NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2022
The Blues eliminate the Wild, the Lightning, Bruins and Oilers force Game 7 in their respective series, the Hart Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues advanced to the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 of the opening-round series. Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko were among the goal scorers while Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for the win. The Blues go on to face the Colorado Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues’ offensive depth made the difference in this series, particularly on the power play. They scored two goals with the man advantage in three of the six games and were held scoreless on the PP just once.
Despite a franchise-best regular season with 53 wins and 113 points and Kirill Kaprizov setting single-season franchise scoring records, the Wild once again came up short in postseason play. They haven’t won a playoff round since 2015 and haven’t advanced past the second round since 2003.
Wild general manager Bill Guerin faces a challenging offseason. He’s got over $12 million in dead cap space from last summer’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter biting deeply into his salary-cap payroll for next season. Winger Kevin Fiala is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in line for a substantial raise while trade deadline acquisition Marc-Andre Fleury is an unrestricted free agent.
There will be a seventh and deciding game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. Brayden Point’s overtime goal lifted the Lightning to a 4-3 victory in Game 6 to tie their first-round series at 3 games apiece. John Tavares tallied twice and Auston Matthews also scored for the Leafs, who overcame a 2-0 deficit for the second straight game. However, they couldn’t hold the lead this time as Nikita Kucherov’s third-period power-play goal tied the contest and forced the extra period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, Toronto fans, here you are again, with your club extending their inability to win in a series-clinching contest to nine straight games dating back to 2013. With the series returning to Toronto for Game 7 on Saturday, it’s gut-check time for the Maple Leafs.
We already know what the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning are made of because they’ve proven it over the past two years and in this series. They rise to the occasion under playoff pressure. The Leafs must finally get this monkey off their backs or endure a miserable postseason that could lead to changes on the roster, behind the bench and in the front office.
Speaking of rising to the occasion, the Boston Bruins did that with a convincing 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to force Game 7 in their series on Saturday. Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle and Tomas Nosek each had a goal and an assist while Jeremy Swayman kicked out 23 shots for the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston coach Bruce Cassidy made a key adjustment for this game by shifting David Pastrnak down to the second line and moving Jake DeBrusk onto the first line. The adjustment worked as the Bruins jumped to an early 2-0 lead and controlled the game after that. The Hurricanes made it interesting when Andrei Svechnikov cut the lead to 2-1 in the third period but the Bruins replied with three straight goals to put this one out of reach.
Each team has won their games in this series on home ice. That’s a trend the Hurricanes will hope to continue on Saturday.
The Edmonton Oilers got three-point performances from Connor McDavid and Evander Kane to double up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Mike Smith turned aside 30 shots for the win to send this series back to Edmonton for Game 7 on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of clubs needing to shake off a recent reputation for postseason failure, the Oilers have an opportunity to win their first series since 2017. Momentum seems to be on their side following Game 6 but the Kings have proven quite resilient, pushing this series further than most observers expected. I’d say the pressure remains on the Oilers.
NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin are this year’s finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player deemed most valuable to his team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is a two-time Hart winner who led the league in points with 123. Matthews, however, could be the favorite after becoming the first player to reach the 60-goal plateau since Steven Stamkos in 2012. However, I think a solid case can be made for Shesterkin, whose outstanding goaltending this season was crucial to the Rangers’ reaching the playoffs. My guess is Matthews ends up winning it.
THE ATHLETIC: A source claims Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is being evaluated for a concussion suffered during Game 5 against the New York Rangers. He left that contest in the second period after being elbowed in the head by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are saying Crosby suffered an “upper-body injury” but everyone is well aware of his concussion history. It’s questionable if he’ll be available for Game 6 tonight in Pittsburgh. The Pens have recalled forward Radim Zohorna from their AHL affiliate to fill in for Crosby if he’s unavailable.
CBS SPORTS: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and won’t play in tonight’s Game 7 against the Washington Capitals. Marchment’s been out of action for the past two games.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been declared “good to go” for Game 1 of his club’s upcoming second-round series against the St. Louis Blues. Kuemper suffered an eye injury in Game 3 of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators.
