NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2022

by | Apr 25, 2022 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Lightning snap Panthers win streak, the Canadiens and their fans salute Guy Lafleur, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin suffers an injury, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf plays his final game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Nikita Kucherov had a five-point performance while teammates Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each collected four points as the Tampa Bay Lightning doubled up the Florida Panthers 8-4, snapping the latter’s 13-game winning streak. Kucherov, Stamkos and Nicholas Paul each tallied two goals for the Lightning, who sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 106 points. Sam Reinhart scored twice for the Panthers, who still maintain a four-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the overall standings with 120 points.

Speaking of the Avalanche, they dropped their fourth straight game by falling 4-1 to the Winnipeg Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his 200th career victory while Kyle Connor scored his 45th goal of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The absence of core players Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews to injury and illness has contributed to the Avs’ recent slide. The Avs could also be experiencing difficulty remaining motivated playing in meaningless games this late in the regular season.

The Montreal Montreal Canadiens honored the memory of their late star Guy Lafleur (NHL.com).

The Boston Bruins got two goals from Patrice Bergeron and Erik Haula to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3. However, this match was overshadowed by an emotional pre-game ceremony honoring the life and legacy of Canadiens icon Guy Lafleur, who passed away on Friday at age 70. Montreal fans followed the video tribute with a 10-minute standing ovation and chants of “Guy! Guy! Guy!” The Bruins (103 points) hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lafleur meant so much to Montrealers, Quebecers and Canadiens fans around the world. The outpouring of emotion following his death is a testament to how his exciting style of play resonated with fans to this day. The province of Quebec announced it will stage a national funeral for Lafleur. His body will lie in state at the Bell Centre for two days before the funeral on May 3.

Meanwhile, the Capitals dropped a 4-3 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs on a shootout goal by Alex Kerfoot. Leafs star Auston Matthews collected two assists but remains at 58 goals on the season. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin left the game with an upper-body injury in the third period after crashing into the boards following a breakaway scoring attempt. The club had no immediate word on his condition. The Leafs are in second place in the Atlantic with 111 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs captain John Tavares and defenseman Timothy Liljegren missed the game. Tavares was given the night off while Liljegren is dealing with a minor issue.

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf picked up an assist in his final NHL game but his club dropped a 6-3 decision to the St. Louis Blues. Ivan Barbashev had a goal and two assists while Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou and Justin Faulk each collected two points for the Blues, who sit in third place in the Central Division with 109 points. Blues center Tyler Bozak returned to action for the first time since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on March 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getzlaf is hanging up his skates after 17 seasons with the Ducks. He’s their franchise leader in points, assists, playoff scoring and games played and has been their captain for the past 12 seasons. He also helped them win their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2007 and finishes with 1,019 points. Don’t be surprised if he ends up in a front-office job with the Ducks.

An overtime goal by Dmitry Kulikov lifted the Minnesota Wild over the Nashville Predators 5-4. Joel Erikson Ek scored twice and picked up an assist while Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala each had two points. The Wild are tied with the Blues but hold second place in the Central with a game in hand. Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund each had three points as the Predators hold the first wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 94 points.

The Vegas Golden Knights’ playoff hopes suffered a blow after blowing a 4-2 lead in the third period to fall 5-4 to the San Jose Sharks on a shootout goal by Thomas Bordeleau. Nick Bonino and Timo Meier scored in the final minutes of regulation to tie the game. The Golden Knights (90 points) gained a point to sit three back of the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs each have three games remaining but the Golden Knights need the extra point a win would’ve given them to draw closer to the Stars. Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner dressed for the game amid reports he requires knee surgery but was the backup to Logan Thompson. William Carrier returned to the Golden Knights lineup for the first time since being sidelined by a lower-body injury on March 26.

The Carolina Hurricanes downed the New York Islanders 5-2. With 112 points, they’ve opened a four-point lead over the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. It was a costly victory, however, as goaltender Antti Raanta left the game with a lower-body injury in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes starter Frederik Andersen is also sidelined with a lower-body injury. They’re hoping to have him back in the lineup when the playoffs begin next week.

