NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2018
Washington Capitals take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored and Braden Holtby made 21 saves to give the Washington Capitals a 3-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Jay Beagle also collected two assists. The win gives the Capitals a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 slated for Monday at 8 pm ET.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Put simply, the Capitals’ best players rose to the occasion in this one while the Golden Knights’ best – except for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury – did not.
Ovechkin played what I though was his best game of this series, scoring a goal, blocking shots and leading by example throughout this contest. The Capitals captain is definitely dialed in for this series. Kuznetsov showed no lingering effects from the upper-body injury (left wrist) suffered in the previous game. Apart from mishandling the puck behind his net resulting in Vegas’ only goal, Holtby played well in this one.
The Golden Knights, meanwhile, dropped back-to-back games for the first time in this postseason. Three of their leading playoff scorers (William Karlsson, Reilly Smith and James Neal) failed to register a shot and defenseman Shea Theodore had a horrible game. Overall, the Golden Knights’ game lacked the energy we’ve come to expect from them. They’ll need a better effort in Game 4 to avoid a 3-1 series deficit heading back to Las Vegas.
Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny is open to a possible return to the St. Louis Blues this summer. Stastny, who was dealt by the Blues to the Jets at the trade deadline, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny has also said he’d be open to re-signing with the Jets, but I think he has a better chance of returning to St. Louis if the Blues are willing to bring him back. The Jets have several key players (notably Connor Hellebuyck, Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey) to re-sign this summer, and with Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor due for new contracts next summer, they might not have enough salary-cap room for Stastny.
TORONTO SUN: The New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings are interested in hiring former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter.