NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2022

by | Apr 28, 2022 | News, NHL | 28 comments

The Stars clinch the final Western Conference playoff berth while the Golden Knights are eliminated, results of the latest NHLPA player poll are released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines


NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars clinched a Western Conference playoff berth despite a 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. The Stars held a 3-0 lead heading into the third period but the Coyotes tallied four unanswered goals for the win with Travis Boyd netting the game-winner. Barrett Hayton had a goal and two assists for the Coyotes while Tyler Seguin scored and picked up an assist for the Stars. With 96 points, the Stars move one point ahead of the Nashville Predators into the first wild-card spot in the West.

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (NHL Images).

A 4-3 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks ensures the Vegas Golden Knights will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Tyler Johnson scored the only goal in the shootout round, Taylor Raddysh scored two goals and Kevin Lankinen got the win by stopping 37 shots in regulation and overtime. Chandler Stephenson collected assists on all three Golden Knights goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators hold two games in hand over the Golden Knights, who only have one game left. Their failure to qualify despite their star-studded roster will raise questions about their offseason plans. I’ll have more later today in the Rumors section.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their fifth straight victory by downing the Seattle Kraken 5-3. Jonathan Quick kicked out 37 shots while Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and two assists. Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist for the Kraken. Los Angeles will face the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the playoffs starting next week. The Kings also activated defenseman Mikey Anderson off injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only two first-round series (Oilers vs Kings, Wild vs Blues) have been determined. The remainder will be decided by the end of Friday night’s schedule.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry scored twice, including the game-winner, as his club upset the New York Rangers 4-3. The Canadiens snapped a nine-game losing skid and are assured of finishing last in the overall standings. Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko returned to action after being sidelined by an injury since April 16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The playoff-bound Rangers rested stars such as Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Chris Kreider, Igor Shesterkin and Jacob Trouba from this contest. That last-place finish also gives the Canadiens the best odds of winning next month’s NHL Draft lottery.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Eric Comrie stopped 35 shots to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0. Jets winger Kyle Connor tallied his 46th goal of the season.


NHLPA.COM: The results of the NHLPA’s annual player poll were released yesterday. Among the notable results was Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was named the one skater the players would want on their team in a must-win game while the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy was named the one goalie they’d want in a must-win contest.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane was named the best stick-handler, Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisailt the best passer, and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby the most complete player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the full results of all categories by following the link above.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals coach Peter Laviolette is hoping captain Alex Ovechkin will be ready to play Game 1 of their opening-round series next week. The 36-year-old winger is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

THE TENNESSEAN: A lower-body injury will sideline Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros for at least the club’s final two regular-season games.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, Chicago Blackhawks defensemen Seth and Caleb Jones and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski have accepted invitations from Team USA to compete in next month’s World Championships. Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider will play for Germany and Wings forward Lucas Raymond will compete for Sweden.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We should learn more in the coming days about which NHL players from non-playoff clubs will be participating in the Worlds in Finland next month.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the World Championships, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) officially stripped Russia of its hosting duties for the 2023 tournament. The Russian Hockey Federation is already in the midst of an indefinite ban from international play following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: David Morehouse resigned yesterday as CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins after 16 years. President of hockey operations Brian Burke and COO Kevin Acklin will run the day-to-day operations. The club didn’t announce if the vacant CEO position will be filled.


  1. The NHL player poll puts a decent size bullet hole in the Toronto media hypemachines attempt to talk Mathews in to a hart trophy . His peers do not agree with the narrative , the writers like to hunt for a feel good story so who knows where that goes.

    • My God…the leafs aren’t even in the discussion today.

      Rent free people…rent free !

      • Is this site restricted to ONLY items in the discussion FD? Lol , the poll was released yesterday , seems relevant . Playoff time must be approaching , the tension in the nation is rising ! As an oiler fan living in Ontario , I can’t escape the hype train and the narrative they try to push .

      • Well as a Bruin fan in Edmonton (yes I root for the Oil when they don’t play the B’s), it is all Oilers all day. I still listen to TSN 1260 as the Oil have a good team and 1260 has some good hosts. 90% of the hockey talk is Oil.

        Just the way it is in a CDN hockey market this time of year.

        The Leafs have the most fans in the country so I get it having the most play on TSN & SN, no biggie, and if it get’s old I change the channel and watch something else.

    • Agree Craig

      Again…. Definition of Hart is “most valuable to his team” and Mathews (to Leafs) is not near Shesterkin (to Rangers) or Jossi (toPredz) IMHO

      Leafs would be in playoffs with or without AM

      I can’t fathom Predz in playoffs without Jossi; IMHO Rangers (who were vying for Metro 1st) without Shesterkin, IMHO, would have been a bubble team

      Re PHWA voters who vote instead for “Leagues Best” player…. McD is best player on planet…. therefore best in NHL

      That said…. Last year 11 (of 100) voters on Hart worked for Bell Media/SN/Rogers/TSN (same owners as Leafs) and Toronto Star

      There may be 2 voters covering Predz; maybe 4 could veering Rangers; 3 (?) covering Flames (Johnny hockey); 2 maybe covering Wild (Kaprizov) ;