Philadelphia Flyers rookie Noah Cates scored twice and collected an assist while Martin Jones made 37 saves to upset the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. The loss leaves the Penguins (101 points) holding a one-point lead over the Capitals for third place in the Metro Division.

The Edmonton Oilers missed an opportunity to clinch second place in the Pacific Division by falling 5-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jakub Voracek and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had three-point performances for the Blue Jackets. Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected two assists and holds a three-point lead over the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau for first place in the NHL scoring race with 118 points. The Oilers hold a two-point lead over the third-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific with 98 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse missed this contest as he’s listed as day-to-day with a minor lower-body injury. Blue Jackets forward Yegor Chinakhov returned to action after being sidelined by an upper-body injury since April 2.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic had a 17-save shutout to blank the New Jersey Devils 3-0. Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist.


  1. Was hoping for regulation wins by both Leafs and Pens….

    Pens …. Not even an OT point

    Leafs win (👍👍) , but in SO…. so Caps (Game in hand) gain a point on Pens . Overall…. 🤬💩😭

    Saw something I have never seen before ……I’ve witnessed tons of “too many men on the ice “ penalties. Always puck at least “near” the “extra” player….

    In the Oil/Jackets game…. Barrie behind his own net with the puck for several seconds as BOTH teams do a wholesale change…. Puck is 100’ from the changes…. Tons of players on thrice at the same time….Oil get called for too many men

    I had to play it back and freeze frame it; moving forward frame by frame…at the beginning of the massive change; Jackets had 7 skaters on the ice; one leg over the boards with his skate just about to touch the ice; at that exact time; Oil only had 6 players actually on ice; no player jumping over the boards. Move forward 2 seconds… 7 skaters each side with skates still touching; one Oil just going over boards…. At that point, Barrie behind net; Keith moving towards net but at Blue-line…. The other 12 skaters ALL within 3’ of the boards (benches)…2 seconds later (with 2 Oil touching bench boards; only one skate on the ice; Keith approaching net; Barrie still with puck behind net; and 3 other Oil skating away from bench but now about 6’ away; and 5 Jackets well clear of bench…. That’s when the ref called the too many men on the ice

    So in the span of 4 seconds…. It goes from 7 Jackets skaters (and one almost on the ice) with only 6 Oil skaters actually on ice, to 5 skaters each FULLY on ice; plus 2 Oil 1 skate on ice; each of those with 1 hand touching bench boards…. And for 8 seconds overall… with Barrie behind net and with puck, other than Koskinen; all other players (save for the approaching [just inside the blue-line] Keith are at least 60’ away and at/near their benches making a change ….. too many men on the ice …. Yes tons of men on the ice…. But an actual “too many men on the ice” penalty… for Oil…. Nyet IMHO

    I’m not saying that caused the Jackets win…. But it certainly was the “TSN turning point” as they scored on that PP to break the tie

    To me… very very strange call

  2. Hart. Feels like a player on a team with other elite talent is going to win the MVP award.

    1-2 imho should be Kaprizov and Josi. Take those players out of the lineup and bigger dropoff compared to Auston(who i think wins…when was the last time a Lead won the mvp), or Huberdeau’s stacked top 6(he is breaking LW records so that is something), Johnny G gets votes from turning that team around but that line is fairly equal, and even Igor has 2 very good lines scoring for him. Of course McDavid and Leon will get votes too

    just my 2 cents
    but AM will win it

    • Hi ds

      I’ve posted many times….AM should not be the recipient

      Hart is supposed to go to “most valuable to HIS team” and NOT “best” player

      To me there is no player more “valuable to HIS team” than Shesterkin

      Shesterkin (to Rangers) waaaaaay > AM (to Leafs)

      Josi (to Predz) > AM (to Leafs)

      Hoobie (to Cats) and/or Johnny Hockey (to Flames) to me ; could be argued > AM (to Leafs); but at least on par in value

      Excellent point re Kaprizov (to Wild)

