NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2019

by | Apr 13, 2019 | News, NHL | 27 comments

Blue Jackets, Islanders and Blues take 2-0 series leads, Golden Knights tie their series with Sharks, plus the latest on Connor McDavid, Todd McLellan, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead in their opening-round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning with a convincing 5-1 Game 2 victory. Matt Duchene had a goal and three assists, Artemi Panarin collected two points, and Zach Werenski had a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist, and a five-minute fighting major after scrapping with the Lightning’s Brayden Point. Tampa Bay right wing Nikita Kucherov will have a hearing today with the NHL’s department of player discipline for boarding Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara late in the game. 

Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene had a four-point performance in a 5-1 Game 2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After blowing a three-goal lead to fall 4-3 in Game 1, the consensus was the Bolts let that game get away from them. They cannot use that excuse for Game 2, as they were outworked and out-hustled by a motivated Blue Jackets club riding a big shot of confidence from their come-from-behind victory in the previous contest.

As the game went on, the Lightning lost their composure, resulting in Kucherov’s ill-disciplined antics late in the third when the game was out of reach. With the series shifting to Columbus for Games 3 and 4, the Blue Jackets are riding high while the Bolts are struggling to cope with real adversity for the first time this season. 

Third-period goals by Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey lifted the New York Islanders to a 3-1 Game 2 victory and a 2-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Robin Lehner made 32 saves for the Isles while Eberle and Mathew Barzal each had two-point performances.  Erik Gudbranson scored for the Penguins. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A thoroughly entertaining and hard-fought playoff game that could’ve gone either way until Eberle broke the tie and Bailey put it out of reach. This is the first time since the 1983 Stanley Cup playoffs that the Islanders have taken a 2-0 lead in a playoff series. This year’s version has served notice to the veteran-laden Penguins as the series moves to Pittsburgh for the next two games that they’re a hungry bunch not satisfied with exceeding expectations during the regular season. 

Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in the third period as the St. Louis Blues edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 to take a 2-0 lead in their opening-round series. Oskar Sundqvist scored twice for the Blues while Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine tallied for the Jets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs were sloppy defensively but the Blues made the most of it. Jets goalie Connor Hellebucyk was not at his best in this one. Neither was Blues rookie netminder Jordan Binnington but he didn’t need to be as his teammates bailed him out.

Special teams made the difference for the Vegas Golden Knights in their 5-3 series-tying victory in Game 2 of their matchup with the San Jose Sharks. Colin Miller and William Karlsson tallied shorthanded goals and Mark Stone scored on the power play. The Sharks believed the game turned when Logan Couture’s apparent go-ahead goal in the second period with the score tied at three was waved off for goaltender interference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks coach Pete DeBoer didn’t believe the call was goalie interference because Sharks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was outside his crease and it wasn’t Couture’s intent to interfere with Fleury. Regardless, the call stood, the Golden Knights went on to win the game and the series is tied heading to Las Vegas for Games 3 and 4. 

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers sought second and third opinions regarding Connor McDavid’s leg injury while they formulate a recovery plan for their captain. While x-rays revealed McDavid didn’t suffer any broken bones, the exact nature of the injury remains publicly unknown. 

TSN/LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Oilers coach Todd McLellan is no longer considered a candidate for the Buffalo Sabres’ head-coaching position. McLellan remains the leading contender to become coach of the Los Angeles Kings. 

WGR 550: Former Oilers coach Ralph Krueger could become a candidate for the Sabres’ job. 

NBC SPORTS: Center David Backes is expected to rejoin the Boston Bruins lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch from Game 1 of their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk skipped practice yesterday for a maintenance day after being shaken up in Game 1. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche prospect defenseman Cale Makar is the winner of the 2019 Hobey Baker Award. 


  1. Well, well WELL … is this headed to be “the year of upsets??” NYI, St. L and Columbus all with 3 – 0 leads. Now, I’m not about to write of TB just yet Columbus also went up 2 – 0 on Washington last year, limiting them to 1 goal in n2-1 and 3-0 wins … but man, that was a serious s*&t-kicking in TB’s own building., And in 2 games neither Kuchervov nor Stamkos (or Point) have contributed anything. And Vasilevsky … hoo boy.

    I did at least pick St. Loo to the dark horse this year so that doesn’t surprise me, but seeing Pittsburgh look tight against NYI, with NO contribution from Crosby or Malkin is an eye-opener. Gonna be REAL interesting tonight if the Leafs go up 2-0 on Boston. In Boston.

