NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2019
Bruins and Sharks take 3-2 leads in their respective series. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: David Pastrnak scored twice, including the game-winner, as the Boston Bruins edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game 5 of their second-round series. The Bruins hold a 3-2 series lead as the series returns to Columbus for Game 6.
Most of the scoring took place in the third period. The Bruins held 2-0 and 3-1 leads but the Blue Jackets stormed back to tie the game before Pastrnak put it away at the 18:32 mark of the period. Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists for the Bruins. Jackets defensemen Seth Jones and Dean Kukan accounted for two of the Jackets’ three goals. Bruins blueliner Charlie McAvoy limped off the ice after blocking a shot with his foot in the dying seconds but claimed he was fine afterward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That third period was arguably the most entertaining of the postseason thus far. A game the Bruins seemed to have in hand nearly slipped away as the Jackets rallied back to seize the momentum before Pastrnak sealed the deal. The Bruins can end this series and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with a win on Monday night.
Thanks to Tomas Hertl’s two-goal performance, the San Jose Sharks overcame a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in Game 5 of their second-round matchup. Tyson Jost tallied for the Avalanche while teammate Philipp Grubauer made 37 saves. Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon’s point streak ended at eight games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks did a fine job shutting down the MacKinnon line last night. Special teams also made the difference for San Jose, tallying a power-play goal and killing off three penalties. With a 3-2 series lead, the Sharks are poised to advance to the Western Conference Finals with a win in Game 6 on Monday.
TSN: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk’s underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder. He’ll be sidelined four-to-six months.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes will miss van Riemsdyk’s presence on their blueline in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was having a fine postseason performance up until suffering that injury during Game 2 of their second-round series with the New York Islanders.
THE SCORE: Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry doubled down on his view of the Hurricanes as a “bunch of jerks” for their elaborate post-game victory celebrations during the regular season. He also took a shot at their fans. “I’m told the owner said, ‘Entertain the crowd,’ and they still draw 13-to-14,000 people,” Cherry said. “And these people that are here now, now (that) they’re winning (are) front-running fans as far as I’m concerned.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s true the Hurricanes weren’t drawing well for most of the season, finishing 30th in attendance percentage (76.7). And yes, those post-game victory celebrations were staged to stir up some buzz to bring more fans back to the building. But after a decade of mediocrity and missed postseasons, who can blame their fans for staying away? It is difficult to support a club when it gives you little to cheer about for 10 years.
Fans in any market will support a franchise if they at least believe the club can be a winner. For those who believe so-called “traditional hockey markets” support their teams through difficult times, a glimpse at the attendance of the Chicago Blackhawks between 1996-97 and 2006-07 suggests otherwise. For that matter, examine the attendance of “real hockey markets” when their teams are struggling on the ice. With rare exceptions (hello there, Toronto), attendance in nearly every market fluctuates based on the club’s performance.
ESPN.COM: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Seattle is still in the mix to host the 2021 NHL Draft. The city was recently awarded an NHL expansion franchise. Their inaugural season is set for 2021-22.