NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 7, 2019

by | May 7, 2019 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Bruins defeat Blue Jackets and advance to the Eastern Conference Final, Avalanche force Game 7 with the Sharks, Flyers hired Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Tuukka Rask had a 39-save shutout to backstop the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets to eliminate the latter from the second round in six games. The Bruins will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. David Krejci, Marcus Johansson, and David Backes were the goal scorers.

The game wasn’t without controversy, as Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy received only a two-minute penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Jackets winger Josh Anderson during the dying seconds of the second period. 

Tuukka Rask’s 39-save shutout carried the Boston Bruins to a series-clinching 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins seized control of this series in Game 4, winning three straight games. It’ll be interesting to see if McAvoy receives supplemental discipline. NHL rules stipulate there is no five-minute major penalty for an illegal hit to the head but the official can levy a match penalty. Most observers considered the light punishment yet another example of the poor officiating that’s clouded the 2019 postseason. 

Gabriel Landeskog scored in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche edged the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in Game 6 of their second-round series. Game 7 goes Wednesday night in San Jose. Avs winger J.T. Compher scored twice and set up another while defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied twice for the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was punch-counterpunch all game long, as the Avalanche would take a one-goal lead and the Sharks would tie it. This entertaining series is now poised for what could be an exciting finale. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop claims he’s fine after taking a slapshot off his left collarbone in Game 6 of his club’s second-round series with the St. Louis Blues. Bishop is expected to start Game 7 tonight in St. Louis. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reiterated his commitment to the organization. He recently raised eyebrows following recent comments to a Swedish interviewer suggesting there’s no guarantee he’ll finish his NHL career with the Blueshirts. Lundqvist claims he and the Rangers remain on the same page. “While it is still my goal to win the Cup in New York before I retire, at the same time I understand as a player that I have to respect the position we are in and the process we are going through.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Lundqvist is signed through 2020-21 with a full no-movement clause. I don’t doubt his desire to stick with the Rangers and help them return to Cup contention. Nevertheless, he could be leaving the door open for a departure to a contender if the rebuild takes longer than expected. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (lower-body injury) and winger Micheal Ferland (upper body) returned to practice yesterday. They claim they’re ready to go when their club faces the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck played through a “stress fracture, rotated vertebrae, two slipped discs, pinched nerve” over the past two months. He could face either a diskectomy (four-to-six week recovery) or a spinal fusion (four-to-months) procedure. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas confirmed Mike Babcock will return as their head coach next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock had come under criticism from Toronto fans and pundits this season, especially in their opening-round playoff series against Boston. He’s got four years remaining on his contract. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers hired former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien and former St. Louis Blues bench boss Mike Yeo as their new assistant coaches. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have hired Pat Verbeek as assistant general manager under GM Steve Yzerman. Verbeek held the same role with Yzerman in Tampa Bay. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins agreed to a 10-year deal to keep their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.


  1. Two comments on the McEvoy incident: what was his intent on the play? He came across the ice to deliver a hit on a vulnerable player. Did he play the puck? Nope, he just nailed the guy in the head, a guy that was already engaged with Zdeno Chara.
    Secondly, what if the roles had been reversed? Let’s say that McEvoy was tied up near the boards with Seth Jones and Zach Werenski came across the ice and hit McEvoy in the head at speed. Pretty sure Cam Neely would have been at ice level in a heartbeat if the penalty was a two minute minor.
    The league has settled its concussion lawsuit with 137 players to date with more than 150 players still pursuing individual agreements. The league has also said that hits to the head must be eliminated from the game. The message last night via the referee in question was simple – we don’t care.

    • McAvoy, not McEvoy. Sorry about that.

      • Yeah I thought you were talking about the new xmen movie for a minute there.

    • He was trying to lay out Anderson while he was preoccupied with Chara.
      He got some face to go along with the 220+lbs of Anderson’s body. He missed a little but got most of what he wanted to.
      Unnecessary check by Charlie.
      Anderson was fine with it as he had spent the previous 5 games trying to make the Boston D a permanent part of the end boards.
      I don’t think the hit went as planned. Some don’t.
      Glad Anderson is ok.
      He’s a fine young hockey player. All of this of course, is only my opinion.

    • The biggest issue with the McAvoy hit is the inconsistencies in the NHL right now…players have gotten games for less. EVERYONE including Bruin fans thought he was gone.

      Just how the Vegas 5 minute major changed the tide and outcome how would McAvoy with a 5 and a game of changed this game?

      I am also selfish and wanted to see this go to 7. It was great hockey

    • I had to watch the replay again even though i watched it a bunch of times now because your comment made me think i missed something. not sure how you assesed this so incorrectly. Anderson was the puck carrier, so yes McAvoy was playing the puck by seperating the puck carrier from the puck. Anderson was clearly getting past Chara, not enagged with him, and McAvoy went to seal him off. You can see the line he takes is shoulder to shoulder but as Anderson comes around Chara he turns his left shoulder in to face more of the net. That changes the hit. He get Anderson’s chest and chin. Not intentional, he didnt pick the head, and clealy wasnt an intent to injure. by the current rule the correct 2 minute penalty was assessed.
      This is still a contact sport, you can legislate all the new rules you want and cry hits to the head have to be eliminated, but in reality when the game moves this fast accidents are going to happen.
      were you on here crying foul when Kukan elbowed backes to the head and got only a 2 minute penalty? how about when Thornton picked Nosek’s head and got a game? what about the Ferland major and misconduct for the hit on dowd? all so different and all were handled differently as they should have been. So by your math the refs could show they care by giving a 5 and a misconduct to all these just as they did to vegas in Sharks series? ya, cuz thats great hockey.