      That said… so many PHWAvoting members tend to not vote properly on the award… and vote “best player” instead of “most valuable to his team”

      Poulin, live on panel, stated his vote (and he will be one of those casting a vote for the Hart) will be for “best” player …. Odd that he publicly acknowledged that. Freidman admitted last year that he had (past tense) previously voted for Hart as “best player”

      That said…. World’s best player is McD

      But…. And here is the kicker….. PHWA last year decided on 100 vote casting members

      Going on line you can see the 100….. 10 of those (10%) worked for either TSN or SN or Bell Media (Note—- owners of the Leafs); while an 11th was a Toronto Star reporter

      You’ll find 1 , maybe 2 absolute max; cover Predz; 12 max Wild; 2 max Cats; maybe 3 or 4 Cgy; no more than 4 cover Blueshirts….. so they skewed vote certainly not favouring Johnny Hockey, Jossi, Kaprizov; Hoobie

      I truly believe that THE ABSOLUTE most deserving of this award is Shesterkin; with Jossi second

      NOTE: the SN panel only last week…. Went on to “compare” (for Hart; AM to McD, Leon, Johnny Hockey; Hoobie; Jossi…. and kept referring to “Best”….. no panel discussion re Shesterkin…..so you can see where the SN panel was skewed/biased

      You will know when the announce the “finalists” (Note: a misnomer in that all votes by then are tallied and the “finalists” are actually the top three vote getters, and usually listed announced in Alpha order by last name)

      If that list comes out with no Shesterkin, no Jossi…. You know the gig is up…. PHWA voted on “Best” and not “Most valuable to HIS team”

      And…if voting for “Best” it absolutely should be McD…. But, Leon will siphon some votes away from McD (Vote splitting) and with the disproportionate “biased” TSN/SN/ Bell Media voters…. the vote is likely heading one way

      • I agree Pengy
        We are always told that to build a winning/contending team you need to build from the net out. If this is the case then the most valuable positions on a team are goaltenders and defencemen. So then wouldn’t it make sense that the MVP be a goalie or defenceman?
        IMO Josi or Shesterkin should win the Hart.
        We have all seen high-scoring teams miss the playoffs because of weak goaltending and defence. How many strong defensive teams miss the playoffs?

      • @Pengy
        Yes ive read you posts about it too. I was listening to NHL radio this morning and over the weekend. Seems like Auston has it in the bag…which is what made me bring it up this morning here.

        Ranger fan love Igor of course. he still has Panarin , Kreider, last years Norris etc.
        I think Josi or Kapizov still…thats me

        Auston will be the first Leaf Hart in almost 70 years….. media cant help themselves. his 200 game is complete but watch him win the Selke too…I can put 20 forwards ahead of him in seconds.
        NHL is Toronto as we know. its good for hockey regardless

      • @ds
        The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
        How does a player excel in the defensive aspect of the game when they aren’t on their team’s pk? Matthews averages 4 seconds of shorthanded ice time per game.
        Freedman on Saturday night said he expects Patrice Bergeron to win the Selke again this season.

      • I think McDavid is the most valuable to his team because he is the best player.
        You take away McDavid and are the Oil in the playoffs? Maybe, but they wouldn’t be nearly as good. And his 200′ game has been outstanding, especially in 2nd half.

        You can make a very logical argument that the best player is the most valuable simply because he is the best.

        How is that not the most valuable?

        So the Hart should go the best player on a team with holes in it’s lineup or would miss the playoffs without them? That doesn’t seem like a good idea for a prestigious award IMO.

        I keep saying it, the criteria/language is too ambiguous. Media members select a bunch of NHL awards not just the Hart, so it ain’t just about that.

      • Hi KevJam

        I agree that building from the backend out is crucial but I wasn’t necessarily arguing that a G or D should win Hart over a Fwd

        I was just ranting that by definition of “most valuable to HIS team”…. That Shesterkin has done way more for Rangers than AM for Leafs

        Leafs w/o AM still make playoffs

        Rangers were pressing (unlikely now but still mathematically could) for 1st in Metro…. My argument is …. No Shesterkin…. Rangers don’t even make playoffs

        Ditto re Predz…, only in playoff hunt (not confirmed yet but closing in) because of Jossi…. No Jossi…..21-70-91 (leading his team in points…. AND he’s a D-Man)…. and Predz approaching the level of picking in top 10!!

