NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 20, 2018

by | Apr 20, 2018 | News, NHL | 2 comments

Playoff game recaps, injury updates, Norris Trophy nominees revealed and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins pushed the Toronto Maple Leafs closer to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 victory in Game 4 of their opening-round series. The Bruins hold a 3-1 lead in the series and can wrap things up on Saturday in Boston. Tuukka Rask made 31 saves, Brad Marchand scored the winning goal and David Pastrnak collected two assists for the Bruins, who were playing without top center Patrice Bergeron (lower-body injury, day-to-day).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs dominated this game but a couple of defensive breakdowns led to consecutive two-on-one goals by Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, giving the Bruins an insurmountable two-goal lead.

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s three-point game helped the Washington Capitals defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL Images)

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists as the Washington Capitals downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 to tie their best-of-seven series at two games apiece. Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist and Braden Holtby made 23 saves for the win. The series returns to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets looked surprising flat in this game, showing little of the spark from the first three games of the series. Secondary scoring has become a problem for the Jackets, as they’re not getting much production beyond leading scorers Artemin Panarin and Cam Atkinson. 

Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators are this season’s three finalists for the Norris Trophy.

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (lower-body injury) hopes to return for Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. Couturier missed Game 4 after suffering his injury in practice the day before.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist (upper-body injury) will miss Game 5 tonight against the Flyers.

Andrew Hammond will replace sidelined Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier tonight in Game 5 of their series against the Nashville Predators.

The Predators will be without forward Ryan Hartman, who received a one-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg in Game 4. 

New Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He hasn’t been ruled out for Game 5 on Saturday. 

The Lightning signed forward Michael Bournival to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair has reached out to a young Nova Scotia goaltender who was the victim of a racial slur. “I just told him that he does belong,” Duclair said.“He can do whatever he wants in this world.”

BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres owner Terry Pegula said his club will not raise season-ticket prices for 2018-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how poorly the Sabres played this season they would’ve had a difficult time justifying a price hike.



  1. Secondary scoring has been a problem for the Jackets, on and off, through the season. While I still like the Jackets chances in what has become a three game series, I doubt many Jackets fans would be terribly disappointed with being eliminated in the first round. After all, this is the first time in team history that the Jackets have gone to the playoffs in consecutive seasons.

  2. It’s becoming clear by the looks on Lou Lamoriello’s and Brendan faces that reality has set in…..the real Leafs have showed up last night….unwilling to pay the price….the only ones who put forth an effort were Mitch Marner and Plekanec. Everyone else went missing.

    Bozak is terrified of getting hit and actually pulls back and gives up the puck when anticipating a hit. Babcock should have him in the press box the minute his cowardice was exposed.

    JVR is slow, out of position and his shot is as powerful as my grandmothers. He sot the puck twice at Rask and I’m surprised it even made it to him. I thought the puck would stop before getting to Rask.

    Gardiner and Dermott gave up 2 on 1s that led to goals because they pinched instead of using the boards.

    Nylander needed a pair of leotards to compliment his power skating outside of the play all night long.

    Reilly had no game plan and couldn’t connect a pass if his life depended on it.

    Andersen let three goals in that would have been stopped if they had Allen Bester come out of retirement.

    I could go on but the Bruins didn’t beat them. They beat themselves.