NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 14, 2019

by | Apr 14, 2019 | News, NHL | 8 comments

Capitals take 2-0 series lead over Hurricanes, Predators, Bruins, and Avalanche tie their respective series, Nikita Kucherov receives a one-game suspension, an update on Connor McDavid, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brooks Orpik’s overtime goal gave the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and a 2-0 lead in their opening-round series. Orpik became the oldest defenseman in NHL history to score an overtime playoff goal. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and T.J. Oshie each collected two points for the Capitals.

Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland was ejected during the second period for a hit to the head of Capitals forward Nic Dowd. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s elbow to the head of Kuznetsov will be reviewed by the league’s department of player safety but it’s unclear if it’ll merit a suspension.

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik is the oldest blueliner in NHL history to score a playoff overtime goal (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals haven’t had an easy time of it with the Hurricanes, who overcame an early 2-0 deficit to force the extra period. They lack the Capitals depth in experienced talent but they’re a plucky hardworking bunch with a bright future.

An overtime tally by Craig Smith enabled the Nashville Predators to edge the Dallas Stars 2-1, squaring their series at a game apiece. Rocco Grimaldi also scored for the Predators while Jamie Benn netted the Stars’ only goal. Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop made 40 saves. The Predators skated without center Brian Boyle (illness) and lost winger Wayne Simmonds after he took a shot off his left knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bishop was outstanding in this game and deserved a better fate. This performance is but one reason why I believe he should win the Vezina Trophy this season. No word yet on Simmonds’ status for Game 3. 

Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist and Tuukka Rask kicked out 30 shots as the Boston Bruins downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 to tie their series 1-1. The physical contest took a toll on both clubs.

Bruins defenseman Torey Krug left the game in the second period following a hit by Leafs blueliner Jake Muzzin. Leafs center Nazem Kadri, meanwhile, will have a hearing today with the department of player safety and faces a suspension following a match penalty for cross-checking the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk.  Bruins winger Marcus Johansson missed the game with the flu.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins ratcheted up the physical play in this one and effectively neutralized the Leafs speed. Kadri was obviously still angry over a knee-on-knee collision with DeBrusk in the second period and allowed his emotions to once again boil over, just like in last year’s series between these two clubs. That time, he got a three-game suspension. He could get more for his latest infraction. 

The Colorado Avalanche evened their series with the Calgary Flames as Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal gave them a 3-2 victory in Game 2. Mikko Rantanen collected two assists while Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves for the Avalanche. The Flames’ Sam Bennett also had two assists.

SPORTSNET: Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov received a one-game suspension for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara in Game 2 of their opening-round series.

Speaking of the Lightning, defenseman Anton Stralman (upper-body injury) is uncertain when he’ll return to the lineup.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann (upper-body injury) expects to be in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the New York Islanders. The Isles hold a 2-0 lead in that series.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center Connor McDavid has a small ligament tear in his left knee and will begin rehab almost immediately. He’s expected to be good to go for training camp in September.




  1. That call on Ferland was an absolute joke. Every angle shot clearly shows his ass hitting Dowd – who was leaning in – mid-body. In no way did he “target” or “hit” Dowd’s head. That was a good old-fashioned body check that, at one time, was the type to send a clear message to “keep your head up” and is the type of body contact that happens a hundred times a game in any serious football game. They’re turning hockey into a panty-waste game. What’s next? Little propellers on top of the helmets?

  2. Very exciting games last night. I live OT

    The Cgy/Col game had absolutely spectacular saves by both goalies and what an OT goal by Nathan Mackinnon !!!

    With George and EVERYBODY (but 4 people—- you know who they are—-hint …. they wear stripes) in the world on this …. clean hit …. must be rescinded by league

    Now …. if Kuch got a game…. and if Dougie is getting a review …. the Ovi MUST get a game…. must.

    That was direct contact to the head and Ovi lifted up to finish the check ; increasing the impact of his massive inertia

    This is coming down to a repeat of last year where other suspensions happen ; Caps get a free hit to the head (no penalty or suspension) on Wilson (to Dumo).