      Add to that some split votes re Oil ((McD, Leon)

      All that…. and odds of true (warranted) recipient are not very high

      You’ll know once the “finalists” (not really finalists as there is no second vote; these are top 3 listed in Alphabetical order) are announced

      If BOTH Shesterkin AND Jossi are NOT “finalists”… then “the gig is up”

      • My own order for the hart , most valuable to his team would go
        Shesterkin – out of playoffs without him
        Mcdavid – best player , having his best season and not only his production but attention to detail and leadership have grown exponentially, the team is following him
        Johnny Hockey – best 5v5 season in ages and I think stirs the drink for his line
        Matthews – best goal scoring season in ages but not the complete 200 ft animal the Toronto media is trying to portray , as I eluded to in my initial post , the player poll does not support that narrative . I agree with most of not all of your thoughts on this one pengy

      • Craig- lol as a Leaf fan living out west close to the border of Alberta..I get the same thing with the Oilers hype. wanna trade houses? 😉

  2. Well I wonder if Foley is second guessing his aggressive pursuit of Handsome Jack

    His numbers…..12-10-22 in 33 GP….. 82 G pace …. 30-25-55

    Knights record since HJ returned On Feb 16—-I believe Knights are 14-14-5; during that same period…. Since Feb 16th…Sabres…17-14-5

    At beginning of season…. Knights were expected to vie for 1st in Pac Div…. now have missed the playoffs

    This is certainly not HJ’s fault…. He has made a pretty fair recovery from a serious surgery; AND was off from playing for a mega long time; AND had to move; AND had to adapt to new city, new team, new team-mates, new systems; new line-mates

    Added to that was the unexpected batch of injuries to key players; piled on with the Cap constraints; top 2 goalies injured for play-off run

    We can’t disregard the Sharks scoring with 0.9 seconds; and post and out in dying seconds of regulation v Stars; and gaping net miss in last minute reg last night…. those 3 things go instead in Knights favour…. Then Knights as at now in WC1 spot with 95 points; Stars out of playoffs with 94 points…. 1 game to go for both teams…

    OR…. if they could have scored in the 3 last shootouts…. Knights and Stars tied in points (95) but Knights in WC spot … one game each to go

    The injuries in no way could have been predicted; fate in the last seconds of regulation in last 3 games kicked them in the arse; but the Cap situation was known

    Did Knights (well, let’s be frank…. This was all Foley) really need to make that move, AT that time ?

    Knights are still with Cap issues going forward…. Will HJ get up to/surpass a PPG next year

    All things to ponder

    • Nothing to do with Jack Eichel. Everything to do with an oft injured goalie, an unhealthy top six, and an inept coach. Seriously, Pete stinks at this level.

      • SOP, one of the coach or the starting goalie will be leaving Vegas, and soon. That’s a toxic relationship that can’t continue.
        I expect DeBoer will be fired.
        Hard to have sympathy there; a lot of their cap problems were self-inflicted.

      • I wonder if Gerard Gallant is grinning like I am that Vegas missed the playoffs?

      • Hi SOP

        Certainly not Eichel’s fault

        But…. Trade for Eichel certainly didn’t allow any flex when injuries happened

        To me; this is on Foley…. wanted a quick fix to a cup and it back-fired

  3. Lyle,

    Was there rationale/background on why Moorehouse resigned?

    • Pengy – I forgot where I read it but health was the main reason. He can go to his family healthy and trusted that the ones above him are very capable of filling in his replacement.

      That said,..it is what they all usually say in a sense and maybe he just knew more of what’s around the corner and did not want to be a part of that. i.e. Changes…big changes like Malkin, Letang, Burke, Hextall. That of course is just my opinion in this second paragraph.

      Now off to the hart trophy.
      I know I recall many oiler fans hating MacDavids 100 foot game play and him not ever playingdefensively and also padding his stats. IMO sure he may be the best in a lot of minds but when you’re not playing the whole 200 fefeet game and Matthews is..well then the debate can be open and the race gets closer.

      Also Drais without Mac D also picked up the slack whenever Connor was injured or not playing and since they are both top elite point accumulators it almost seems like a shared duty over there.

      Igor is a good candidate, he did get a little more fired up this year and is sort of adding that P Roy effect, but a goalie has those streaks where sometimes he plays great and the team doesn’t show up therefore it looks a little worse for his overall capture of the hart.

      I would also say Jussi is just as important to his team as well and might even be a little further ahead in the race compared to Igor imo for points that you have also mentioned.

      The real important trophy should be the Stan, so I always look at it who did the best in the playoffs and was the hungriest and slapped on the cape in order for their team to move on to the finals while also tagging his regular season play. That guy becomes my hart trophy winner even if the nhl does not do it like that. Campbell could have been that guy too if he would of carried on like he did at the beginning of the year considering how many wins/overall points the Leafs rackked up.

      I just wouldn’t get too concerned/upset if Matthews did win it as I’m pretty sure the team feels He would be the heart of the team when playing and the body don’t go too far without the heart ticking.