    • Getting ahead of myself … (all with 2-0 leads ….)

    • Hi George

      I know you are referring to no contributions from Crosby wrt actual goals/assists

      He was very much a contributor with chances though.

      … and defensively he bailed the team out in several plays

      Malkin , however; seemed lost out there

      He was definitely frustrated

      Sit JJ at home and all is good

      • Jack Johnson takes a stupid penalty gets out of the box and gets another one trying to skate to the bench, he should have had 2 interference penalties in that 3 second sequence. Is JMac hurt or did he get benched. I get why Blueger got inserted into this game but it should have been Cullen or Wilson that went to the press box not JMac. Right now the Islanders are hungry and have a chip on their shoulder. Murray was fantastic last night the rest of the team needs to play like him.

      • Hi Deee

        JMcC was hit hard last game ; missed practice and was announced as a healthy scratch

        Agree if JMcC in should have been Blueger in for the old man or Wilson

        Murray was excellent.

        JJ of course atrocious ….. the out-of-the penalty box back into-the-penalty box play was keystone cops 👮‍♀️ 👮‍♀️

        What an idiot

        I think most of the team was in a haze; none playing below their potential more than Gino…. he let Isles get under his skin

        Sid dint put up points but I thought he was very solid in their end setting up a few very good chances

        Sully , sit JJ, McC back with Sid and Guentzel and all is forgiven

        Big turnaround coming when back home

        Will be out now for most of day ( have to get the snows/summers flipped in the cars and have to do shopping)… will tie back in later

      • Just a couple of days ago, the islanders had no chance? Damn those haters!

      • Well as long as the Rags still suck for the foreseeable future I can not be totally disappointed. Forbes says they are the most valuable franchise in the league and they have only won one cup in the modern era. The Rags are only worth 1.5 billion because they are in New York, the same place Starbucks charges $17 for a coffee. I like the Pens chances better than Tampa right now, at least they didn’t lose 2 games at home.

      • Not sure what any of that has to do with the price of milk…. but worth? The pens are the ONLY pro franchise is sports to file bankruptcy TWICE in their existence..::

        I wonder how long after the soon to be end of Crosby era will they hit 3 times and be playing in Houston?

      • But boy, you sit there and criticize people for picking the isles over he Pens like it was totally impossible….calling them haters , then go on a tirade about the rangers and your obvious disdain for them?

        Lmfao. You have to be the most confused homer on this site!

      • Tampa 30-9-2 away from home, Columbus 22-17-2 at home….

        Pittsburgh home, 23-14-4, islanders away 24-14-3….

        Somehow, if you add those numbers up, divide them by homer… you get Pens have a better chance to come back in their series than Tampa does? Lmfao.

        I couldn’t ask for better nonsense out of you deeee… I couldn’t write it myself!

      • Hey ny! It probably will be three some day! But Houston? Nah… another Rigged ping pong ball for a generational talent following another year long lock out (also rigged and timed to help the pens) will keep the pens here for another 30 years! And Crosby will own the team then with a guy named erkle essentially to recoup the money the bankrupt team failed to pay him.

  2. Yes I’m stunned like most wrt Bolts being down 0-2 in the series

    Kudos for Clb but I still firmly believe Bolts right the ship and win the series

    The shock is over; the wake up call made …. they will come out gangbusters in Clb

    Good on ya for VGK…. the penalties were highly skewed against them; they were outshot ; but still won… the flower kept them in; and SJ’s tandem let the sharks down

    In Winn … I hate to say it , but Hellebuck is directly on the hook for 2 of those goals …. the difference maker IMO

    The two games on the Island were very exciting and the first went to OT; and 2nd was tied in the third…. tougher to come back from 0-2; but series now shifting to Pitt….

    Guess who was back….yep the brutal JJ. I absolutely knew Pens would not win last night before the first puck was dropped… just because he was in the game

    I was so confident in that; that as soon as I heard he was playing I phone my best friend and asked him what odds he would give me if I called before the game; a loss by Pens and game winning goal either due to a JJ gaffe or in a power play for a stupid penalty he took … he gave me 2-1 odds … the bets between my friend and I per agreement have the loser donate the winnings to a charity of the winners choice …, he will be donating $400 today to the Canadian Red Cross

    I almost won that 3 ways to Sunday…. JJ took two stupid penalties and MURRAY spectacularly baled him out; he followed his D partner into the corner 3 times leaving a man open …, twice bailed out by Murray; once by Sid; but my (Canadian Red Cross’) victory came with the game winning goal as JJ’s defensive positioning (or lack there of) made him look like a houseleague player who had the flu

    The right decision to sit him game 1 was made

    The very very very wrong decision was made to play him in game two

    His ability to hit and block shots is cataclysmically overshadowed by his absolutely brutal play

    Isalanders played great; the crowd was behind them; their attack was very good

    Let’s not forget …. if it weren’t for JJ (costing Pens 11 game points this season)… Pens open at home against Carolina.

