NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 14, 2018
Playoff game recaps, Ken Hitchcock retires from coaching, Nazem Kadri suspended and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Erik Haula scored in double overtime to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings and a 2-0 lead in their best-of seven opening-round series. It’s the first playoff overtime win in Golden Knights history. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 54 saves in a losing cause. Game 3 goes Sunday night in Los Angeles.
After being crushed 7-0 by the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their opening-round series, the Philadelphia Flyers bounced back with a convincing 5-1 victory in Game 2. Goaltender Brian Elliott made 34 saves while Sean Couturier had a goal and two assists. The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.
Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers each had a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in their opening-round series. It was a dominant performance by the Jets, outshooting the Wild 44-17. The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock is moving from behind the bench into an adviser role with the club, bringing his 22-season NHL coaching career to an end. “Hitchcock, 66, finishes third in all-time NHL coaching wins with 823 and fourth all-time in NHL games coached with 1,536. He also is the Stars’ franchise leader in games coached (585), wins (319), playoff games coached (80) and playoff wins (47).”
Hitchcock guided the Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999 and also coached the Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues. Hitchcock also won the Jack Adams Award in 2012 and was part of the coaching staff for Canada’s gold medalist Men’s Olympic hockey team in 2014.
SPECTOR’S NOTE Hitchcock retires as one of the most respected and successful coaches in NHL history. As per The Hockey News, his possible replacements could include former NHL head coaches Alain Vigneault, Willie Desjardins, Dave Tippett, Kirk Muller and Paul MacLean.
NHL.COM: The NHL department of player safety has handed a three-game suspension to Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri for boarding Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans are furious over the length of this suspension, as well as Wingels going unpunished for elbowing Leafs forward Mitch Marner in the face leading to Kadri’s retaliatory action. Of greater concern for the Leafs is how to replace Kadri in the second-line center role over the next three games. Failure to address that void could be a deciding factor in this series.
BOSTON HERALD: Speaking of the Bruins, forward Riley Nash will likely miss his sixth straight game since suffering an ear injury on March 31.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals head coach Barry Trotz won’t commit to Philipp Grubauer returning as their starter in Game 2 of their series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Grubauer was in goal for their 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1.
NATIONAL POST: For the first time in nearly five decades, long-time Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Bob Cole isn’t calling an NHL playoff series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It seems weird not hearing Cole’s distinctive voice calling a playoff game. He’s been the soundtrack of playoff hockey for most of my adult life. Looks like Sportsnet is trying to nudge the 84-year-old broadcaster into retirement.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk cries “fake news” on threats of moving the club, its attendance problems and its limited budget despite consider evidence that he made those comments.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes donated $250,000.00 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.