NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2018

by | Apr 17, 2018 | News, NHL | 3 comments

Playoff game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks tallied seven unanswered goals to crush the Anaheim Ducks 8-1 in Game 3 of their opening-round match-up, taking a 3-0 series lead and pushing the Ducks to the brink of elimination. Forwards Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi each had a goal and two assists for the Sharks, who can close out the series with a win in Game 4 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the most lopsided playoff defeat for the Ducks in franchise history. Undisciplined play proved costly in this game, but their lack of scoring punch in this series (three goals in as many games) remains their biggest weakness.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen’s 40-save performance backstopped his club to a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL Images).

Patrick Marleau scored twice and Frederik Andersen made 40 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Boston Bruins 4-2 in Game 3 of their opening-round series, cutting the latter’s series lead to 2-1.  The Leafs were playing without forward Leo Komarov, who was sidelined by a lower-body injury. Game 4 goes Thursday night in Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being steamrolled in the first two games, the Leafs put forth a much better effort in this contest. They shut down the Bruins top-scoring line, thanks in part to solid goaltending from Andersen, including an amazing stick save on Bruins winger David Pastrnak late in the third period. 

A four-goal third period powered the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of their first-round series. Cory Schneider got his first start of the series and turned aside 34 shots, while winger Taylor Hall scored a goal and set up two others. Tampa Bay winger Ryan Callahan missed this game with a suspected right-shoulder injury. The Lightning hold a 2-1 series lead, with Game 4 slated for Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider was solid in this contest, shrugging off an apparent leg injury in the third period to finish the game. The Devils played a much better team game, driving the Lightning to distraction and forcing them into undisciplined penalties. 

Nathan MacKinnon scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche jumped to a 4-0 lead on route to a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of their opening-round series. The Predators hold a 2-1 series lead, with Game 4 set for Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs once again opened the scoring but this time they were able to build on that early lead. They also chased Nashville starter Pekka Rinne from the net after he gave up four goals on 15 shots. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets coach Paul Maurice provided no update yesterday on the status of defenseman Tyler Myers, who suffered an apparent leg injury in Game 3 of their series against the Minnesota Wild. Myers is considered doubtful for Game 4 tonight in Minnesota. The Jets hold a 2-1 lead in that series. 

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky (upper-body injury) is expected to miss Games 3 and 4 of his club’s series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters has until Friday to exercise the exit clause in his contract. He has one year remaining on his current deal worth $1.6 million in salary. Hurricanes president and interim general manager Don Waddell confirmed some team have contacted the club asking permission to speak to Peters. 



  1. Well last night was fun, with Colorado, Toronto and New Jersey all avoiding being put against the wall for potential sweeps.

    Of those teams I think all are still in tough spots, but Colorado might have the largest hole still, mainly because despite a great game, I don’t think their talent and style are a strong match up for Nashville’s depth. Makes it hard to win 3/4 games.

    Toronto is also in a tough spot still as well. It was a great game to watch, but realistically, Boston wins that game at least 45% of the time the way it was played. Toronto carried the play more when they were tied, but Boston wasn’t walked over by any stretch, and Toronto’s PK still looked awful, they just managed to escape with some luck, stellar goaltending from Andersen, and only taking one penalty. Toronto was likely the better team on the night, but very slightly, and while this would be exciting if we got games like that from the start, Toronto will need a pile of luck, or Rask to play a stinker, for them to win this series, just because if that is the series we expect going forward, you need the bounces to go your way to win 3/4.

    Tampa-Jersey has looked closer than I would have expected, although Tampa has looked to be a clearly better team. Jersey kind of gets to embrace the underdog role, which does take some pressure off (Colorado really does too), which helps. The thing I am amazed at his how clearly Hall has looked like the best player on either team so far in this series. While I have never been a fan of the trade, I don’t think it would be fair to evaluate it based on this version of Hall, as I don’t think there are many that thought Hall was as good as he has been this year. It’s not just points, he just dominates play so much of the time he was on the ice.

    • Toronto is my home town and I was very surprised that they won last night. FA stole the whole game. There were flurries and flurries of activity in the Leaf zone. We benefited from a blown delay of game call; two missed sticks to the face; two goals that Rask should have had; plus a goalie in FA that stood on his head. On a whole, Bruins outplayed us and out chanced us. I truly believe that we have one more home game for the season. We NEED a good D badly.

      • Andersen had a necessarily huge game in order for the leafs to win, but Rask played well to keep it close. The Leafs heavily outchanced Boston in the 1st and 2nd, and only once they were sitting on a lead did Boston start to tilt the ice. I wouldn’t read too much into that alone, as that is the same thing that made games 1-2 look closer than they were (in terms of actual chances and shots), where Boston controlled the dangerous chances early, and the Leafs only started building momentum when Boston sat on a comfortable lead. Boston scored twice in the 2nd, but neither was on a great chance, as Freddy should have had those. He made up for it, but had the Leafs been up 4-0 or 4-1, he may not have had to make up for it.

        The thing that is troubling for the Leafs is a game played like this can literally bounce either way, even more so because the Leafs PK was still atrocious looking, but luckily for them it wasn’t a high penalty game. The Leafs have a shot if they play the way they did in game 3 for the remainder of the series, but it’s just a shot. It will still require quite a bit of good fortune (or bad fortune for Boston), since Boston didn’t get run out of the rink. The Leafs still need to win on in Boston, and need to win 3/4, which is a tough ask against a team that you really can only play close with, not dominate.

        I agree that the Leafs most pressing need is a D, the issue is they need one that can play high enough up in the line up that the team is actually improved, and they likely need to find a way out from under Zaitsev’s contract, as he has been just god awful all year. He makes too much to be on the bottom pairing, but if he was good enough to play in the top 4, the Leafs D wouldn’t be such an issue. As long as Babcock views him as a defensive stalwart, the Leafs may be in trouble.

        I don’t blame management for not forcing a deal to this point, as I don’t think the right player has been available, and I am not a fan of forcing trades that just aren’t there right now, especially when the team isn’t likely in it’s final iteration as it is. This summer there will be a few interesting UFA D (Carlson, De Haan, Pateryn) who have played a good defensive game in a top 4 role and are under 30, Green is a reasonable stop gap solution, still very capable of playing top 4 minutes provided he is on a short deal, and I do think a few might shake loose and be available via trade, with teams deep in D potentially looking to shake things up if they get ousted quickly (LA, Anaheim). Throw in some situations surrounding Trouba, Doughty and Karlsson that could arise this summer and there could be a bit of movement. It’s unlikely the Leafs could get any of those guys, but their movement can cause a ripple effect that they need to be ready to jump on. The other swirling unknown is who will be the GM for this crucial summer? If it is Dubas, as some have rumored, will he try to distance himself from a Lou Move or make an immediate mark as it has been well documented that and Lou have not seen eye to eye on all personnel decisions. This could create a situation where he tries to instantly differentiate himself and does something that Lou wouldn’t.