorial play of Nashville they didn’t generate a lot of great scoring chances and 2 of their 3 goals came on the PP. Murray didn’t play well, Rinne didn’t play well, Matta was brutal, Kessel non existing. The game it self was not overly entertaining.
      I don’t think anyone is kidding themselves that Nashville outplayed Pittsburgh and by a wide margin, unfortunately for them, they didn’t get the win.

      • Only Guentzel’s goal would be defined as possibly soft for me but that was a perfect shot.

        He gave up the 1st on a 5-3 power play, Sheary was left all alone on a beautiful pass from Kunitz for the 2nd, what the hell was Arvidsson doing, discussing dinner plans with his Dman, he left Sheary wide open for a freebie on the 2nd & the 3rd was a fluckie bad luck goal. Not certain Rinne played poorly although his SV% certainly was, Ha-ha! as only the 4th goal off his shoulder into the top corner was questionable & it was a great shot on a quick release, at 6’5″ you would think Rinne wouldn’t give up that top corner but goalies curl their shoulders in to help control rebounds opening up those top corners even at 6’5″.

    • All teams protect leads, most as soon as they go up 2 goals. It was actually the 9th shot, they had 8 in the 1st.

      Congrats on a great season George. I’m happy for all Senators fans & the Senators. Not my cup of tea but it was very effective & they executed it very well. They had a fabulous season & playoff run. If people don’t like it don’t watch. Go weed your garden. Ha-ha!

  2. Offsides reviews need to go away. ANY missed offsides call can change the outcome of a game-why not go back to the time before the team entered the zone to confirm they were onside?

  3. Great win by pens. You do what it takes to win.

    • LOL. Figured that was coming. But at least have the class to admit that you no longer think that “style of hockey” has no place in the game.

      • I nEver said that George. I always agreed teams should do what it takes to win. It’s their job. But I also said it’s bad for the game. The sens style was bad for the game and 50% of last nights game… on the biggest stage none the less, was bad for the game. It’s not on the teams to change their style of play to fix this it’s incumbent on the league to fix the game so fast skilled hockey is beneficial for all the teams to play.

      • I could care less if OTT wishes to play that system, good on them & well done. I just choose not to watch it or pay to do so. I’m happy for what they accomplished for their fans & the team but I want to be entertained & win, not just win but I don’t begrudge Ottawa for putting in a system to give them a better chance for success.

      • also well put striker.

      • I hope you’re not a baseball fan then, because I’ve heard many lament pitching duels as “boring” as opposed to Earl Weaver’s preferred “3 run homer.”

      • I ain’t George. To boring. And pitching duels are bad for the sport as well unless you are a diehard. And diehards enjoy a three run or a duel. When the game is on it’s biggest stage you want to snag those passing by and hook em.

  4. I think Nashville got hosed on the disallowed goal but what concerns me more is a Stanley Cup winning goal being awarded on the basis of a controversial play. Just saying

    • Hell the NHL awarded a Stanley Cup on a goal that should never have counted. Brett Hull’s game winner against Buffalo. Those goals were called off all year. He was in the crease.

      I guess as fans poured onto the ice the NHL didn’t have the gumption to reverse that goal like they did all year.

      I love the NHL but this type of stiff drives me insane & makes no sense to me. Eliminate to problem quit band aiding it all they are doing is pissing fans off.

  5. I’m a Preds fan but the real travesty of the disallowed goal is that the pens had regained possession in their own zone but failed to clear the puck and turned it back over. If the NHL is adamant about keeping the off side rule their has to be some tweaking to make it actually reflect a little common sense. Funny how the replay rule was implemented when The Preds were burned by the Av’s to start it all and now Preds get burned again.

  6. It wasn’t a very exciting game.

    Why with almost every rule subjective does the NHL feels it needs off sides to be so black & white, they can’t come up with a better way to address this issue. Does anyone care whether a players skate is on the ice? I don’t but accept it is the current rule. All that matters to me is it behind the line. Change this rule next season & beyond as then we won’t be having goals called back that should count.

    I don’t know how the NHL can determine that any of those angles were conclusive. These types of issues make the NHL look foolish.

    Why do we have 4 zebra’s on the ice, let them call the game & if these rules need to be black & white I vote for all to be so. Enforce the dame rule book as written & stop making them so subjective. If that’s interference on Jarnkrok then I want the standard called on every play & I sure hope a fine for diving is coming.

    What the NHL doesn’t get is yes you have the best referee’s in the world but it’s having them make subjective calls that leads to soft penalties that can’t possibly be enforced fairly or equitably. It’s not the refs fault but the standard that’s the problem.

  7. no cheesy ridiculous comebacks for cheesy ridiculous comments?… ok… keepin’ it clean Lyle… my apologies.

    • You can respond without stooping to insults or trolling.

      • I honestly thought it was a commentary on how ridiculous a statement about the pens having something on the refs was with an obviously dumb comment in return… these boards don’t often leave room for context which honestly I forget sometimes. I tend to use sarcasm and tongue in cheek profusely and it tends to bite me in the behind at times on message boards (and in real life too 🙁 I sincerely don’t mean to insult anyone but if friendly jibing is mistaken for that that’s on me and I do sincerely apologize.

      • @chrisms I know how you feel, I’m the same way. You defend your team, nothing personal intended. Some people who come on this site aren’t trying to engage in a conversation, they’re trying to P you off. There’s a few people who used to comment here on a regular basis, because of this they don’t now. Which is a shame

      • It’s funny hearing you say that yogi you are one of the worst leaf trolls on here

  8. While the Pens have benefited greatly from it, the offsides replay system is awful.

    The intent was to eliminate the egregious (Duchene, Briere) offsides plays that lead to goals, not to measure in millimeters and milliseconds.

    Here is the solution: NO slow motion replays for offsides reviews. Only real time full speed video.

    Coaches won’t challenge the ticky tacky plays because they will be unlikely to be reversed but it would still prevent the missed 5 feet offsides plays becoming goals.

    PS- I know everyone loves him because he points very dramatically after goals…or something…but Wes McCauley is the king of reffing by the scoreboard and/or accountant refereeing. See the call of Phaneuf in Game 7 and the call on Maatta to make up for the 5 on 3 last night. He swallows the whistle most of the game and then calls some random chintzy nonsense to even out the PP’s. If he’s one of the best, I know why the officiating is so bad in the NHL.