NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2019

by | Apr 23, 2019 | News, NHL | 20 comments

Stars eliminate the Predators, Hurricanes and Capitals headed to Game 7, updates on the Winnipeg Jets and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: John Klingberg’s overtime goal lifted the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators to win their best-of-seven opening-round series in six games. Ben Bishop made 47 saves for the win while Predators goalie Pekka Rinne turned aside 49 shots. The Stars will face the St. Louis Blues in the second round.

John Klingberg’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 series-clinching victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pulling off this upset was a team effort by the Stars, who overcame a season full of obstacles to reach this point. Their team CEO publicly slammed captain Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin in late-December, Alexander Radulov received a one-game suspension for missing a team meeting, first-year head coach Jim Montgomery at one point lamented the club’s “culture of mediocrity” plus several key players were sidelined by injuries. 

The Predators, meanwhile, were undone in part by their league-worst power-play. It was on full display in this series, as they went 0-for-15 with the man advantage. 

The Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals are headed for Game 7 on Wednesday.  Three unanswered third-period goals by Jordan Staal, Justin Williams, and Dougie Hamilton powered the Hurricanes’ 5-2 victory in Game 6. The Capitals believed they’d tied the game at three apiece in the third but the goal was overturned due to goalie interference by Alex Ovechkin, who was ejected late in the game for mocking the referee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a hard-fought game by both sides which got quite physical in the third period. The disallowed goal was the turning point as the Capitals’ frustration got the better of them. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets left wing Patrik Laine revealed he was dealing with a back issue for the past couple of years and a minor groin injury in the series with the Blues. He claimed the back problem wasn’t something he couldn’t handle. Forward Nikolaj Ehlers played with a microfracture in one of his legs after blocking a shot in Game 5. Brandon Tanev underwent surgery shortly before the playoffs to repair a broken finger.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck (undisclosed injury) could be ready for his club’s second-round series.



  1. Wow. When was the last time top-seeded teams were all eliminated in the first round? One getting bounced you can maybe put down as a fluke or perhaps due to unforeseen circumstances like key injuries. But TB and Pitt both in 4, Calgary in 5, and Nashville & Winnipeg in 6, a couple at the hands of wild-card teams Columbus and Dallas.

    This will already be the topic of discussion and endless analysis for some time, and with the possibility of higher-seeded teams Boston, Washington and San Jose being knocked out in 7 it will be one for the books.

    • It’s a testament to the efforts to create parity. Kinda makes the regular season seem a bit inconsequential. Man I wish the would cut the regular season down in games significantly.

      • You got that right re your wish. I wonder if the majority among the various fan bases, not to mention corporate sponsors for TV/radio and board signs, would go along with a schedule reduced to, say, 70 games with NO back-to-backs but at a corresponding increase in ticket prices and advertising costs, while at the same time allowing advertising on the uniforms à la European leagues?

      • No

        It won’t happen but it should. And I would like to see even less. No more than one game per week.

        I am a nhl fan first but what the nfl has over nhl is the magnitude of the regular season games. Each can feel like the playoffs is on the line. Hockey could use a bit of that.

      • Actually Chrism I would argue the opposite, took Columbus and Colorado all season just to get into the playoffs and now both have moved onto the second round. Even though I cheer for Boston don’t see either Boston or Toronto getting by Columbus.
        Is the 82 games schedule to long… yes but will it change….. No
        The NHL is still a gate driven league and with the 3 point games leave teams in contention for a playoff spot longer allowing their fan base to cheer on and hope they make it in.
        If anything this playoffs probably makes the NHL ecstatic, showing parity and all you need is to get in and see what happen from there.
        The downside of course who’ll be in the finals will the NHL can the TV audience in the finals with Carolina vs Colorado for say? They would probably rather see Washington vs San Jose or Vegas but that’s the flip side of the playoff and parity you get what you get.
        Personally I would like to see the NHL reduce it’s games and have the season over by the end of May; no hockey in June. But not going to happen.

      • Eh. There would be no lack of drama if the nhl reduced its games. Teams would continue to squeak in.

        But it won’t happen so wish in one 🖐 and 💩 in the other. Etc.

      • 72 games is plenty.

      • 1 game a week is absolutely ridiculous, hockey players are not a bunch of pu$$$ies. 82 games is just fine. Fan bases of teams that are not playoff teams like the rangers need to see their team play as many times as possible because it’s a long off season. Why don’t you just watch one game a week and then we can all be happy.

      • As usual the point went right over ders head. Of course his post implies football players are pussies.

        It’s about entertainment value and importance of individual games you nimrod.

        Maybe the nhl could play 162 games and be as tough as those mlb players!

    • Pitt was not a top seeded team.

      • Well, maybe if you want to engage in splitting hairs in defining “top seeded.” But they did finish 9th overall with 100 points, just 4 back of Washington who were 4th overall, and ahead of St. Louis, Columbus, Dallas and Colorado, who have all moved on to round 2, and ahead of Carolina and Vegas who could both move on tomorrow. So, to me anyway, that qualified them as a “top-seed.”

      • Not splitting hairs at all. The definition is the definition. The top 2 teams in each division are the top seeds (home ice). Pittsburgh was the lower seed in their series due to having less points in the regular season than the team that beat them. Although some on here were convinced that anyone giving NY a chance were just penguins haters so I can appreciate the point of view.

    • The islanders were the higher seeded team. I’m not sure why everyone is calling this an upset. Pittsburgh had a hard time solidifying a playoff position most of the year. A lot of sources had their potential playoff chances way down a few months ago. If I’m not mistaken, the regular season series was split.

      None of any of that equal upset in my book. The Islanders were much better than most experts expected.

      • Pitt gets “reputation” points where people believe they are better than reality and do better than actual. The reverse is what happened to the Isles.

    • Pittsburgh May have had the “bigger names” but they actually were the lower seed, so that technically wasn’t an upset. I’m a huge pens fan and even I didn’t think they were going to win that series.

      • But 4 straight? with almost zilch from their so-called big guns?

      • Yeah I expected them to win 1 but they’ve been so inconsistent and mediocre all year except for Crosby and Guentzel, who did not have the playoffs they would have liked.

  2. In 2006 I remember the west being a bunch of upsets Edmonton won as an 8 seed beating Detroit as a 1. Colorado also won as a 7 and I think that’s the year Anaheim had a good run as a 6. I remember a lady in our office pool won the draft she took best two players off every team.

    • Fond memories here as well from 2006 – nobody in our playoff pool picked Aanaheim players and I ended up with four or five by default. Did very well with them.

      • I actually have a shot this year. 10 team, 10 player snake draft. I drew the 10th pick so all the good TB guys were getting scooped.
        Was on WAS and LV early. B’s middle and then Avs late as I saw them as a good upset, and would get 2 rounds out of their top guys. Not a believer in Cgy.
        I honestly thought this was TB’s year, but that option was taken out my hands by draft order. So more fortunate than smart.
        Having said that I could be down to 2 guys after tomorrow night and out of it.