      • Eye of the beholder, I guess. Anderson in my view had been checked by Chara and, if McAvoy had come across to clear the puck, good play. But I don’t think he did.

      • The head was the target all the way only a bruins fan would try to say otherwise. If McAvoy doesn’t get suspended Bettman and the boys better be in the team picture if Boston wins the cup

    • I think the league cares about protecting players and treating teams equally. It’s just that some teams are more equal than others. This isn’t new.

    • I would argue that the 2 min minor on McAvoy was as bad or worse of a call as he 5 min major in the Vegas game.

      Watch both in real time.

      McAvoy’s hit is a classic blind side head shot. Those arguing the head wasn’t the target are choosing a bias.

      The ref watched the whole play develop.

      Even McAvoy’s body language. He knew it was a bad hit.

      A 5 minute major could have had more impact on that series than the Vegas collapse.

      One game is a at least 1 if not 2 games too light looking at other suspensions.

      Regardless I think Boston played some great hockey and were going to win that game no matter what.

      That Kuraly line is playing hard hockey.

      I would have liked to see CBJ vs CAR as the most unlikely conference finals ever but now BOS has a good chance at another cup as the west is going to kill each other in game sevens.

  2. I don’t see Lundqvist going anywhere in the next 2 years. I think what he was alluding to was whether or not Rangers would resign him. NY just inked Russian phenom Shestyorkin to a 2 year ELC. Unless he becomes a bust in NHL, the assumption is he becomes #1 goalie. Lundqvist will be 39 at end of contract. If he still wants to play, it might have to be with another team.

  3. That Columbus game will go down forever as The Night Of Crossbar – I counted at least 4 behind Rask. They don’t call it a “game of inches” for nothing.

    Although that screws up my “prediction” of a Columbus – St. Louis final it does fulfill my wish for a Boston series win since it gives the Sens a higher 1st Round pick.

    Way to go Bruins!

  4. Charlie definitely caught part of Anderson,s head but it was unintentional and without intent to injure. He laid down to try and get a major he was fine as proof by playing the third. The hand shake shows exactly how Anderson felt about the hit. They took a goal away from Boston that looked very similar to the goal that Toronto scored in game 5. Columbus was on the power play way more than they deserved but all didn’t seem to matter Rask was God. Columbus hit a few crossbar,s but that’s all Rask gave them he was best player in series. Columbus have a big off season won’t make playoffs next year.

    • A head shot is a head shot. Deserving of a major.

  5. Charlie deserve an suspension and I think it will be 1 game. He should’ve been tossed last night.
    I said last night after that hit better win tonight because Charlie won’t be playing game 7, so now he won’t be playing game 1 and maybe game 2 but I think it will be 1

  6. Read the rule book it could only be a 2 and possibly a 10 minute misconduct it could not be a 5. The right call was made it was not intend to injure like Kadri,s crosscheck to the face of Jake. Every call this playoffs has gone against Boston game 5 Toronto goal counted puck hits the net goal counted and goal in game five counted and last night they call back a goal. Lots of reasons to get down but they kept playing and worked through it Bruce Cassidy deserves credit.

    • Boston has such a poor record of things being called against them. The nhl, no the world!, is trying to screw New England fans over. Let’s call it badcallgate.

      • Aaron Rome, 2011. Charlie McAvoy, 2019. Gary Bettman’s NHL…Priceless!

    • Obe doesn’t matter what happened or who did what before or after Charlie incident. His hit is a suspend able hit and this is the action I’m referencing.

    • One, a hit like that was bad intentions no matter what. Even if he got shoulder, it was a hit on a guy that was tripped up with the intention of putting him through the boards. It is hockey. These guys are always trying to hurt each other within the bounds of the game.

      McAvoy made a bad hit. If the rules do not allow a 5 min major for a backtracking head shot then what have they been talking about the past years?

      And it was clear goalie interference.

      Take the homer shades off. You don’t need them. Boston is playing excellent hockey. They won because they were better.

      McAvoy still messed up. The goalie interference still happened. Boston still won because they were better.


  7. Joe you don’t know sh…. guess the NHL should phone you when there is a question on a call. If it was goalie interference last night it was goalie interference in game 5 against Leafs. I said Charlie caught his head but I also said it was without intend to injure and Anderson also agreed. The rule states and yes maybe it should be changed it’s a 2 minute minor a 10 minute misconduct could have been added but wasn’t. People want to say he tried to take his head off I disagree it was a hockey play not like Kadri,s cross check to the face.

  8. Been a bit, but I do know sh. It was a bad hit. Using comparisons in the NHL is pointless. Yes, Kadri crosschecked a guy in the head. Yes, McAvoy gave a blatant back tracking headshot. The type of hit that started this whole headshot thing.

    And yes they are always trying to hurt each other. Was it outside of what is normal? Nope. Was he trying to hurt him by hitting him? Yes. Just like every other hit like that.

    Give your head a shake Obe. If headshots are a penalty and often a major penalty, then that hit looked like a major compared to plenty of majors called this season and past.

    As for the goalie interference, the guy clearly extends his arms in a pushing motion.

    You are the worst kind of fan. You lack objectivity.