NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2021
The Jets sweep the Oilers with a triple-overtime victory, the Islanders put the Penguins on the brink in double overtime, the Panthers and Wild stave off elimination and the Leafs take a 2-1 series lead over the Canadiens. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets got a triple-overtime goal by Kyle Connor to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 and sweep their opening-round series in four games. Mark Scheifele scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 37 saves for the win. Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson tallied for the Oilers while defensemen Darnell Nurse logged over 62 minutes of ice time. Oilers forward Josh Archibald missed this game serving a one-game suspension. The Jets await the winner of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Montreal Canadiens series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers dominated the Jets during the regular season but they struggled in the heavier going of postseason play. Their lack of secondary punch also didn’t help matters.
Remember that late-season speculation suggesting Jets coach Paul Maurice could lose his job? We can put that to rest now. The Jets’ previous postseason experience also made a difference here. Their offense got a boost from Nikolaj Ehlers return from injury midway through this series. This was the first-ever NHL playoff sweep in Jets history and the first time they’ve eliminated the Oilers.
A double-overtime goal by Josh Bailey gave the New York Islanders a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ilya Sorokin kicked out 48 shots for the Isles, who hold a 3-2 lead in this first-round series heading back to Long Island on Wednesday. Bryan Rust and Kris Letang each had two points for the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey’s goal came off a horrible turnover by Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Sorokin, meanwhile, has backstopped the Isles to consecutive wins since returning to the net in Game 4.
The Florida Panthers staved off elimination by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 in Game 5 of their first-round series. Panthers rookie goaltender Spencer Knight made 36 saves in his NHL playoff debut while Patric Hornqvist and MacKenzie Weegar each had a goal and an assist while Mason Marchment netted the game-winner. The Lightning holds a 3-2 series lead as the series returns to Tampa Bay for Game 6 on Wednesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Knight gave up the early goal but was unbeatable after that. He’s earned the start for Game 6.
Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot made 38 saves as his club avoided elimination by doubling up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. First-period goals by Kirill Kaprizov, Zach Parise and Jordan Greenway paved the way for Minnesota’s victory as they had just 14 shots on goal in this game. Wild defenseman Carson Soucy missed this game with an undisclosed injury. The series returns to Minnesota on Wednesday for Game 6.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights dominated most of this game. Talbot came through for his teammates, especially in a second period where they were outshot 22-1.
The Toronto Maple Leafs held off the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. All the scoring took place in the second period with William Nylander and Morgan Rielly tallying for the Leafs and Nick Suzuki replying for the Canadiens. Leafs center Nick Foligno sat out this game with a lower-body injury while Canadiens center Eric Staal was sidelined by an undisclosed injury. Habs winger Artturi Lehkonen left the game following a first-period collision with Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin. Game 4 goes tonight in Montreal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game saw an evenly-matched first period, the Leafs dominating the second and the Canadiens controlling the third. The goaltending was outstanding for both clubs, with Montreal’s Carey Price and Toronto’s Jack Campbell making some big saves.
William Nylander has scored in each game and leads the Leafs with four points. Habs rookie Cole Caufield made his playoff debut, generating a couple of quality scoring chances and earning more playing time as the game went on.
IN OTHER NEWS…
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov is struggling to score in his club’s series with the Nashville Predators. He has just one goal on 21 shots and that was an empty-netter in Game 1.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Ondrej Kase (upper-body injury) and defenseman Steve Kampfer (hand surgery) are sidelined for the rest of the playoffs.
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks hired former Los Angeles Kings executive Jeff Solomon as their new senior vice president of hockey operations.
I know this thing gets whittled down as teams get limited from the postseason, but I believe this is the first day this season the NHL’s list of absences for covid-19 protocols has been blank: pic.twitter.com/eLicfHbfNx
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) May 24, 2021
With the Capitals & Blues bounces. If New York can bounce Pittsburgh that will make for 4/5 the last Stanley Cup Winners eliminated in round 1. Technically Florida could still bounce Tampa which would then eliminate all recent cup winners from the playoffs.
As a matter of fact, you would have to go back to the 2011 Bruins at that point to find a team that had won the cup in recent memory. Colorado 2001, Carolina 2006 if they stave off elimination.
Would be exciting and refreshing.
As for Edmonton. You have to assume major changes are coming this summer. This loss was embarrassing them and this club can no longer afford to be middling the way it is. How can you be in a rebuild for so long and need such still.