Hey Joe, remember when I wrote the other day that, over the years, I have seen many series just like the Boston-Carolina one and that, when it shifts back to Boston, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a different Bruins team prevail and send it to game 7? Well, here we go and believe me, now ALL the pressure is on Carolina. Watch for Marchand and Bergeron to again have game-winning performances – especially Marchand who is an archetypal Hart type of player in my opinion.
Edmonton’s win was a squeaker and despite getting a game 7 at home that’s no guarantee of a win. That’s a toss-up.
As to who’s now facing the greatest pressure in that game 7 coming up in Toronto, it has to be the Leafs. Yes TB, as defending cup champions, will want to preserve their chances at 3-in-a-row, but the Leafs (whose whole game last night was crammed into 9 minutes in the 2nd whereas the Lightning scored in each period) have that giant monkey on their backs of not having one series win in 18 years. If that game is tight heading into the last 10 minutes those sticks will be shedding liquid from the tight grips.
That loud thud reverberating around the league last night was the door firmly slamming shut on Minnesota for the next several years as they embark on a prolonged period of absolute cap Hell.
And Lyle, who the heck is Charlie Coyotes – and relation to Wile E. Coyote?
You have “ Charlie Coyotes”
Freudian slip (destination for him in ‘22-‘23)??
Nope, a spell-check oversight, but still funny…
George … game seven where anything can happen but have to believe home ice holds the line, a must for the B’s to score 1st
3 game 7s Sat night…. That’s entertainment. Of course I would have loved that there to be only 2.
Bolts didn’t give up…. Dang. A heart-break in OT…. Let Spezz do all the pre-game talk on Sat
I do not hope for 3 game 7’s or n Sunday. 🤞 & 🙏 that Pens win tonight. 🤞 & 🙏 that Sid is fine and ready to play tonight
McD, again, puts on a show. That game was a great watch. 12 points already for McD…. Ho hum 🤪
Hart “finalists “ announced…. AM, McD, Shesterkin. “Finalists” infers a second round of voting… but all votes are in… these are top 3 vote getters and listed in Alphabetical order
It seems that only some of the PHWA members were voting per the definition of the Hart (most valuable to HIS team).
Shesterkin, by that definition, deserves to be the winner…. and to me…. should win it by a large margin.
Not in top 3???? …. Jossi ,Johnny Hockey…. after what they did for Predz and Flames
Predz only made the playoffs because of Jossi. Johnny hockey…. well… had a spectacular Johnny Hockey season and lead the Flames. Without him…. 1st in PacDiv…. I don’t think so. Rangers vied for 1st in Metro and ended up 2nd…. Shesterkin…. Without him…. Bubble team
McD is the best player on the planet; AM marked 60 G’s…. first time in a while for 60 Gs in NHL…. both certainly Lindsay finalists (different wording/definition than Hart; and voted on [more appropriately] by the players)…. but more valuable to Oil and Leafs respectively , over Shesterkin (to Rangers); Jossi (to Predz); JH (to Flames)…. Not IMHO
“McD, again, puts on a show. That game was a great watch. 12 points already for McD…. Ho hum”
And meanwhile, Brad Marchand has 11.
Correct you are George
I had not purposefully missed Marsh…. I’ve just seen only 1 of the Bruin/Canes games; but have seen all the Oil/Kings tilts (as well as all Pens/Rangers and Leafs/Bolts)
Marsh is truly a much “bigger” player than his actual stature …, great two-way player; excellent chirps
Pengy, just to clarify my preoccupation with Marchand – right now, if I were the Ottawa Senators GM and I had a chance to obtain either McDavid or Marchand _ would opt for Marchand.
My reasoning is, while McDavid is beyond doubt one of the – if not THE – best offensive players on the planet, his cost of $12.5 per off the cap for 4 more years would do more to create a roster imbalance that would ultimately hinder the team in terms of playoff success. He’s been in the league now for 7 years and has been on one playoff series winner.
Marchand, on the other hand, costs a bargain $6,125,000 per for 3 more years, and while his offense is nowhere near that of McDavid, it’s still significant and, combined with far more spread-out potential offense thanks to his lower cap hit (half that of McDavid) plus his ability to kill penalties, and to get under the skin of the opposition and put them off their game – all added to his fierce desire to win and to constantly rise to the occasion, would make him a much more logical choice. In my opinion anyway.
