NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2022

by | Apr 27, 2022 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Auston Matthews tallies his 60th goal of the season, Steven Stamkos reached 100 points, the Hurricanes clinch the Metropolitan Division, the Predators and Kings secure playoff berths, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice to reach the 60-goal plateau as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Detroit Red Wings 3-0. Matthews is the first player to score 60 goals in a season since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12. He’s also the first American-born player to reach that mark. John Tavares also scored and Jack Campbell made 20 saves for the shutout. Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin returned to the lineup after missing six games with an undisclosed injury. With the win, the Leafs (113 points) secure second place in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage for the opening round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

Speaking of Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning captain reached the 100-point plateau for the first time in his career in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Stamkos scored twice and collected two assists while Nikita Kucherov also had a four-point performance. The Lightning have won four straight games and sit in third place in the Atlantic with 108 points. Before the game, the Blue Jackets confirmed Boone Jenner and Sean Kuraly will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the season ended today, the Leafs and Lightning would face each other in the first round. We’ll find out for sure by week’s end.

The Carolina Hurricanes (114 points) clinched first place in the Metropolitan Division by holding off the New York Rangers 4-3. Sebastian Aho scored to reach his 400th career point, Vincent Trocheck and Brady Skjei each collected two points and rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov got the win with a 31-save performance. Rangers winger Chris Kreider tallied his 52nd goal of the season. His teammate, Andrew Copp, returned to action from a lower-body injury but left the game in the second period. So did winger Artemi Panarin but it appears both were held out of this contest for precautionary reasons. The Rangers sit second in the Metro with 108 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes were hopeful that sidelined starting goalie Frederik Andersen would be ready to return to action for the opening game of the playoffs next week. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports the current expectation is he’ll miss the Hurricanes’ first few games of the first round.

An overtime goal by Elias Lindholm gave the Calgary Flames a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators, but the latter still secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference with 95 points. Matthew Tkachuk scored in the final second of regulation to tie the game and set the stage for Lindholm’s winner. Both players have 41 goals on the season. Filip Forsberg scored twice for the Predators to reach 42 goals while teammates Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund each had three points. The Flames (110 points) recently clinched first place in the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators goaltender Juuse Saros left the game in the third period with what appeared to be an injured left leg. An update on his condition could come on Wednesday.

The Dallas Stars moved closer to clinching the final playoff berth in the Western Conference after downing the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on a shootout goal by Miro Heiskanen. Jason Robertson scored twice to reach 40 goals on the season while Jake Oettinger kicked out 33 shots. The Stars hold the final wild-card spot with 95 points. With 91 points, the Golden Knights’ playoff hopes now hang by a thread while the Stars’ victory means the idle Los Angeles Kings have clinched a postseason berth with 96 points. They will face the Edmonton Oilers in the first round.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights still have a slim chance if they win their final two games and the Stars lose their last two in regulation, thus ensuring they’d take the wild-card berth on the basis of regulation wins. The Stars, however, need just one to qualify for the postseason.

Speaking of the Oilers, they secured second place in the Pacific Division with 100 points by dropping the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists to reach a career-high 122, widening his lead in the scoring race by seven points over the Florida Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau. Mike Smith kicked out 33 shots for his 10th straight win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins winger Jason Zucker left the game in the first period with an undisclosed ailment. The Penguins (101 points) have already secured a playoff berth but hold a one-point lead over the Washington Capitals for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

As for the Capitals, they failed to overtake the Penguins after falling 4-1 to the New York Islanders. Ilya Sorokin made 32 stops for the Islanders. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Colorado Avalanche gained ground on the Florida Panthers for first place in the overall standings with a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues, snapping the latter’s 16-game points streak. Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves for the win while Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche (118 points) moved within two points of the Panthers. Blues center Ryan O’Reilly scored twice and collected an assist. The Blues remain in third place in the Central Division with 109 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews returned to the lineup after sitting out the last four games dealing with undisclosed minor injuries. Sidelined teammates Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen are both expected to return in time for the playoffs next week.

Meanwhile, the Panthers dropped a 4-2 decision to the Boston Bruins. Brad Marchand, Tayler Hall and David Pastrnak each collected two points as the Bruins (105 points) sit three points behind the Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers sit first overall with 120 points.