    Knowing he can get away with it he does it again on ZAR and shatters his face …. no call on ice … and remember that single call was the turning point in the whole playoffs…. if that call was made on the ice …, IMO Wash doesn’t even get by Pens let alone win the SC…. remember Pens were up a goal when this happened and series was tied 1-1…. 5 min PP and ahead in the game …. they (Pens would win that game)…. instead Wilson stays ; contributes just about a minute later to the tying goal; and later in the game trips Letang (no call) for the odd man rush winning goal… Wash up 2-1 instead of down 1-2. Per TSN ; no defending SC champ has lost a round 2 home game 4… Pens didn’t … Pens would have been up 3-1 and IMO no chance at all for Wash to win the series…. all down to one on ice blown call …. remember the safety committee reviewed and immediately suspended him for the obvious penalty…. there HAS to be consistency…. Ovi got away with a minor; and he has done this before AND been suspended (see below re Kadri)…. so if they consider reviewing Dougie H…. then Ovi IMO absolutely must be suspended …. Wash gets away with too many of these; and gets a massive benefit of the doubt 5 min major to Carolina when it was a clean hit!!

    Before I go off on Kadri and his likely suspension … congrats to Bruins. This Leaf fan is not bitter on the loss; Bruins deserved the win PERIOD

    Re Kadri…. bone head move by Naz … and as a repeat offender he’ll get 3-5 games…..

    …… but the refs in this game have to take some of the blame here….. I’m all for letting them play but this was ridiculous

    My late father would always recount a conversation he had with late John D’Amico (NHL reg) which in summary basically had D’Amico relaying that he’d often have conversations with coaches and players about “playing on” was important…. just don’t do anything flagrant and don’t embarrass me… in other words …. forget the small stuff; but if you cross the line I just drew; your getting a penalty

    What happened last night was repeated instances of turning a blind eye to flagrant violations (both teams and very very often) which just got both teams ratcheting up the “fowls” just pushing the envelope to see what they could get away with

    You add to that a frustrated Kadri…. and you get his response and what will (better be) 3-5 games.

    I’m in no way condoning his cross check to the face … I’m just explaining or suggesting ; that if the refs had clamped down and/or been more consistent …, perhaps it doesn’t get to that stage for Kadri

    So in summary , IMO,

    1) NHL needs to review and rescind the 5 min and game call

    2) Dougie review means IMO Ovi must get at least 1 game

    3) reffing needs to be more consistent

    4) sad to say …. Kadri 3-5 games

    • Pengy I think it a stretch to link Kadri actions to the ref. I’ll agree it wasn’t a well called game on both sides. With that said Kadri and him alone is responsible for his actions. His number will be high because he is a repeat offender within 18 months, as you are aware of last year playoffs.
      The sad part is he was the leaf’s best player last night and I would love to have him in a Bruins sweater. He need to control his emotions unfortunately for him he may have to sit for most of this series if not all.
      I highly suspect next game will be called very closely and the boys better be on their best behavior, but I hope it doesn’t go to the extreme can’t eliminate the physical play.

  3. Glad to hear McCann will be in today’s Pens game

    Put him back with Sid/Guentzel; and move Rust with Gino

    Best look:


    Bjuugstad/ Horny/ Simon

    Blueger / ZAR / Wilson

    Letang/ Maata

    Shultz/ Dumo

    Gudbranstrom/ Petterson

    * Under NO circumstances whatsoever; should JJ be played

  4. Remember when the fear of having your ass kicked in front of 30,000 people kept the cheap shots to a minimum? As fighting diminishes, the cheap shots have and will continue to become more common.

    As for the refs… don’t even get me started. It’s like they are over reffing so they can make an argument in court one day that the NHL did everything in it’s power to keep people from getting hurt.

    That’s why they have suspensions – it pushes ownership of the hit soley on the individual player, when in fact the game of Hockey requires it… It’s all about protecting ownerships from Lawsuits in the coming years.

    Nevermind the quality of the finished product, people will buy that because they have no other choice…

  5. it seemed Scott Gordon did a pretty good job after taking over the Flyers. So we are they talking to Vigneault ???

  6. Established track record. In 2006-07 he won coach of the year with Vancouver and back-to-back President’s trophies in 2010 – 2012 on his way to making the Cup finals in 2011 and setting a record for most wins by a Canucks coach – which still stands. The NYR also made their first cup finals appearance in two decades in 2014 in his initial season as coach there.

    • Speaking of 2011, George, last night’s game took me back. Thing is, the Leafs need to deal with it. Kadri’s way doesn’t work.