NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2019

by | Apr 7, 2019 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Recaps of the final games of the 2018-19 season, first-round playoff matchups set, Nikita Kucherov wins Art Ross Trophy, Bob Cole signs off, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the league record for most wins in a season (62) by defeating the Boston Bruins 6-3. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov tallied a goal and set up another to finish the season with 128 points, winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer and scoring the most points in one season by a Russian-born player.  The Lightning will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opening round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov won the 2019 Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer (Photo via NHL Images)

Montreal Canadiens center Ryan Poehling scored his first NHL goal, collected his first big-league hat trick, and tallied his first game-winning and shootout goals in a 6-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite Poehling’s four-goal debut, the Canadiens missed the playoffs with 96 points. The Leafs go on to face the Bruins in the opening round.  This game was also the last for Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Bob Cole. The 85-year-old is retiring following a 50-year career

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Growing up in the 1970s, Danny Gallivan was my favorite hockey play-by-play man. After Gallivan’s retirement in 1984, Cole became the voice of Saturday night for me. So many great games, so many memories. For me, the best game he ever called was Game Five of the 1984 Patrick Division semi-final between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. 

Edmonton Oilers winger Leon Draisaitl reached the 50-goal plateau for the first time in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. His achievement was overshadowed by team captain Connor McDavid leaving the game with an injured left leg. X-rays revealed no broken bones but he’s slated for an MRI on Monday. The Flames, meanwhile, will face the Colorado Avalanche in the opening round. 

Sidney Crosby reached 100 points for the sixth time in his career but his Pittsburgh Penguins were nipped 4-3 by the New York Rangers in overtime. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel reached the 40-goal plateau for the first time. Ryan Strome scored the winning goal for the Rangers. The Penguins will face off against the New York Islanders in the first round. 

The Islanders, meanwhile, got a 29-save shutout from Robin Lehner and two goals by Valtteri Filppula as they blanked the Washington Capitals 3-0. Lehner and Thomas Greiss won the William M. Jennings Trophy for the league’s lowest goals-against average. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin finished the season with 51 goals to win his eighth career Rocket Richard Trophy. He also set a record by leading the league in goals for the eighth time.

Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson set a franchise record for most goals in a season (34) as his club downed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Filip Forsberg and Nick Bonino each had a goal and an assist for the Predators, whose first-round opponent will be the Dallas Stars. Blackhawks winger Chris Kunitz, 39, is a free agent this summer and uncertain of what his NHL future might be. 

Ben Bishop set a Dallas Stars record with the highest single-season save percentage (.934) and Tyler Seguin scored two goals to blank the Minnesota Wild 3-0. Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau is hopeful of returning behind the bench next season. He’s got a year remaining on his contract and there’s no indication the club is considering a coaching change. 

Shootout goals by Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron gave the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues will face off against the Winnipeg Jets in the opening round of the playoffs. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets romped to a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Oliver Bjorkstrand also had a three-point night for the Blue Jackets, who’ll face the Lightning in the opening round. 

Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark for the first time as his club thumped the Detroit Red Wings 7-1. Red Wings captain Niklas Kronwall said he hasn’t made up his mind yet if he’ll return for another season. The 38-year-old had one of his healthiest seasons in years, prompting speculation he might have one more season left in him. 

Aleksander Barkov set a Florida Panthers record by reaching 96 points in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. Nathan Bastian scored two goals and Travis Zajac netted the game-winner. 

Carolina Hurricanes forwards Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist as their club nipped the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3. The Hurricanes’ opening-round opponent will be the Washington Capitals.

Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each tallied a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets doubled up the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. The Jets will open the playoffs at home against the Blues.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals to give the Los Angeles Kings a season-ending 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, who dropped seven of their final eight regular-season contests. The Golden Knights face off against the San Jose Sharks in the opening round. 

Erik Karlsson returned to the San Jose Sharks lineup for the first time since Feb. 26 in a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. He was held pointless but skated over 22 minutes and finished the night with a plus-minus of plus-three. 

The complete 2019 Stanley Cup playoff bracket can be found here


  1. Congrats from me as well to Bob Cole.

    I liked Galavan eat al but COLE was my favourite.

    Glad to hear McD’s leg is not broken and I hope the MRI results prove negative for serious damage.

    I was pulling for McD to keep pumping passes to Leon so that he could get 2 more goals

    This year offensively has been very exciting … look how many players were over 100 points and there must have been 30+ Players with at least a PPG production.

    Very exciting playoff runs near the end with teams squeaking in in the last couple of games and others falling out of home ice advantage spots that they were hoping for.

