NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 21, 2019

by | Apr 21, 2019 | News, NHL | 15 comments

Blues eliminate the Jets, the Capitals and Stars take 3-2 leads in their respective series, Vezina Trophy finalists revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues advanced to the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoff by edging the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 to win their opening-round series four games to two. Jaden Schwartz tallied a hat trick for the Blues, who held off a third-period rally by the desperate Jets. They also held Winnipeg to just six shots through the first and second periods, including just one in the second. 

Jaden Schwartz’s first career playoff hat trick helped the St. Louis Blues eliminate the Winnipeg Jets with a 3-2 Game 6 victory. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  For most of this game, the Blues dominated the Jets, who struggled to get any serious scoring chances on Jordan Binnington. They deserve full marks for exploiting Winnipeg’s defensive breakdowns in this series. For a club that was last in the Western Conference on New Year’s Day, it’s been a helluva run so far for the Blues, who await the winner of the Dallas Stars-Nashville Predators series.

The Jets, meanwhile, brought most of this upon themselves. Not taking anything away from the Blues performance, but Winnipeg blew third-period leads in Games 1 and 5. The last one was a killer as they seemed firmly in control of that game entering the third.  Defensive mistakes killed them in this series and they simply weren’t prepared for a fired-up Blues team in Game 6. 

Braden Holtby made 30 saves for a franchise-record seventh playoff shutout while Nicklas Backstrom scored twice and set up two others as the Washington Capitals blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0. Alex Ovechkin also scored and added two helpers. The Capitals hold a 3-2 lead as the series shifts back to Carolina for Game 6 on Monday. They could be without winger T.J. Oshie for the remainder of the postseason as he reportedly suffered a broken collarbone in Game 4. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was a statement game by the defending Stanley Cup champions, dominating the upstart Hurricanes who had battled back to even the series in Games 3 and 4. Another performance like that and the Capitals will move on to face the New York Islanders in the next round. The Hurricanes did get some good news as rookie winger Andrei Svechnikov hopes to return for Game 6 after being sidelined since Game 3. 

The Dallas Stars biggest stars were the main factors behind their 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their opening-round series. Alex Radulov scored twice, Jamie Benn had three assists, Tyler Seguin scored a goal and added an assist, and goaltender Ben Bishop kicked out 30 shots. Jason Dickinson also scored twice for the Stars, who take a 3-2 series lead back to Dallas for Game 6 on Monday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a club carrying one of the deepest bluelines in the league, the Predators were sloppy defensively in this game. Three of Dallas’ goals were the result of turnovers. They’ve also been outplayed by the plucky Stars for most of this series. If the Predators can’t find a winning solution soon, they’ll be hitting the golf course after Monday. 

Speaking of Ben Bishop, he’s one of this year’s finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender, joining the New York Islanders’ Robin Lehner and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. 


  1. I will be surprised if Paul Maurice isn’t the next coach looking for a job soon. Some might say Bill Peters should follow him out the door – but he’s only had the one kick at the can so far.

  2. I feel like Dallas is a real dark horse to win it all but how can you ignore St.Louis…every year the playoffs bring surprises.

    • The Blues were my “dark horse” pick to win the west. Wouldn’t it be something if it came down to a Blues – Leafs final – both teams not having won a cup in 52 years with the Blues, of course, being the last of the original expansion teams still in existence never having won the cup?

      • It would be something else and has as good a chance as any of happening.

        Btw did you see the CBC headline in their sports section online…sorry but thats pathetic, go take a look George.

      • “Sorry Canada – the Leafs are your last hope to bring the cup home to Canada”

        Now I’m no Leafs fan – I think everyone in here knows that – but that’s just a crappy slap in the chops! Whoever wrote that should be canned.

        Right now, when I see what teams are left in the hunt, the only one I would hope to see go further than the Leafs is San Jose, and that’s purely from a selfish point of view since the Sharks sent a 2021 second-round pick to the Senators in the Karlsson trade that carries two conditions. The pick itself is conditional upon San Jose re-signing Karlsson. IF the Sharks both appear in the Stanley Cup Final this year and extend Karlsson, that pick becomes a first-rounder.

        However, if they don’t get by Vegas then I’m going to pull for the Leafs to go all the way and at the same time try and block out the Toronto-centric media.

  3. Off-topic, but something giving Ottawa area fans some pleasure this spring is the performance so far of the Ottawa 67s in the OHL playoffs. They swept both Hamilton and Sudbury in the first 2 rounds, ouscoring them 47 – 20 in 8 games, and lead the Oshawa General 2 – 0 in the 3rd series outscoring rhem 13 – 7, including yesterday’s game 7 – 3 in front of close to 8,000 at the downtown arena.