    If Pens just had 3 of those 11 game points lost due to JJ; the first 2 games open in Pitt instead of the Island …. there is absolutely no way Pens are down 0-2 to NYI while having home ice advantage

    Most costly off season acquisition by any team any time EVER

    Sully…. please pretty pretty pretty please …., DO NOT PLAY HIM

    • Lest we overlook – that was a nice game from Duchene last night. Maybe this is the year he removes the Hoo-doo tag!

  3. TB may be further handicapped if Kutcherov get penalized a game or two today at his hearing…

    • If they blow this series after the regular season they had, they’ll go down – fairly or unfairly – as “the team that Stevie Y built – for the regular season.”

  4. Congratulations to Matt Duchene for increasing the amount of suitors and millions he added to his summer with one playoff game performance.

    • Now, now – don’t be nasty … that’s one step in that direction, But if it continues ….

      • @ George O
        Was not be nasty–Props to Matt. We all know what a single playoff performance can do for an UFA

      • Ah sorry da – lol – I thought a detected a note of sarcasm in the added line “with one playoff performance”

      • @ George…I could see that too! Even if CBJ lose the series but Matt keeps producing half the league will be interested where I thought his suitors were limited before due to his price tag

  5. Always thought Ralph Krueger deserved better than one season in the NHL (lockout shorted 2012-13) with Edmonton. Of course, that was just one more dumb decision by that bonehead MacTavish.

    Hope Kruger gets the Buffalo job.

  6. What’s the number for Kucherov, I’m picking 2 game suspension. Has to be more then 1 and can’t be 0 imo.

    Dee calls anybody saying the NYI can beat Pittsburgh haters and today he sound like one of the haters. Not over yet of any team down 2-0, I don’t write off the visiting team until they lose one at home.

    If Boston continue to try and play Toronto style hockey it will be a quick series. One of the reason the Bruins have solid GAA is the system they play not the elite goaltending because they don’t have elite goaltender. Back to your system and you’ll have better chance at success. 15 break away and shorthand goal every game is not a recipe for success.

    Connor Hellebuyck lost the game for Winnipeg last night and I don’t see them coming back against a very strong St. Louis team.

    Wondering if San Jose can survive Martin Jones does he get the start in game 3. Can’t be given up Boston style shorthanded goals.

    Interested in the Dallas-Nashville game tonight, I didn’t give Dallas much of a chance but like Toronto if they can go up 2-0 going home for game 3 and 4 that will be huge. As it was stated last night; home teams going down 2-0 have only come back to win 13.7% of the time. So yes there is a chance albeit a small one.

    • Not quite as good as the 18.5% chance of winning the lottery if you finish last … as Colorado discovered with that Ottawa pick … so it will be interesting to see how those 0-2 teams that lost at home react on the road. You have to wonder, too, what coaches will be fired if Winnipeg, TB go on to lose their series. Certainly Paul Maurice may be one.

      • True George I know you don’t feel bad for Colorado but that twice in 3 years they had the best odds at the 1st overall and both times they fell from 1st to 4th. I would call that the opposite of what the Oilers were doing, of except for this year.

    • I’ll be very surprised if Kucherov receives anything more than a fine for his brain-fart. Stars are seldom sat down for a playoff game – although I do remember Chris Pronger getting 1 game for his elbow to the head of Dean McAmmond in the 2007 cup finals.

      • He should get at least 2.
        Not much different than Kadri last year.
        The intent was clear as day.
        Edit: In response to the Can USA debate on who is a better feeder league…
        Major Junior is and has been the leader forever and a day, but the American program and sheer population to draw from has them nipping at our heels lately.
        The gap will only narrow until they surpass us in volume and talent sent to the pros. (Also can’t forget the Finnish program)
        The game is growing, and that is super news for fans all over the world.

      • Very true. That’s borne out by one of the projected Top 31 picks in this year’s draft which sees 13 from Major Junior, 9 from the U.S. programs, 3 from Sweden. 2 from Finland, and 1 each from Russia and Germany as well as 1 from Tier II Junior – Alex Newhook, a C with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, who will likely opt for a U.S. college program.