    I still don’t see any 1st vs WC upsets but at least 3 strong teams will be lost in the 2 v 3 matchups…. this playoff set up remains ludicrous

    I’m excited for the playoffs but I’m still lost for my strategies as at now wrt my draft picks (our annual draft is literally a draft [not selection pool) done live (player picked player gone) by 20 of us in one room. Picking first overall you can get Kucherov but the next two picks you get at 40th and 41st and likely dregs of Bolts left; so you have to switch to another team for strategies. Our annual pool (30 + years) has never been won by anybody who picked players from more than 3 different teams (we draft 10… so 200 total players).

    I will remain unbelievably surprised if Bolts are not in the cup.

    Go Leafs Go
    Go Pens Go

  2. Bruins will have big problems with the Leafs looking for a series similar to last year….7 game series but whoever wins TB is just to good and play a solid playoff brand of hockey….constantly taking the body to the opposing D & forwards with goal great goal scoring ……

    • Cable

      Leaf fan here

      I would be very surprised (and pleased ) if Leafs get a third home gate.

      Bruins, IMO, just better all around right now.

      Would love to be proved wrong; I cherish it in fact

      Neither team get by Bolts though IMO

      As far as who in the East has an outside chance (very very outside chance) of toppling the Bolts….

      1) Washington w/o Wilson who is ejected after 10 minutes into ECF series (as he plows elbow first into Vasy knocking Vasy out of playoffs and himself out of hockey for a full year Suspension) ; OR

      2) Pens (sitting JJ for entire playoffs) with all cylinders firing AND Murray standing on his head; and Pens in ECF because Wilson (hit from behind in Car series) out for entire playoffs ; and Ovi out with broken hand (blocking a shot) 10 mins into first game against Pens

      Not sure which of above two has better odds of happening?

      ….. now , if JJ breaks hand 30 seconds into
      first game in New York….. then odds shift significantly!!!!

      Trotz instructions to all of his players should include a mandatory …. no hitting JJ and no slap shots if JJ in the way…. NYI can I’ll afford Pens to play w/o JJ (he can be counted on at least one if not two Islanders wins; all by his lonesome )

      Hossa, can you please lend JJ your hockey gloves for tommorrow’s practice?

  3. The Blue Jackets and Caps each play two teams…you have the Jackets playing the Lightning and Caps and the Caps playing the Jackets and Canes

  4. Good BYE Bob Cole, as a Bruin fan growing up and only getting CBC announcer you and Gallivan has a much as any reason as why I despise the Habs. Never like bias announcer and yes I understand your broadcasting for a Habs audience. I only hope that more and more announcer move away from that style of calling and let a good play be a good play, a good hit be a good hit, a missed call be a missed called regardless of the crest on the front of the Jersey.

    • So, let me get this straight – you despise the Habs simply because of the play-by-play man – over which the team has no control since they were employees (then) of the CBC. Jaysus … what a society we live in.

      • Dee and George read my comment again. Or r you both just trolls?

        Where do I say he is the only reason? But yes only getting one channel to watch games in Canada (George your reply surprises me because you should remember we only had the two channels) and when you are a fan of another team absolutely I despise his calling.
        Dee your reply has nothing to do about what I said, but I’ve come to expect nothing less from you.
        If you go back to a comment I made the other day when I said Boston play by play was lost and all you could hear was the passing of the puck, the players and whistle. I also said it was a blessing because I didn’t have to listen to Jack Edward who is the Boston announcer. So to keep with the point I was making, I don’t like bias announcing.

    • Oh the irony considering the Bruins pbp team is the absolute most biased in all of pro sports.

  5. The best case scenario for Toronto and Boston has just happened. TB gets to play Columbus and that will not be an easy task for TB. The Blue Jackets play a heavy game and will give the lightning something to think about. Best case scenario for Boston and Toronto is that TB and CLB have a long fought physical series.

    • Hi Caper

      IMO, that would be best case for Bruins; I just can’t see Leafs beating Bruins

      That said…. I have to humbly disagree with you wrt a tough series Bolts/Jackets…. first game jitters for two periods but then Bolts win with goal in 3rd; but after that….. confidence and natural talent take over …. so IMO, the surprise to me would be series getting to game 6.

      Bolts just so friggin strong

      These playoffs; no doubt; will be extremely exciting; again unfortunately losing good teams in each of the 2v3 series….

      I’m convinced of no upsets in the 1st v WC series

      • Pengy i’m calling for an upset. Blue Jackets in 6

      • Caper


        Ok you’re on the record

        I will certainly congratulate you on that call if it were to come to fruition

        I’m calling JJ NOT to be a + 10 for the first round …. my odds of not being right with that should be about the same as a Columbus series win at home ( Game 6)!


  6. Also in Nashville;

    Dante Fabbro opened the scoring ( rookie BU ) with his first NHL goal in the second. In only his fourth professional start the young man has been extremely visible amongst Nashvilles deep blue lines. Showing poise and an excellent read of the game.