NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2017
Penguins thump Predators in Game 5 of Stanley Cup Final plus updates on Ryan Callahan, Marc-Edouard Vlasic & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel each collected three points, Evgeni Malkin had two points and Matt Murray turned in a 24-save shutout performance as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Nashville Predators 6-0 in Game 5 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. The series returns to Nashville for Game 6 on Sunday with the Penguins leading three games to two.
It was a rough contest, highlighted by Crosby and Predators defenseman P.K. Subban’s first-period wrestling match in which the Penguins captain delivered a series of short punches to Subban’s head. Both received roughing minors. Crosby also tossed a water bottle in the ice in the second period prior to the Penguins’ fifth goal but he insisted it was an accident and not aimed at one of the Predators.
The Predators also suffered a loss to the defense corps as blueliner Ryan Ellis left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. No word yet from the club as to his condition. For the second time in this series, the Penguins drove Pekka Rinne from the Predators net after he gave up three first-period goals on just nine shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time in this Stanley Cup Final, the Penguins dominated the Predators. It was apparent from the opening puck drop that the Pens came to play when Crosby bulled his way toward the Nashville net and clanged a shot off the right post. That pretty much set the tone for the evening, as the Penguins neutralized the Predators’ speed and offensive attack. Ellis’ injury could rob the Preds of one of their most effective players over the remainder of this series.
If there’s one consolation for the Predators, it’s that they’re returning to Nashville for Game 6, as no one in this series has won a road game. The Preds need that trend to continue on Sunday or they’ll be watching the Penguins hoist the Stanley Cup in Bridgestone Arena.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning haven’t asked forward Ryan Callahan to waive his no-movement clause. That’s seen as an indication the club intends to protect him in the upcoming NHL expansion draft.
CSN BAY AREA: The agent for San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said contract extension talks are going well and both sides hope to get a long-term deal in place by early July.
TSN: Dan Milstein, the agent for Montreal Canadiens restricted free agent defenseman Nikita Nesterov, denied reports out of Russia claiming his client had signed with a KHL team. Milstein said his client intends to play in the NHL next season.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights hired Mike Kelly as an assistant coach.
BSN DENVER: Windsor Spitfires head coach Warren Rychel has had discussions with the Colorado Avalanche regarding a possible front-office role.
THE SCORE: Despite plans to renovate Seattle’s KeyArena, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league hasn’t made any commitments to putting a franchise in that city.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: In order to make room for future champions on the Stanley Cup, the top ring of the trophy will have to be removed. That means the names of such legends as Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Jacques Plante, Glenn Hall and Ted Lindsay won’t be on the Cup anymore. The ring containing their names will rest in the Hockey Hall of Fame.