      • Thanks DJ

        Good point re Cape and playoffs; but it is supposed to be a reg season award; and unless I’m wrong (again, LOL) , voting has to be rec’d just after reg season ends

    • None was given. Perhaps more will be revealed in the coming days or weeks.

      • Thanks Lyle

    • The timing is weird. Why not after a likely short playoffs?

      • True !!

        I would think Pens are already looking at T-Times

        The have close to zero chance V Cats; and what…. Maybe 15% chance V Rangers?

        Now if they are matched V Rangers AND somehow pull the upset (don’t count on it) …. I can see them beating Canes ; if they win first round…. Jarry hopefully back then

  4. Also Pengy you just said Matthews is not that 200 foot monster they try to potray but…look at how mmany steals he has. save you time.. He leads in that, and when he is on the ice and the opposition is in our end,..better look at the #34 because he ain’t no Phil Espo waiting for the play to come to him. Matthews is actually in our endtrying to defend be it in the corners of near the crease as He does totally outshine Mac D in that department and it ain’t even close. Matthews does 100% play the 200 foot game, and that is also why he keeps a good reputation for playing the 200 foot game.

    • DJ, your not an Oiler fan, so not a shot, but you haven’t watched the Oil in the 2nd half if that is what you think of McDavid’s play. You would be hard pressed to find a better 2 way C in the entire NHL the last half of the season, in fact you wouldn’t. He has been dominant in both ends of the ice.

      Would you trade Matthews for McDavid?

      If you asked all the players, coaches and GM’s I would bet a month’s pay McDavid will be the best player chosen, and it wouldn’t be close.

      • Ray I guess if you’re look at the “what have you done lately for me” ..Yes MacDavid has picked it up in the second half,…well really since they got their new coach and with the addition of Kane who has tons of points for the amount of time he has been there. He added tons to the oilers make no mistake as it opens up even more ice for Mac imho.

        I was only implying that Matthews has done that 200 foot game all year. So if the Hart only counts for half a year well then I must be out of touch with it, and again since I do watch tons of hockey and knowing fans of the oilers complained themselves earlier on…that imo keeps Mac out of touch for the Hart.. 😉

        And as of right now to answer your question would I trade Matthews for Mac D…well, lol I got shat on two years ago for wanting to trade McKinnon for Matthews. So Yes I would do either one of those trades,..but that doesn’t mean I’d hand the hart over to Connor this year. I honestly believe that it is a closer race between CM and AM and I wouldn’t be mad if NM even got it. 😉

      • Agree on the Hart being close DJ as lots of players are having very good years.
        My issue with the Hart is the criteria and language, but won’t go on that rant again.
        Actually I will.

        IMO the way some folks deem most valuable favors players on teams that are not as good.
        IE – Nashville would miss the playoffs without Jose. That is 100% accurate. But so what? He should win the Hart because the rest of the team isn’t as good? How is the the logic for the premier regular season award in the NHL?

        So if the Oil would make playoffs without McDavid, that means he isn’t as valuable to the Oil? They sure as heck wouldn’t be as good, we all know that.

        Not saying the interpretation or poster had it wrong, just saying it seems ridiculous for an award to be awarded on that criteria to me.

        Rant finished.

      • McJesus. Is best player on planet. No matter what team you cheer for. Matthews is great. But not the best every gm in the NHL. Would take 97 before 34. Or they would get fired

      • All day Ray, what does Toronto need to add?

        Just for ships & giggles.

    • Hi DJ

      I have never said AM was not a 200’ player

      I will say that his 200’ play has been biased by Leaf media hype

      He’s a good 200’ player…. Just not the best (at least yet)

      McD’s game of late is something else

      He IS the best player on the planet….. his speed; coordination; hockey IQ; deking ability…. Tops

      No if , ands , or buts; AM can score

      So cam Kreider and Leon ….

      McD is just that good

      Little shout out to Sid who still shines with his back-checking

      Setting that aside… Shesterkin or Jossi for Hart… if neither are finalists (listed alpha as top 3 vote getters)…. then PHWA voters screwed up (voting for “Best” over MV to HIS team”

      Last point…. If I’m a team starting out; re-building; veteran club pushing for cup…. I take McD over AM in every case

      That’s me though…. and I’m a Leaf Fan

  5. MVP, because your the best player on the best team or the best player in the league; does NOT make you the most valuable.

    Just for a quick reference David Krejci vs Sidney Crosby

    For years in Boston and Bruins fans complained Krejci needed scoring wingers.

    Crosby for years has been making wingers look like all stars and when departed another one would fill the role.

    Ovie is a great scorer but he doesn’t make players around him better.

    McDavid as elite as he is; couldn’t bring the team to the playoffs on his own. He doesn’t make players around him better. He is the best player in the league.

    The MVP has to be elite and should demonstrate that he makes players on his team better.

    In the end it won’t matter what is said as it generally goes to the best player in the league.

  6. Pengy- Sorry man it was not you who said the 200ft thing about Matthews. It was that dirty mind thinking Craig guy. lol

    Craig – lol when two people are in an elevator and one farts,…they both know who dunnit. 😉 haha