NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2019

by | May 2, 2019 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Hurricanes push Islanders to the brink of elimination while the Stars tie their series with the Blues. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes have the New York Islanders on the brink of elimination following a 5-2 victory in Game 3 of their second-round series. They hold a 3-0 lead and can finish the series with a win in Game 4 on Friday.

A costly turnover by Isles goalie Robin Lehner led to Hurricanes captain Justin Williams snapping a 2-2 tie in the third period. Carolina goaltender Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves, becoming the oldest netminder in NHL history to make his first career postseason start. Teuvo Teravainen scored twice and Sebastian Aho had a goal and assisted on Williams’ game-winner. 

Justin Williams game-winning goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-0 series lead over the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a close game up until Williams’ goal, after which the Hurricanes bottled up the Islanders for the rest of the third. The Isles managed to score twice but it still wasn’t enough to beat the plucky Canes. They’ve done a fine job cashing in on their opportunities in this series. 

The Dallas Stars doubled up the St. Louis Blues 4-2 to square their second-round series at two games apiece. Stars goalie Ben Bishop kicked out 27 shots while Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, and Mats Zuccarello each collected two assists.

This game was a chippy affair.  Blues winger David Perron whacked Bishop in the back and Blues netminder Jordan Binnington chopped at Bishop and took a swing at Stars captain Jamie Benn following the second period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues frustration likely stemmed from the Stars dominating the play, especially in the second period. It’ll be interesting to see if the rough stuff in this game spilled over into Game 5.

DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon tied Peter Forsberg’s Avalanche playoff points streak (seven games) in Tuesday’s Game 3 loss to San Jose. 

BOSTON HERALD: Center David Backes could return to the Bruins line for Game 4 tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets hold a 2-1 series lead.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin underwent minor surgery to repair a fractured nose. Drouin suffered the injury earlier in the season but played through it before seeking surgery. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres interviewed Dave Tippett for their head coaching position. Tippett is the former coach of the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes. 

THE SCORE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a Canadian parliament subcommittee on sports-related concussions he feels outlawing hits to the head would lead to the decline of bodychecking in the game. His reasoning is larger players would be penalized for inadvertent headshots on smaller players. He also reiterated his long-held belief that there’s insufficient evidence to link hockey concussions to the brain condition CTE.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The National Football League, meanwhile, banned helmet hits to the head and it didn’t adversely affect their game. After much stonewalling, the NFL also acknowledged the link between CTE and playing football in 2016. 

SPORTSNET: Vancouver hockey writer and broadcaster Jason Botchford has passed away from heart failure at age 48. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Botchford’s family, friends, and colleagues. I didn’t know him but followed his work over the years and found him an insightful, thought-provoking hockey reporter. I may not have always agreed with him but I certainly respected his work. 


  1. If the Jackets face Carolina in the ECF (The teams with the 4th & 5th best records in the Metro), Bettman may just have conniption fits.

    • From a ratings standpoint…that may be true.
      From the standpoint that the salary cap has created more parity…that would prove him right.

      • I really think the best story that could come from this year is Ioe Thornton or Jaime Benn getting their first cup. They both have been deserving for a long long time. Thornton especially, Burns, Pavelski(if he comes back), Vladic and even Couture and Karlson all deserve a cup ring.

  2. 48 is way too young, RIP to a good guy.

  3. My comment on concussions has always been the same.
    Why arent’ these leagues forcing their unionized players to sign IRON CLAD waivers before playing.

    Nobody can say that collision sports don’t lead to concussions. And, similarly, I think it’s obvious to everyone that there is a link between head trauma and brain damage that may show symptoms during and post careers. BUT – these athletes at the junior and pro level know what they’re getting into. In the pro levels they are paid. Just like atlantic crab fishermen and ocean floor gas fitters, they are paid VERY WELL for the dangerous work environments they work in.

    Body checking and big hits in football are what some fans really enjoy. I don’t understand why the fear of litigation can’t be taken away with waivers.