The Minnesota Wild remains tied with the Blues with 109 points following a 5-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. Karel Vejmelka got the win with a 35-save performance while Shayne Gostisbehere collected three assists. Kirill Kaprizov had two assists for Minnesota, who holds second place in the Central over the Blues with a game in hand. Wild forward Marcus Foligno returned to the lineup after missing the past four games due to a bout of COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild and Blues will face each other in the opening round of the playoffs. The outcome of their final games will decide which one gets home-ice advantage in their upcoming series.

Quinn Hughes set a single-season record for Vancouver Canucks defensemen by reaching 66 with a goal and two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. The Canucks were officially eliminated from playoff contention by the Stars’ win over the Golden Knights. Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko missed this game as he’s listed as day-to-day with an unspecified injury.

Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to down the New Jersey Devils 5-4. Tim Stutzle had two goals and two assists and Brady Tkachuk picked up three helpers for the Senators. Nolan Foote tallied twice for the Devils.

The Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Max Comtois and Sonny Milano each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is traveling with his teammates to New York, where he has a medical appointment concerning his surgically repaired knee. He’s listed as day-to-day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s sparked speculation in Montreal over whether Price will play in the Canadiens’ final game of the season on Friday against the Panthers as well as concerns about whether he can continue his playing career. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Price still plans on being in net for Friday’s game and he wants to play next season. Nevertheless, we can expect questions about Price’s future to carry over into the offseason.


  1. Great win for bruins Tuesday even if they meet Florida or Carolina I think they will stand a good chance beating. Those teams.

    • Hi Mr. G

      Bruins still could be V Leafs first round (with Bruins win out AND Bolts only get 1 point in last 2 games; OR Bruins get 3 of 4 points; Bolts lose-out)

      • They are playing varsity vs blues at least that is what was posted so they are not concerned that they play canes They just showed they are capable to bet the best when fully healthy

    • They will meet the canes is the bet. I believe they can take them and get to east finals maybe cup if stay healthy

      • You mean the Canes team that beat BOS by a combined 16-1 this season?

      • Whalercane

        Yes I do same result as last 2 years play offs Bruins built for playoffs

      • I saw that stat this AM too Whalercane. On the surface not great.
        But, Freddie might be out.
        And, it’s a brand new season come playoff time. The Oil owned the Jets last year in reg season and go swept in RD 1.

        Canes are a very good and deep team, but the B’s have a legit shot to beat them.

        As MB4 said, stay healthy. Which applies to everyone.

      • I agree, Ray, actually. I just wanted to throw that stat out there to make me feel better.

        The East is a beast. There isn’t a patsy in the bunch. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a conference like this at playoff time, and I’ve been a fan since 1981.

        There is no matchup that I was ‘rooting for’ as all are quality teams.

      • Ya Whalercane some good teams heading home after RD 1. Pens and Caps seem to be a bit off of late, but have also had success in playoffs previously. But I don’t have much confidence in either of those 2 teams.

        B’s, like many of us B’s fans concerned about health long term as some key guys getting up there a bit. The east will be a meat grinder, I don’t think anybody get’s through it unscathed.

        If a Cinderella makes a run my guess is the West.
        That’s why I through the Oil out there the other day. But now Nurse is out and rumor is he can play, but will be playing hurt and in pain. Perhaps an “itis” injury. So tempering that enthusiasm a bit.

      • Whalercane and Ray

        Pens certainly playing like a Patsy…. Not good heading into playoffs

        Jarry out

        Only 1 line basically producing…. and Sully keeps changing that line up

        Gino in LaLa land last couple of games

        Marino having struggles; Dumo having struggles; Sully refusing to sit the costly Ruhweedel

        All above adding up to fair odds out first round… and a sweep of Pens is certainly not out of the question

        Caps out first round is about same odds as Pens out first round

  2. 60 Gs AM….👍👍👍

    Leafs clinch home ice … 👍👍👍

    Prez trophy race back on and could come down to game 82…👍👍👍

    Watching the world’s best player get 4 points should be a treat to watch…. not last night💩🤬💩🤬👎👎👎