Lack of secondary scoring, defensive depth, and goaltending. Limited cap space to resign players and address these needs, means roster shake ups are required.
Exciting and refreshing for whom????
Oilers problem is their top two players are all world but after that their forwards are just average. One or two players can’t do it all it takes a team. Winnipeg was much deeper and their cap situation is much better than Edmonton. Oilers are not going to start blowing things up if I’m them first thing I do is find a young good goalie Smith played fine but he’s running out of time. Nurse is good but they missed Klefbom and could use one more solid D man.
Agree Obe, Oilers aren’t blowing anything up. Holland slapped some duct tape on it to hold it together until he had some cap space.
They had no NHL experienced depth, on the D, wing or in net.
That doesn’t change in 2 years when you have no $$ to spend.
Like many teams coming out of a rebuild and not having playoff experience, they lost in the first round. 4 straight, but 3 in OT. McDavid and Draisaitl also need to learn how to play in the playoffs. Last couple games they were better, first 2, not so much.
This year he will have some $. The younger D are maturing. Klefbom???
Separate Draisaitl and McDavid unless you need a goal late. Find some wingers.
Oh yeah, and that tender thing.
Disappointing sure, not unheard of by any stretch, but kind of exactly how Holland mapped it out when he started.
Start making the playoffs consistently, learn how to win when you get there. I think they will. Stay the course.
Ray, curious what has Holland done while in Edmonton that you like?
I remember him trading Gagner and 2 seconds for Athanasiou and then walking away from qualifying him.
Now they have to see if they can resign Larson who will want a raise, then the following year a big increase for Nurse.
Yes some work to do and also need a goalie.
Caper, wasn’t much dramatic he could do as he didn’t have any space and the prospect depth was meh.
What he has done is settled it down and got everybody on the same page from the rattled and desperate approach PC took in his last season.
They have a plan, it is realistic, they have the patience to stick to and work the plan.
What Holland has done:
Filled in the bottom 6 with serviceable players most folks hadn’t heard of for cheap because he had no $$. They have made the playoffs each of last 2 years.
Hired Tippet away from Seattle – they improved defensively and they looked organized for a change. Draisaitl and McDavid were plus players this year. They were not before.
Didn’t rush the prospects. Bouchard had a few games. Broberg stayed in Europe.
Didn’t give away Puljujarvi when many suggested he should. He let him play in Finland away from the lights, he came back ready and happy and now an effective NHL player.
Got Barrie on a 1 year reasonable deal to gap fill. Helped both player and team.
Traded Lucic for Neal as Neal is a cheaper buyout. Neither player contributes much, but at least Neal contributes something.
Most importantly he has remained patient and pragmatic. He knows you can’t rush this. He knew if he made a desperate move to help short term (hello PC), it hurts the long term when they are actually ready to win. They are not ready yet, obviously.
Another step this off season, make the playoffs, give it a go again.
What does Nuge do? Oil won’t pay him what he can make as a UFA. Starting to think he walks.
Ray Bark, the Oilers didn’t make the playoffs 2 yrs in a row. Last season they lost to Chicago in the play in round.
Ray, i’m still out, don’t feel Holland did much of anything other then give away draft picks then the players he gave them away for.
Lucic had a much better year then James.
He also traded away John Marino
lets see what he does with RNH and Larsson, followed by Nurse the next year.
Darnel Nurse 62:07 of ice time and they were not easy minutes. He was impressive.
Winnipeg had two players Lewis and Thompson under 8 minutes for the whole game 7:19 and 7:09
Edmonton Chaisson and McCleod under 10 minutes and dman KeokKeok 9:58
While watching this game in the OT’s i was saying use your third and 4th line, the guys are exhausted and making mental mistakes.
Edmonton basically used 2 lines only and 4 dman, but gave Bear more time in the late 2nd OT and third.
Lewis and Thompson did not see one second of OT and very little in the third period. Matthew Perrault didn’t get much ice, other then pp in ot.
The fact the Oilers were only willing to use two lines, tell you all you need to know about the depth of their team. Their top 2 and Nurse were excellent and Yamamoto played well.
Interesting offseason for the Oil.
My belief is that the coaching let them down. Line combinations were less than stellar and their time on ice was more that they could handle. Playing 2 lines is poor judgement right from the start. Maybe Tippet should be questioned on his ability to make things work!