    Also, anyone watching womens hockey lately knows that it’s borderline contact now. Lets make it full contact. I suspect ratings for women’s hockey would drastically increase if you let them smash each other for the puck. (but that’s another debate for society for another day)

    Finally, my own kid has played hockey since he was four. He’s still playing at 16. He never suffered a single concussion. He also played four years of football. Not a single concussion on ANY of his teams. And it was damn good football. In fact, if I’d know how good the coaching, comradery was going to be from football I probably never would have put skates on him and he would have only played football. It’s easily the sport that has best prepared him for life – and made him a nice young man.

    • Dark G, the league can’t force the union to do anything. They bargain and come to an agreement.
      I get your point though, there is ample evidence that repeated head trauma can cause CTE. The league knows it, the players know it, and parents know it, or at least should know it.
      If you decide to play hockey or have your kids play it, you know the risks and are now making an informed decision.
      Hence I don’t think there is a need for a waiver. The basis for these lawsuits is usually that the league was negligent in that it knew the risks, the players did not, and yet did nothing about it. This caused harm to the players that they could have avoided if they had that information.
      IMO they now have the information and it is simply a choice they make.

    • Dark G, good for your son but, if he keeps playing a contact sport, odds are he will suffer a concussion at some point. I hope it doesn’t happen but the odds are against him.
      I have seen guys playing oldtimers hockey get concussed by accidental collisions. It happens.

    • Plenty of contact sport athletes never suffer a serious head injury. It can be a game of luck for sure. I know first hand the results of suffering a serious head injury and repeated concussions. I was haunted for almost 5 years by a head shot @14. If you do not let your bruised brain heal you just keep stopping that initial injury from healing properly.. i thought i was in the clear finally only to have another setback in a Junior tournament right before college training camp. Post concussion issues are hard to explain to someone and vary depending which part of your brain was damaged. Luckily my issues not with me and any longer.

      I 1000% understand why Rick Nash retired young.

  4. ****Warning Rant**** I cannot stand the coverage of the playoff by CBC / Sportnet, These are suppose to be a National Broadcast however these Broadcast are so bias with their game calling makes me want to puke. Does CBC realize that outside of Ontario there our other province and territories that watch hockey. I don’t need to know every single player that is on every single team who’s home town is somewhere in Ontario. Is there no other Canadian Province that has an NHL player?
    The constant reference to the OHL, while never mentioning anything about a player or team from the whl or the qmjhl league is repulsive. If you’re trying to grow the game and interest other, how about being a little more inclusive and recognize there is more to hockey then just Ontario
    NBCS has one camera a side side, if the play happens to be in that side and close to the board they don’t switch camera views so you can see what is happening they just leave it; which leads me to believe they only have one camera. This is the NHL showcase a sure they can put more cameras in place so the viewing audience can see the action on the ice.

    • I can’t stand Craig Simpson.

  5. Teuvo Teravainen has steadily improved his 200 foot game since he came to Carolina. He started out his career at Carolina as highly skilled, soft and a defensive liability. Now BrindAmour uses him in critical defensive situations. He will also take a hit to make a play. He plays smart hockey, continues to get better every year and has earned his new contract. He does whatever BrindAmour asks him to do to benefit the team and he does it very well.
    Good trade by Ron Francis.

    • And this is why you don’t get yourself into salary cap trouble. CHI loses a great player because of a self-forced salary-dump.

      An outstanding deal by Francis, and I’m somewhat surprised that they didn’t go back to the ‘receiving-salary-dump’ well more often.

      Don’t look now, but the Hurricanes have won 7 of 8 since the game 2 loss to WAS.

      • Bad example. Three cups came from that cap trouble.

      • Unfortunately for Chicago, All 3 cups came prior to putting themselves in cap hell.

      • any franchise would trade 3 Cups for a period of cap hell

      • The cups resulted in cap hell. Don’t use the benefit of hindsight to try to make a bunk argument.

      • Hindsight would be saying it got them 3 cups. Lol

        3 cups got them in cap hell. That is the carriage pulling the horse. They haven’t benefited from anything in being in cap hell, other than being in cap hell…. Paying for yesterday isn’t going to ever work. Now this is a team that is going to have to figure a way out to just make the playoffs.

        They had the 3 cups. They could have gone a different route and maybe had more. Panarin, Teraveinen etc…. future…. not past.