NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2018

by | Apr 30, 2018 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Predators, Capitals even their respective series, update on Hurricanes GM search and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Kevin Fiala’s double-overtime goal gave the Nashville Predators a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2 of their opening round series. Ryan Johansen scored twice for the Predators and teammates Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each had three-point performances. Mark Scheifele tallied two goals and an assist for the Jets and Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist. The series moves to Winnipeg for Game 3 tied at a game apiece.

Kevin Fiala was the overtime hero for the Nashville Predators in a 5-4 victory in Game 2 of their series against the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was one of the most thrilling games I’ve seen in this year’s playoffs. It was very evenly matched, and while the Jets lost this one they put forth a better effort than in Game 1, which they stole thanks to an outstanding performance by goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. The Predators’ best players, meanwhile, made their presence felt in this one. If this game is any indication, we’re in for a very exciting series between these two talented clubs. 

Braden Holtby turned in a 32-save performance to backstop the Washington Capitals to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring and teammate Lars Eller collected three assists.

The Penguins thought they had narrowed the score to 3-2 in the third period but there was no conclusive evidence the puck crossed the goal line. They also lost defenseman Brian Dumoulin after he was struck in the head by the shoulder of Capitals winger Tom Wilson. No penalty was called on the play and there’s no indication he’ll face supplemental discipline. The Pens also played without center Evgeni Malkin, who remained sidelined by a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A strong bounce-back effort by the Capitals following a heartbreaking opening-game defeat. The series shifts to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4. Don’t be surprised if Malkin returns to the Penguins lineup by then. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks’ captain Joe Pavelski has been the club’s heartbeat since taking over from the sidelined Joe Thornton as their first-line center. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights’ coach Gerard Gallant could keep his lineup changes for Game 2 intact for Game 3 on Monday. He moved “David Perron back with regular linemates Erik Haula and James Neal while dropping Alex Tuch down to play with Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter.”

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is showing improvement following a roller-coaster series against Toronto. One reason is his ongoing recovery from an MCL sprain in his left knee. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forwards Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat skipped practice Sunday for “body maintenance.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth will undergo arthroscopic surgery on both hips. He also said he will be changing trainers for the third straight year. 

SPORTSNET: Carolina Hurricanes interim general manager Don Waddell will remain in the role for the time being. The club couldn’t reach an agreement with Buffalo Sabres assistant GM Steve Greeley and there’s no other prospective hires in the near future. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed one reason behind the Hurricanes’ difficulty in attracting quality candidates is new owner Tom Dundon’s salary offer is considered too low. 



  1. Nashville – Winnipeg series is great hockey. I hope this one goes 7

  2. There was no conclusive evidence…except for that still picture that NBC showed 28 times clearly showing the puck fully across the goal line.

    I understand them missing Niskanen’s knee on knee on Guentzel. I understand them missing Tom Wilson’s hit from behind head shot that concussed Dumoulin. I understand them seeing the trees and missing the forest on the Murray interference. But…

    Did they not see the NBC still frame?

    If not, why was there a failure in the process?

    If they did, why did they ignore it?

    • In the end did that goal matter? Minus the empty netter, Washington was still winning the game.

      • Holtby soiled his pants after the Hornqvist goal, but the refs changed his diaper. The Pens would have won in regulation if that goal stands the way the Caps melt down.

        And I want to make this clear, I understand WHY they blew the Murray call, but they completely blew the Murray call. It was obvious, intentional goalie interference by Connelly slashing Murray’s pad. It should have been no goal and a Pens PP, but instead they rewarded Connelly’s malfeasance.

        Wilson’s head shot should have been a 5 minute major.

        Different game if the refs do their jobs yesterday.

      • That is clearly hypothetical that they win in regulation “if” they score that goal.

        Some pens fans take all this to an extreme. Someone touches Crosby, gets in his face, agitates him and they’re ” the filthiest player on the planet”.

        The Connelly stick to Murray was well before that goal was scored, this is going to be a no call 11 out of 10 times. How many similar plays have we seen this year?

        The Dumoulin hit was not getting a 5 minute major. Dumoulin stopped and turned… no chance Wilson could let up. He’s not going to be disciplined for the hit either. There was no intent there….

        We’re not going down the ” The NHL loves Wilson so much they ignored it ” road are we?

