NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2018

by | May 5, 2018 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Lightning and Golden Knights on verge of advancing to the Conference Finals. Brad Marchand’s face-licking fetish creates a stir. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Dan Girardi’s overtime goal gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their second-round series. With the win, the Lightning hold a 3-1 series lead and have an opportunity to conclude the series in Tampa Bay on Sunday.

The face-licking antics of Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand could soon be coming to a end. (Photo via NHL Images)

The game, however, was overshadowed by questionable officiating, including a missed call on the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov for knocking over Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy in the third period that led to Steven Stamkos’ game-tying goal. Drawing the most attention was Bruins winger Brad Marchand licking Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan on the face in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t know why people are so upset about the lousy postseason officiating. After all, we really shouldn’t so surprised. Fans and pundits have complained about it for years and it’s only gotten worse. Here’s live footage of the league addressing the most recent complaints:


As for Marchand’s latest antics, yes, it’s disgusting, unsportsmanlike and should be considered akin to spitting in an opponent’s face. I don’t doubt the league will actually crack down on that. 

The Vegas Golden Knights held off a third-period rally by the San Jose Sharks for a 5-3 victory in Game 5 of their second-round series. Vegas holds a 3-2 series lead and can wrap things up in Game 6 on Sunday in San Jose. At one point, the Golden Knights held a 4-0 lead thanks to two goals by winger Alex Tuch, chasing Sharks netminder Martin Jones from the game after he gave up four goals on 31 shots. Logan Couture collected three assists in a losing cause for San Jose.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby delivered a new set of hockey equipment to a seven-year-old fan whose family lost their possessions in a recent house fire. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Changes could be coming to the Capitals lineup for Game 5 tonight  against the Penguins in Washington after the top line of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Devante Smith-Pelly was held goalless in the previous game. Ovechkin and Smith-Pelly failed to register a shot on goal in that contest. The series is tied at two games apiece.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Now healthy, Jets forward Mathieu Perreault is hoping to return to the lineup in Game 5 after being held out of the previous game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Jets having dropped Game 5, Perreault might get his wish. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Five-year-old heart recipient Caleb Daniels will get the opportunity to toss a catfish onto the ice in Game 5 of the Nashville Predators-Winnipeg Jets series today at Bridgestone Arena. 

TSN: Arizona Coyotes center Marcus Kruger revealed he spent this season playing with a sports hernia before undergoing surgery last month. The Coyotes acquired Kruger on Thursday from the Carolina Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains Kruger’s on-ice struggles this season. He managed just six points in 48 games and spent 19 games in the AHL. 



  1. Seriously, Marchand needs to grow up. What a hack!

    • It’s not about “growing up”. It’s about a gifted hockey play who is the undisputed recipient of the Sean Avery award this season. His behaviour after the whistles and outside the lines, along with that of several of his teammates, is a problem. The Bruins are crying rivers this morning about a missed call. Don’t low bridge guys, don’t lick them, don’t dive, don’t get in guys face after every whistle, don’t whine about every call, and you might get that call on Kucharov. Lightning fans, like me, know it was a penalty. But we also believe that Marchand should have been in the dressing room (it’s a pretty fine point that spitting is a game, but ‘licking’ isn’t), not assisting Bergevan (who is giving Crosby a run for his money and carrying his team). It would have been nice to see a call when Kuch was roughed out of a breakaway in the last minute. The Lightning first power play, was a gift too, however.

      We can all agree the officiating has not been great this post-season and that this game was worse than most.

      But if you ask the refs to deal with the antics of a Marchand, and the collapse of Chara on a touch from Tyler Johnson, that’t not the uniform color that will get a game changing call late in the third period.

      The proof: we’re still talking about the licking this morning as the headline from a really hard fought game. The ref might have wondered if he missed a low hit (I’ll say borderline even though the victim and the coach said career threatening). But you know the licking was an upset, especially as a repeat. And there was no enforcement.

      Like Avery, the little guy has become the center of attention. Unlike him, he’s an MVP candidate. But sorry Boston, he’s hurting your team….if he just plays hockey Boston you are probably even in the series at worst.

      Outside the lines, it’s a hockey issue. Outside normal civilized behavior, it’s a problem on other levels.

      • Again even announcers would not stop talking about the non-call on Stamkos but the Chara call was a joke-and the hold on Kucherov was same level as the non-call on the Licker a few games ago

        Why do the play by play guys need to focus on the refs so much themselves?