    4 on their roster have been drafted including 6′ 200 lb goalie Mike DiPietro – NOT related to Rick DiPietro – taken in the 3rd round in 2017 by Vancouver, 6′ 2″ 185 lb RW Kody Clark – son of Wendel – 2nd round pick in 2018 by Washington, 6′ 6″ 235 lb D Kevin Bahl, also taken in 2nd round uin 2018 by Arizona, 6′ 175 lb C Mitchell Hoelscher, taken in 6th round in 2018 by NJD. Another, Tye Feldhaber who went undrafted, was recently signed by Dallas as a UFA, after the 6′ 190 lb RW chalked up 59g 50a 109 pts and so far has 7g 10a 17 pts in 10 playoff games.

    Projected to go somewhere in this year’s draft are 5′ 11″ 172 lb RW Graeme Clarke, 6′ 1″ 195 lb D Nikita Okhotyuk and 6′ 1″ 198 lb D Merrick Rippon. Several of their other roster players are not eligible for the draft until 2020.

    At least there’s some significant hockey going on in the region as we approach May.

    • Also drafted was Noel Hoefenmayer by Arizona 2017 4th round.

      • Yeah, thanks for pointing that out M Pike. How could I forget him – another big (6′ 1″ 205 lb) D-man who had 16g 46a 62 pts in 68 seasonal games and has 6g 8a 14 pts in 10 playoff games. Arizona did well with 67s.

    • I would say the future in Ottawa looks promising just not sure why Dorian is in charge of the rebuild.

      I hope it works out as I love hockey rivalries and we have that with Ottawa…not so much lately though.

  4. My two cents-
    STL looks like Columbus- firing on all cylinders and came in already playing Playoff hockey

    Nashville’s forward group looks to be lacking any dominant skilled players.

    Winnipeg seemed like a contender most of the season-what happened?

    • my 2 cents on the preds is they look slow and disinterested maybe their window is starting to close…the peg just never lived up to expectations all year and could not just flip the switch when the playoffs started…the blues are quite the story and a are going to be a tough out for anybody

  5. Starts in goal with the Blues – Binnington came out of nowhere and has been so steady; nothing like good goaltending to kickstart a team. Another great example in Columbus – Goalie Bob is playing well again and away they go!

  6. Here we go with the officiating again. It need to be more consistent or simply but do your damn job. Yesterday ST.L vs Wpg big Buff gets a roughing call for pushing at a Blues player on the bench who is holding his stick. Either call both or call no one. Maroon holds Helleybuyck blockers and the Blues scored missed by the refs and because Maurice already used his challenge and on the Blues first goal he didn’t couldn’t challenge this goal which in reality with the ways they challenges have been going we don’t know what the situation room would’ve said.
    I’m a firm believer call the game right. No there shouldn’t be one set of rules in the regular season and one in the playoffs.
    With that said ST.L deserve that win the jets only had 1 shot on net in the second period and only 6 in total after 2. Wow bad for the Jets but you have to give credit to St.L to be able to stymie a team for a total of 6 shots in two period, that is impressive.
    Never mind a Toronto vs St.L final, maybe a Columbus Vs St.L final.
    Pierre LeBrun tweeted last night he feels there should be more of an advantage for the team getting the top seed. His proposal was the 8,-10 seed team play a one game elimination, hence being more tired to play the top seed in the end. (something stupid like that) Bob MacKenzie quickly shot him down stating Columbus had to finish with a strong schedule just to get in and Florida wasn’t close so why should MTL and FLD get a one game gimmick. Fully agree with Bob. Tampa and Calgary both had 7 games to dispatch their opponent but didn’t.
    Interesting note. I believe a conference should be 1st vs 8th, 2nd vs 7th, 3 vs 6th and 4th vs 5th. If you sort the Western conference by points that is exactly how it played out. If it was 1 vs 8 in the east would’ve been TB vs CLB, Bos vs Car, Wash vs Pitts and NYI vs TOR (now just from an interest point with JT that would’ve been fun and might still happen) none the less got to win the games you are playing.
    Happy Easter, enjoy the game and try to keep your potty mouth to a minimum on this Easter Sunday.

  7. This is a really strange playoff year. The Blues are the only team I would have picked this advance for an upset in the 1st round. Tampa is absolutely shocking, Calgary not shocking, but still an upset. I definitely didn’t think Pittsburgh was going far, not sure why people would consider that an upset. Pittsburgh didn’t exactly have a consistent year, they were the lower seed against the islanders, and I believe they split the regular season series. Somehow all that adds up to upset?

    I guess it’s basing it off 2-3 years ago?

    • I guess, when looking at all the so-called dark horses we’d like to see go all the way, we mustn’t overlook the defending Cup champions. They looked pretty formidable yesterday. Carolina is game – but they just aren’t in Washington’s class. Yet.