NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2018

by | May 8, 2018 | News, NHL | 2 comments

Capitals beat Penguins advance to Eastern Conference Final, Predators defeat Jets to force a seventh and deciding game. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: For the first time in 20 years, the Washington Capitals are going to the Eastern Conference Final. And for the first time in 24 years, they’ve defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime to give the Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Penguins, ending their second-round match-up in six games. The Capitals got the win despite the absence of center Nicklas Backstrom, who missed Game 6 with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime in Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins to send the Washington Capitals to the Eastern Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a hard-fought and well-deserved victory for the Capitals. Goaltender Braden Holtby was superb, their best players all stepped up and they got contributions from their secondary scorers. Their ability to exploit the Penguins’ propensity to give up odd-man rushes played a significant role in winning this series. Fatigue was probably a factor for the Penguins. After winning two consecutive Stanley Cup titles, the  looked like a tired team as this series progressed. 

Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each scored twice and Pekka Rinne had a 34-save shutout as the Nashville Predators blanked the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 in Game 6 of their second-round series. There will be a seventh and deciding game in Nashville on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators also did a good job killing penalties as Jets went oh-for-four in this game. 

THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning sophomore center Brayden Point was the heartbeat of his club in its drive to the Eastern Conference Final.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Player depth will be key for the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final. They’ll face either the Nashville Predators or Winnipeg Jets.

 








2 Comments

  1. Tired, yes (plus Kessel, Brassard, Malkin and others were clearly playing hurt) but coming into the playoffs the Pens had 3 big question marks…

    1) Murray. He was very average. Matt has fallen into the same trap that many technically sound goalies fall into…they focus so much on technique that they lose their battle level. Just track the puck. Just stop the puck. Worry about technique in practice.

    2) Letang. He never stopped making mental mistakes. And that clearly didn’t get better in the playoffs. He pretty much handed the Caps that series.

    3) The #6 D man spot. The biggest concern coming into the playoffs. Meanwhile, Ruhwedel was great. Good job, Chad. If only Matt and Kris acquitted themselves as well.

    So, 2 of their 3 question marks proved worthy of questioning.

    I’ll add an unforseen #4…

    4) Mike Sullivan’s obsession with both being a 4 line team and playing Dominik Simon in key roles.

    Kessel could barely hold his stick…why Sully thought he could carry a line with Riley Sheahan…? Brassard could barely skate. Simon isn’t the worthless piece of dog vomit that most Pens fans think, but he’s closer to that than a top line player, certainly. The team turned around immediately when Sully shortened the bench last night and iced two strong lines.

    —-

    I haven’t seen my team on the wrong side of a hand shake line in almost 3 full years. Great run. Thanks for the ride. Rest up for #6 next year.

  2. Murray played meh but I pin this series loss on malkin kessel letang and brassard. Injury findgery. The pens got out coached as well. They had no answer for caps defense game. They couldn’t carry the puck in fancy drop pass or not and when they dumped it past the caps players they got beat to the puck almost always.