      • Got your Tampa Bay glasses on today do ya Richard. Maybe Boston wouldn’t be complaining about the Refs is there was nothing to complain about. Stamkos 2 minute minor for hitting Nash in the head the principle point of contact. Headman constant crosscheck to the back after every single whistle, missed Marchand call, missed McAvoy call. simply put the refs gifted wrapped two games for the bolts, and your telling me that because of Marchand idiotic behavior and Boston complaining about the miss calls is the reason the ref didn’t call either of them two penalties. If your right then the league has a bigger problem, the game isn’t about the refs but it’s safe to say one thing is true everyone acknowledges that both non call played a huge factor in both of the bolts victory.
        CBC reported last night that the gross misconduct no longer exist, but the eliminate this childish disgusting behavior of Brad Marchand give him a 2 minute minor and a 10 minute misconduct and it’s goes away. I believe we seen the last of this act for good.

    • Good on Kelly H for vocalizing his disgust for his actions. Zero class

  2. The officiating has been inconsistent. The third period calls on Acciari and Johnson should not of been called….

  3. “As for Marchand’s latest antics, yes, it’s disgusting, unsportsmanlike and should be considered akin to spitting in an opponent’s face. I don’t doubt the league will actually crack down on that. ”

    I don’t believe they will as this isn’t the first time he’s done that with no consequences. (He and the Bruins have already been told to stop it and he continues). He should have been thrown out of the game and immediately suspended. His behavior is disgusting because you are right, it is like spitting in someone’s face.

    • The first time it seemed innocuous and everyone had a laugh over it. This time, he full-on licked an opponent right on the face. No one’s laughing anymore. That raised the ire of on-ice officials (who warned Marchand), some of his teammates (Chara apparently also warned him) and the media covering the game.

      • but will the league have the guts to suspend him for at least the next and maybe last game of the season for the Bruins? I highly doubt it.

      • I agree he probably won’t be suspended for his previous antics. I daresay he will if he tries it again.

      • Lyle, Imo i don’t think he should be suspended. Like Caper said, a 10 minute penalty. It will stop!

  4. Spitting at a player or ref is a gross misconduct, the most severe penalty assessable. Licking has to be something, at a bare minimum a 2-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with a 10 min misconduct. I’m a Bruins fan & I didn’t find it funny the 1st time either. It’s embarrassing to Marchand & the game. How wants another players saliva all over them. Marchand is accomplishing the same thing as if he spit on a player.

    NHL please make it stop. Marchand just play hockey for crying out loud.

    I don’t think Kucherov pulled McAvoy down either that little tug isn’t getting called. McAvoy should have fired that puck up the boards not tried to skate it out from behind his own net. That play may well have cost the Bruins the game, it certainly tied it.

    McAvoy is a stud in the making but these decisions are very costly but that’s what young Dman do, it takes a long time to learn to make the right play, the safe play. As was the acquisition of Nash; very costly, who has been terrible. His turn over lead to Points goal, although a lot of blame to go around there. Chara gets beat but the gap isn’t tight enough between Chara & McAvoy.

    Great game & Bos is in serious trouble now. No way I see them winning 3 games in a row against TB.

    • Nor has Rask played well enough for Bos to advance. Your not going anywhere with below average goaltending in the playoffs. Rask’s save % for the 8 goalies that have advanced is the worst by a significant margin. .902, next worst is Murray & Rinne at .909.

      As I said after game 1 against Tor if Bos keeps playing like this it’s going to be a very short series & that was with Krug.

    • The appropriate punishment is to have the rat lick Brett Burns beard clean after a game.

    • Yes striker it was a penalty, a player skating forward with control of the puck with no one in front of him to impede his progress then falls down, he didn’t fall on his own, nor was he trying to draw a penalty, he was pulled down which lead to the tying goal most definitely a penalty. That cost the team the game.
      You know it was a penalty when all the cbc announcer say it was a penalty because a Kelly Hrudey said “I better say something good about Boston to show i’m not bias against them”. Only reason to say that is because he is acknowledging what we already know. I wish I could here Doc Emrick doing the games, unfortunately I don’t get enough on the NBC broadcast.

  5. Why is the NHL allowing Brad Marchand to sexually assault people on the ice…?


  6. If Kruger’s game suffered to the point he wounded up in the AHL he or the team should have smacked him upside the head to get the surgery earlier. I get the whole ‘playing hurt’ stuff but at some point you do more harm than good.