    Pens playing crap👎👎👎💩💩💩💩🤬🤬🤬

    Will be playing either Cats or Rangers first round 😭😭😭

    I caught the last period; OT and shoot-out (Knights @Stars)…. Ottenger certainly the Hero. Thompson did very well; Ottinger just bested him. Looking more and more like the Eichel trade (Cap juggling etc etc) and injuries …. We’re too much to overcome …. Knights must win out; Stars lose-out , forKnights to get in

    • Re Best player in the Game today plays in Canada🍁and
      its not in the centre of the Universe sorry….❓

      1) Austin Mathews
      with him Scorining his 60th goal was great,
      Even Better was Conor McDavid scoring the Highlight goal last night Again and collecting 4 more points

      97 is by far most Exciting Player in the Game today and keep getting better every year of his young career.

  3. Leafs v. Lightning in Round One. Yes, there are eight worthy contenders in the East, but this clearly has the potential to be a finals-quality matchup in the first, and a bit of a shame. Both fanbases, for different reasons, feel they have a date with destiny.
    Leafs will have home ice, which, paradoxically, may be a slight disadvantage, as they already are under enormous pressure and might rather open on the road while the Lightning mental state should be well tuned at the opening puck drop.
    Lightning have no depth past their 18 skaters due to 2-cup cap-hell, and may be a bit less formidable in later rounds if the injury bug bites. Leaf’s snipers, and there are many, will see Vasy at his freshest, and the oft-injured pair of Stamkos/Kucherov in prime shape. I am expecting a round where it will come down to a break or a bounce in relatively high-scoring (for the playoffs) games, and where there will be no disgrace but bitter disappointment for the losers.
    The Leafs lost their composure in the last regular season game between the two and if they go out in the first round it will likely be their heads, not their sticks, to fail them; it is also possible that both clubs will play splendidly but one has to lose.

    • Hi Richard

      If it is Leafs v Bolts round 1 (Leafs v Bruins still a possibility)…. Your analysis is excellent… agree

      I still think healthy v healthy…. Advantage Bolts

      That said… I still can’t fathom Leafs marching through the state of Florida to the ECF.

      Would I love it…. Yep…. Would I bet on it…. Under no circumstances

      To me odds (not betting odds as that is wager driven; just straight probability odds) are greater that Leafs are out first round than they win the SC (having to best both FLA teams; and Rangers or Canes; and then most likely Avs)

    • I’d rather see two top teams meet in the first round than the possibility of them never meeting. Both teams equally rested and healthy, both would have a lot to prove – an obvious understatement for the Leafs, no matter who, I don’t know, if both teams were truly elite teams of the east then they would have to beat each other at some point, wouldn’t you want that with all your guys rested and healthy? I couldn’t hope for a more even and fair fight.

    • Richard – I thought you made some fair value points on your assessment if the Leafs do end up meeting the bolts.

      I really believe that the leafs have deeper lines that all OWN Speed, and that speed is what could break open the game for the Leafs imo. What they have to control is the “too many men” calls and I do see them trying to cheat it often. “last nights example was kerfoot waving the player to go on while he wasn’t even really near the bench yet to get off, so they have to tighten that up.

      I’d like to think that playing two long years with back to back Stans would slow down the bolts but a first round match-up most likely means the Bolts still have fresh legs. One thing however is that I have seen Vas not totally have his cape on this year and has been getting beat a little more often in the net so hopefully that cape he wears doesn’t strap on tight for this series.

      It still hasn’t been finalized yet, but I’d still rather meet Boston (and yes i know what I wish for) in the first round and meet Tampa later on (when they could be a little more fatigued) but if we do happen to meet them, I still feel the Leafs can take that series, barring that no sporadic injuries to key players occur. All of Canada could use something to gather around and the Leafs could be the best excuse for all to get behind, even if it’s out of pity lol. GO LEAFS GO!

      p.s. -Pengy, also watched that dallas/vegas game and what the Ott did was remarkable the way he made some key saves to oust the knights chances of entering the playoffs. Was a good game.