        Conversely…. If there was a player on a bottom 10 team that was bottom 5 in GPG; and bottom 5 in GA; that happened to be a Centre, but was OVER a PPG; and was +10 (when the entire rest of team was double digit negative… then that player is certainly more valuable to his team than a McD, or AM, or Leon

        Just for Ships N Giggles…. Keller is on 82 G pace of 34-43-77 and plus five

        IF he had played all 82 and was just a little better…. Say 4 Gs 4 As better ; and 5 of those points were @ 5 on 5….. then his 38-47-85 and + 10 on the 31st place Yotes, would get my Hart vote certainly before McD, Leon, AM

        The main point is… improper voting (instead of by true definition) and skewed bias due to disproportionate representation… is very likely going to end up with a lesser deserving player winning the Hart

      • Hi ds

        I don’t think AM is in top 3 for Selke

        Certainly he has improved dramatically on his 200’ game… but not there yet re Selke IMHO

      • KevJam
        Bergeron and or a few others deserve it 1000%

        but watch how many votes Auston gets for the Selke.

      • Hi Ray

        McD is the best player on the planet right now…. Absolute best player on planet

        So … best player in NHL, and therefore best player on Oil…. and by inference… most valuable to Oil

        You and I fully agree on that

        We also agree to the vagueness of the Hart definition

        CFL changed things years ago to Most OUTSTANDING…. To me much less ambiguous to the subjective “most valuable to HIS team”

        That said …. Only going on “most valuable to HIS team”… IMHO

        Shesterkin (value to Blueshirts) > McD (to Oil)

        Similarly I believe Jossi (to Predz) > McD (to Oil)

        My hopes for the future….

        1) no voting by PHWA
        2) barring #1….only 2 PHWA members covering EACH franchise, to vote
        3) Change definition to “most outstanding”
        4) Each team’s players vote on their choice for Hart; 1 player only per team on ballot …. 1st round of voting (using only 1st choice and second choice) to determine top 3 vote getters. Then …. Second ballot with just 3 names… can only pick 1 (1 vote)…. Most votes win Hart… tie breaker… tally from round 1
        5) best still….only players and coaches can vote

      • DS, I get that everyone says stuff like the NHL is Toronto as we all know, but in the same post you point out how no Tor player has won the award in 70 yers. No cup in 55 years, AM was first Tor rookie of the year inI forget how many years, was the first 1st overall pick since 84…where are all the benefits Tor gets? AM does have by far the fewest drawn penalties of anyone near the top of the scoring list…maybe that’s the benefit? And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s any conspiracy against them either. They were horribly managed for most of my life, I think there are times they don’t get calls because some ref don’t like them but that can be said of I’m sure at least one player on every team and more than one team in the league isn’t liked by the officials. I just don’t see the advantages I hear about.

      • The issue with changing the definition of the Hart to the “Most Outstanding player” is that is the definition of the Ted Lindsay. So that would mean that there are two trophies with the same definition.
        I think there does need to be an updated way for voting on the Hart, but the definition needs to remain the same. This way of doing things where the writers predetermine the winner because they are tired of voting for the same player year after year or because a team hasn’t had a player win it for decades isn’t working. A lot of these players have bonuses built into their contracts if they win one of these awards. The way things are done now they’re robbing either the player or the team of bonus money.

      • tb,
        If you look at the top of the penalties draw list you will see a mix of players who either have the puck on their stick the majority of the time or players who plant themselves in front of the opposition net. This is probably why Bunting is 3rd on the most penalties drawn list.
        Matthews isn’t the one on the line that usually carries the puck up the ice. It’s usually a d-man or Marner.

      • @tb,
        Oh, and Ovy has fewer drawn penalties than Matthews. So this just shows that shooters don’t draw as many penalties as puck carriers and players who plant themselves in front of the net.

