NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2018
Jets advance to the Western Conference Final plus updates on the Lightning, Capitals and Golden Knights in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: For the first time in NHL history, a Winnipeg franchise has advanced to the Western Conference Final. The Winnipeg Jets downed the Nashville Predators 5-1 to win their second-round series in seven games. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves while Mark Scheifele and Paul Stastny each scored twice for the Jets.
Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was lifted after giving up two goals on seven shots early in the first period. Following the game, Rinne took the blame for the loss, telling the press he let his teammates down. Nashville blueliner P.K. Subban rushed to Rinne’s defense, calling him the backbone of the club and dismissing criticism of the 35-year-old netminder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though this series was a clash between the top-two teams in the league, the Jets victory feels like an upset. The Predators were Stanley Cup finalists a year ago and won the 2018 Presidents Trophy as the top regular-season club. Rinne is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, but he and his defense started to struggle during the final weeks of the regular season. Their defensive difficulties continued in their opening-round series against the underdog Colorado Avalanche and were exploited by the Jets’ powerful offense.
This was a well-deserved victory for the Jets. Hellebuyck made timely saves in key moments while Scheifele and Stastny played very well against the Predators. The Jets will have little time to prepare for the Western Conference Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. They host Game 1 on Saturday at 7 pm ET.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Speaking of the Golden Knights, forward William Carrier (undisclosed injury) is doubtful for Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
TSN: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov is looking forward to facing off against Washington Capitals superstar and Russian countryman Alex Ovechkin in the Eastern Conference Final. Game 1 begins tonight in Tampa Bay.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals head coach Barry Trotz faces an uncertain future as he remains without a new contract. However, he’s at peace with himself and his career as he prepares for his first-ever trip to a Conference Final.
BOSTON GLOBE: Several rival clubs have expressed interest in Bruins assistant coach John Ferguson Jr.
CBS SPORTS: The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Mark Alt to a two-year, two-way contract.