        Something tells me if the Caps should win this series, it will all lead back to that disallowed goal in game 2 in some minds.

        Pittsburgh could very well be on a 2-0 hole heading to game 3! Count your blessings!

        Also Holtby has been significantly better than Murray so far in the playoffs….let’s not pretend this man can’t handle a goal against without blowing up.

      • That’s an ignorant comment. I’d thats goal counts and it’s 3-2 anything can still happen in the game. The game would not play out the exact same way.

      • Ignorant? Lol. Right, anything can happen… like Washington wins 3-2 or 4-2 which is the most likely scenario….. before you throw out insults like “ignorant” try and put a sentence together that almost makes sense….. “I’d that goal counts”?

        Play nice.

      • Lol sorry auto correct changed it to I’d. I’m not perfect nor omnipotent like you I guess.

        It was an ignorant comment, as anything can happen. Especially with the momentum that goal would have created.

      • Connely’a “stick to Murray” was less than half a second before the goal was scored and he did it intentionally to interfere with Murray. The puck was not anywhere near him at the time. If it’s ok to physically mess with a goalie like that then every player should just hook and slash at every goalie any time they are close. If that goal comes back like it should have and they counted the goal that was reviewed like they should have then this game is 2-2,

      • Lol. It was a tap, didn’t have anything to do with Murrays positioning , vision nothing. He was already well away from Murray when that puck goes in. This is a goal, every time.

        I’ve seen MUCH more blatant interference prior to a goal being score this year a bunch of times….

        I think Pittsburgh fans just expect the rules to be different for Pittsburgh than anyone else.

        I have absolutely zero interest or love for either team. I pretty much don’t like either team.

        If this was the other way, I’d say exactly what I’m saying now. Would you?

    • It’s ignorant to think hypotheticals have hold more weight than reality……

      Washington could have won the Game 7-2….. I think you may want to choose different wording for someone not willing to go along with your ” what ifs”……. not going along with your “what ifs” has nothing to do with ignorance. Tho think otherwise is ignorant.

      It was a goal, there was 11 minutes left on the clock, either way Washington was still leading at that point. Could Pittsburgh have tied it? Sure hypothetically. They COULD have….could Washington have score another? Or 6 more? Sure they COULD have…. learn the difference!

    • I’m with the NHL. No way Wilson had time to adjust for Dumoulin’s change of position at the last second.

      Hopefully, Malkin returns soon, his loss, as well as Hagelin’s with Murray’s struggles, are what ails Pit at present. Playing without Malkin is huge, he’s is 1 of the most elite players in the NHL & there is no replacement for that.

      Until Pit plays at home I have zero concerns. The took home ice advantage away from Was & I still have them getting by Was.

  3. Canes are currently talking with four different GM candidates, including Ferguson jr.- Boston exec.

    • maybe the Canes owner should be posting the GM position as an internship at Duke, NC State, UNC. Probably the only way the cheapskate will hire a GM.

      why would any respected pro GM take a job there when they know the owner will want to run the whole operation. It’s just like the disaster that Brian Lawton had to operate under the Lightning ownership of Koules/Barrie all over again

  4. They cannot take that long to review a goal and get it wrong… It deflates the players and fans to take that long to review plays and calls.
    In general the time to go to Toronto and let the refs review is terrible for the game.

    • So looking forward to having Hunwick back in the lineup, and after having not played a game in months. It’s like Wilson spotted his team at least one goal for every game Dumoulin is out. I bet they even try Hunwick with Letang so as not to mess with the other pairs. People say Wilson is a giant moron and they are right but in this case he’s an evil genius.

  5. I don’t think the new owner in Carolina is going to be cheap or is cheap. He stepped up to buy the 3rd worst money-losing operation in the NHL & locked into keeping them there for 7 years as part of that agreement.

    The issue isn’t money it’s power & having him interfering in everything they do but not really being the 1 accountable for such the GM taking the fall for his interference.

    We have seen this numerous times with a multitude of teams. Cost Gillies his job in Van, has delayed Benning now from having started this rebuild sooner, we saw it with Tatenbaum in Tor, Katz in Edm, Pegula in Buf, Viola in Flo, I could go on & on. They own them so there choice but not positive. Give the President of hockey operations or GM whichever model you use a budget & the authority to do his job. Yes, he includes you in long term big money deals & interacts with you but don’t micromanage.