      • “I’ve posted many times….” How many times did you repost that…maybe one of your multiple duplicate posts that you seem the need to repost over and over again, isn’t gonna make you right, you know that, right?

        I think you’ll have people both agree and disagree with you repeating posts but man, maybe you should change your name to shampoo since your big on the rinse (away other thought) and repeat your same old one.

      • And, it is, to my mind, a little better than 50-50 that a team with not one player worth mentioning in these individual awards discussions will permit the Leafs to have a long off-season by sending them home after the first round. Again. To much wailing and knashing of teeth. Team game. Defence. Goaltending.

      • @tb(late reply)
        my point is Toronto is drooling over the fact they can vote AM for many awards now.
        i will assume the last Leaf to be top 10 in Hart voting was Sundin and probably not a single Leaf top 10 in the 70s or 80s

  3. Love watching the Sharks play with so much energy. Hope they can pick up a couple of pieces to help raise their ability level for next season, especially on D end.

    • They certainly played right to the wire…l coming from behind , down by 2…. With 2 mins left AND scoring with less than a. second left to force OT, AND holding off a 4 on 3 PP in OT

      They had a chart showing how many man games by rookies that Sharks and other teams had for 21-22….. by a massive landslide it was Sharks leading the NHL in that Category

      So even though they have some grey beards on the back end…. Some fresh faces up and coming

  4. Leaf fan here but yesterday I did watch the opening ceremonies of the Habs vrs Boston game. Loved how the crowd got louder when the announcer tried to ease into getting the game going. 10 minutes of an ovation seemed fitting. I think that was the longest ovation given. Once again RIP GUY.

    Nice comeback victory for the Leafs. Mikheyev going for a skating tour to find a good time to release the shot and BoooM! Goal = life, then Spezza gets one to give him the 500 career road point and inch closer towards the 1000 career points at 994.

    Lybushkin playing like a wall blocking OV shots. Our video staff making the call on the Washington goal seeing there was a hand pass was tiimely as Spezzas goal earlier on was called back. Kallgren holding the fort during the shootout should give him added confidence, so all ‘n all a real good comeback win.

    Then turned it to tthe ducks game and got to see Getlaf with the blind pass behind his back to Henrique who moved the mesh! Wow so fitting for Ryan and how he was respected from the blues players after that pass and in the handshake line up.

    Then went to cheer on San Jose who looked like they were down and out but scored two to snap an 11 game winless streeak against the Knights who are starting to feel the effects of the hockey gods. “I BET” those slots don’t make it. (<lol free spun,..I mean pun right there)

    • Hi DJ

      Fantastic tribute to The Flower…. Lots of people with watery eyes…. Great ovation

      Also caught the send off pre-game celebration for Getzlaf. Nice!

      Didn’t see the game

      Like your “betting” line re Knights

      0.9 seconds away from 2 points and an RW… settling for a 1 point SO loss… ouch

      Absolute must win in reg game v Stars coming up

      They lose (in any fashion) to Stars… that’s basically season over

      Win in reg…. Stars then up 1 point; Stars games after that… v Yotes, then v Ducks (all at home). Knights…. @ BlackHawks; @ Blues

      Note… Knights v Blues …. Game might be pointless for Blues if they lose in Reg to Avs tomorrow AND Wild beat Yotes

      • Pengy- sorry late night reply 😉

        Cool. We were pretty much doing the same game night surfing in different time zones. It was a good hockey night for sure. CHEERS!

  5. Lyle
    Like your take on the Avalanche! Even though they’re not getting it done, I believe it is mostly due to them being “dinged up” Last night I thought their effort was there but Winnepeg was opportunistic ? ….I think once the Avalanche are healthier, they will really start to crank it up and I am confident in Kuemper. GO AVS!!!!!!!

  6. Have tickets.
    Team has turned it up.
    There’s a chance.
    They are still the champs til they lose.
    Experience has value.
    Even if mind is warped by 8 100 point teams in conference!