      Also watched some of the Avs game and maybe it is just me but Kuemper looked shaky and the Avs need to get back Land and Rat (which they say they will come game 1) in order to utilize that offense minded breakouts to keep their offensive style of “better to play in the oppositions end than ours style” going that keeps them more fluent. Guess the point is that Darcy needs to be stellar come playoffs and the Avs are probably happy that Minny and the Blues meet 1st round.

      • Hi DJ

        Yes Ottinger was absolutely great in 3rd, OT, and SO….I didn’t see first 2 periods

        Re “ It still hasn’t been finalized yet, but I’d still rather meet Boston (and yes I know what I wish for) in the first round and meet Tampa later on”

        To meet Bolts later (Bruins first)… would require Bolts winning through Metro side AND Cats losing to Leafs…. That path to me, is a long-shot in happening

        Here is my quick (and very rough ) guess at probabilities re Leafs v Bolts

        Leafs sweep….2%
        Bolts sweep … 2%
        Leafs in 5… 10%
        Bolts in 5… 10%
        Leafs in 6…. 15%
        Bolts in 6 …. 15%
        Leafs in 7…. 23%
        Bolts in 7…. 23%

        Leafs beating Bolts AND Cats AND Canes or Blueshirts AND (likely) Avs….. has to be well less than 2%…. So…. With that loose analysis…. and my “quick odds/probabilities” ….Leafs are more likely to be swept first round than to win the SC this year

  4. Bruins and Lightning are both in playoff mode already. both will be tough outs

    • Ds

      I think anyone in east can win they are all good enough to get it done

    • Pengy- Haha flip that coin is a pretty safe bet and I dig what you did with the winning percentages and agree, now…I forgot to mention but maybe you noticed it, last Night I swear Klingberg was coughing up the puck on purpose. It was the first time I thought somebody was getting paid. Hope I am wrong and yes looks can be decieving just that there was more than one occassion where I thought WTF Kling (as I was hoping for a Stars win to joust the knights) Did you see any of his real (i’ll call it “loose plays”?)

      • Hi DJ

        Did not see periods 1 and 2 …. So can’t comment on anything Klinger did then

        Only 1 give away (in 3rd) “jumped out” at me; one “error” by him in OT

        More than happy to swap Ruhweedel for rights to Klinger , after season is over

        Ruhweedel doesn’t INTENTIONALLY :

        give the puck away,

        not cover his man,

        follow his D partner into D partner corner (D partner already engaged with puck carrier; leaving Ruhweedel man uncovered in front of net

        shoot puck down ice (unforced)

        Miss cross-ice passes

        Repeatedly miss net on shots

        Pinch at wrong times

        Miss moving net front presence

        Provide passes not close enough to player to receive

        Pass puck from his corner , behind Jarry orDeSmith net, to no one

        Forget who he is to cover

        Forget which side to play on

        He doesn’t do any of that INTENTIONALLY; but….. !!!!

        Klinger rights for Ruhweedel… can we shake on it?

    • 🍁The Toronto Maple Leafs are Jeckiel and hide team you never really know what your going to get with them..?

      if they get beat in the first round Again…..⁉️
      they need to trade away One and Or two of there Top 4 $ payed players and do a Mini re-build

      Getting beat 5 first rounds 5 knockouts in a Row
      mainly by boston….🙈
      God help them if its 6 and if its by boston you better call out the National Guard
      its not going to be any better if the play Tampa they are in Deep S**t….!

      The GM will get fired in 24 hours✔️
      Shanny Could well be next …❓

      They need a No nonsense Boss in toronto who can take the bull by the Horns and /fix things once and for all it may take 2 seasons..?

      Then they can bring back Brian Burke or hire Sutter out of Calgary as GM to fix thing in Leaf Land
      Go big or make it 7 in a Row……⁉️

  5. Haven’t seen George on here for a bit…. Hope all is OK with you and fam, George.

  6. I’d have to see quite a bit more before I offered any optimism re; the b’s in the playoffs. #1 unknown post season goalies.
    No. 2 quite possibly the worst power play in the league. As long as they don’t meet The Panthers, Lightning, oilers ,Pitts, Kings St Louis. The Ava’s Calgary and Carolina they might do alright.

    • We get canes. And will win if healthy. Kings please flames abs blues means we are final. I would love that as would most Bruin fans. Lol