NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2018

by | Apr 26, 2018 | News, NHL | 7 comments

Bruins eliminate Leafs, second-round playoff schedule revealed, Jack Adams Award nominees and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins tallied four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 in the seventh and deciding game of their opening-round series. Rookie winger Jake DeBrusk scored twice for Boston while teammate Patrice Bergeron had a three-point game. Leafs forward Patrick Marleau scored two goals in a losing cause. The Bruins will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.

Two goals by rookie Jake DeBrusk powered the Boston Bruins to a 7-4 victory in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After taking 2-0 and 3-1 series leads, Boston almost blew this one. Despite the Leafs obvious weaknesses (which I’ll get to in a moment), the Bruins’ inconsistent play saw them enter the third period of Game 7 down 4-3 before their four-goal outburst saved their season. Goalie Tuukka Rask was erratic, the defense was sloppy and their secondary scorers disappeared for long stretches. They must address these issues if they’re to succeed against the Tampa Bay Lighting in the second round. 

Lots of Leafs fans are making defenseman Jake Gardiner the scapegoat for this defeat. He had a horrible game, on the ice for five of the Bruins’ seven goals. However, it’s unfair to pin this solely on him. This defeat was a team effort, starting with those two blowout losses to open this series. Goalie Frederik Andersen was hot and cold, forwards Auston Matthews and William Nylander were non-factors in many games and Nazem Kadri’s undisciplined play in Game 1 cost him a three-game suspension

Once again, the Leafs overall defense was their Achilles heel, finishing the opening round with the second-worst penalty kill and giving up the third-most shots-against per game. Until the Leafs address their defensive issues, they won’t become a Stanley Cup contender. 

The full second-round schedule has been released.

Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche, Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights are this year’s nominees for the Jack Adams Award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bednar and Cassidy did a fine job with their respective clubs this season, but I believe Gallant deserves this award. He took an expansion roster and turned it into one of this season’s top teams. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forwards Evgeni Malkin (lower-body injury) and Carl Hagelin (upper body) will miss Game 1 of their club’s second-round series against the Washington Capitals.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Despite suffering “a tear in his pelvic area, fractured ankle, pulled groin, busted mouth (twice) and the torn ligament in his thumb” during this season, Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds missed only seven games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL had a “toughest player” award, Simmonds would win it this season. That litany of injuries also explains why he was struggling earlier in the season, which briefly gave rise to trade speculation. He still finished with a respectable 24 goals and 46 points. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw underwent surgery on his left knee Wednesday. His recovery period is expected to be six months. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is believed to have suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of this season.

SPORTSNET: NHL Hall-of-Famer and former Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy is expected to return to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts as coach and general manager. He previously held those roles (and was also a part-owner) from 2005 to 2013. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton is considered the front-runner for the Minnesota Wild GM position. 

 








7 Comments

  1. As a Bruins fan I am glad they got by Toronto but do not have much confidence in them getting past Tampa right now. If they play the way they did in games 3-7 of the first round, they will be swept.

  2. Tampa remembers.
    Swallowed whistles (no calls at all) in game 7 in Boston. Zero chance for league best PP. Nathan Freakin’ Horton (a curse from the Panthers imported to Beantown). Very much a third line series.
    Hoping Bolts can hold serve as TD has been a house of horrors.

  3. Congrats to the “B”s

    Boston had more big game players and players that play a complete game right down the physicality …all the news media and NHL insiders all talk about the “NEW” NHL ..its speed finesse and skill….WELL that’s all fine and dandy …in the regular season!

    In the NHL playoffs the regular season is scrapped and its time to play BIG BOY hockey and if you don not finish checks, hit players coming through the center of the ice or in the corners or PUNISH the opposition for making plays when they have no business have that space and time …you will LOOSE a series every time !

    The Leafs had no size on the wings the duo of Gardiner and Zaitsev has an absolute embarrassment ALL SEASON long…and that liability duo has never shown up in big all season long.

    LOU ..has made a few errors this season …he gave up WAY TOO MUCH for Plekanecs the very style D man the Leafs are in need of was a player like Valiev ..a hard nose D man who HITS and does not let others take advantage …regardless of a few fleeting moments in time Plekanecs SUCKED and never fit in.

    Lou never addressed his D all year long …Dermott is a golden boy yes for sure BUT they have only one older man that plays a physical game and that’s Polak ..after that NOTHING !

    You can not alllow players to swing wide on the wings and rush the net at the dot…that player needs to be on his ASS every time …not a poke of a stick.

    Nylander pulls up every time there is a puck battle in the corner and NEVER made a hit on any play to wear down an opponent.

    This needs to be addressed BIG TIME!

    Leafs need some skilled size on the second and third lines who play a complete mans game…How the leafs gave Connor Brown only 2 . million for a career year of 20 plus goals and Zaitsev $4.5 million for a minus 22 in a year is BEYOND ME!!!
    HE SUCKS!!!!

    My main take away for 2018 ..

    Let go of or Trade :

    NYLANDER
    BOZAK
    JVR
    KOMOROV
    POLAK
    GARDINER
    ZAITSEV

    If I was the Leafs id be calling Chiarelli in Edmonton and make a deal for Darnell Nurse for Nylander right away !

    MCDavid needs a winger and we need a young hard nose D man that hits and can make plays !

    Start there Lou …at your earliest !

    Cheers guys have a good one !!

    • I’m pretty sure the Penguins have won 9 consecutive series without resorting to thugism or “big boy hockey.” Tampa is going to walk all over the Bruins and they don’t have any goons either. I think your ideas are a little antiquated and shallow.

      • Dee, I don’t see any reference there to as you call it goon hockey. Being strong on the boards and being able to throw a body check, hitting a defenseman every opportunity you can just so he might play the puck a little quicker then he wants, is far from goon hockey, played at its best. By your definition Patric Horqvist is one of the biggest goons left in the game, so yes Pitts has a goon on their team and you are lucky to have him.
        Every Team remaining in the west have a level of toughness to them, if you don’t like physical hockey then don’t watch Nashville playing Winnipeg. I for one can’t wait for it to start.

    • Boston had 221 hits, Tor 216. Good for 3rd & 4th in the 1st round.

      Boston showed a ton of speed.

      Toronto is a great developing team. Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Johansson, Kapanen & most of their D have years of growth & will keep getting better.

      Buying a quality Dman isn’t an easy proposition. Just ask Edm; Larsson, Cal not once but twice; Hamilton & Hamonic.

      Toronto took Bos to 7 games, that was a great accomplishment & this series was a coin toss for me. Andersen broke down at just the wrong time unfortunate but Tor has a very bright future.

      As I always say no shame in losing in the 1st Round. Boston finished 4th overall in the NHL 2 points out of 2nd & that was after treading water for the 1st 2 months of the season due to injuries.

      Toronto played great.

      • So Toronto played great and Boston sucked the last 5 games. Goalie Tuukka Rask was erratic, the defense was sloppy and their secondary scorers disappeared for long stretches. Spec’s quote. If Boston played to the level they should have they would have walked the leafs in 4.