I don’t usually get involved in game predictions – as Toe Blake once observed “predictions are for Gypsies …” but just for the helluva it here’s mine for tonight
NYR 6 – Pittsburgh 3 (2 empty-netters in a tight game)
Washington 4 – Florida 3 – 2 for Ovechkin
Calgary 7 Dallas 2 – awake at last that potent offense will blow it open.
Hopefully, Trono’s meltdown continues tomorrow! I really wanna see how they retool this summer! Do you think they take a look at Trotz if that happens? If so that High-Flying offence gets dialed down, I don’t see the fans liking that! But then again they seem to complain about everything, even the toothpaste that Tavares uses!
Trotz isn’t the right coach for Toronto. Boudreau would be a better fit if he opts out from Washington.
Opts out from Vancouver*
some nights the Canes look like worldbeaters with unlimited depth…and then the Bruins play their game and look at the results
Florida – Washington is game 6 not 7
Boston – Carolina series is keenly home ice advantage.
This series seem to best suit the team with home ice, where they are able to get their preferred matchups.
Personally thought Toronto outplayed TB last night, found TB to look slow an uninterested at times.
McDavid and playoff leading goal scorer Evander Kane, carrying the freight for Edmonton.
Boston has shown they can come back when behind, Carolina has not. If Boston can grab the lead tomorrow afternoon; It will be tough for the Canes. Please no lineup changes, keep it going.
Toronto has shown they can score on Vasilevskiy and have more team speed. In a one and done, I have to lean towards Hedman and Vasilevskiy.
TBay got a phantom PP, and some dude was hanging onto Matthews sweater as if he wanted to hang it up for him.
Refs don’t want to be a difference maker but they continue to be difference makers.
Tonight; Rangers, Florida and Calgary.
Caper, I agree with you, thought Toronto was going to prevail, they were better all night long; however, Vasilevskiy was the difference as usual! He made some big time saves in OT as well as regulation. That’s why Tampa Bay are still the champs despite their lethal line up. If he plays like that again then Tampa Bay moves on; otherwise, Toronto will take the series because they are really bringing it. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!
I’m just praying Pens fans don’t start chanting “Igor” tonight!
That really was the cause of the game 4 lopsided loss. Certainly not that the Rangers were outplayed, and played terrible in front of Sheterkin.
No, it was definitely those chants. Without them, Rangers win that game 6-1.
My inside connection tells me they’re leaning toward Georgiev. Because “Alexander” isn’t so easy to chant.
We want Igor! We want Igor!
Good hockey all around last night. Nothing like gm 7s for the hockey fan. If bruins win tomorrow. I think they will have great chance to make finals again. Can leafs end the curse tomorrow?? Hope not😎
I’ve been watching the Bruins games intently. It’s all about matchups. I don’t think they’ll win game 7 because they can’t keep Stall away from Bergeron.
I agree with George that Marchand should have been a heart candidate and Swayman with no love for the Calder.
I think the Leafs get it done. I don’t like them, and I really hope Tampa wins, but I think their defense is just good enough to may get them by.
See the stats of 37 vs 11 line up
the “Staal shuts down Bergeron” storyline has been blown quite a bit out of proportion. The Bruins have had 62.5% of shot attempts, 61.1% of shots on goal, 67.0% of expected goals and a 2-1 advantage in actual goals in the 31:34 that they’ve gone head-to-head. Media driven drivel. Bruins will win. Leafs will lose is my bet
I meant. Dark G Not DS. Sorry
I didn’t even know the media was reporting on it. I don’t generally read sports crap media. I’m just telling you what the eye test shows. He’s on him like a wet blanket.
It was good putting Pasta back down on the second, I’d consider moving Marchand to another line as well. Heck even the 3rd. Marchand is flying right now. Put him out with Lazar and maybe you’ll find magic.
Don’t think 63 moves lines but I bet he and 88 will be getting extra shifts though the game on different lines
I don’t know if the Leafs will win tomorrow night but they have shown signs in this series that they are a much different, and better, team this year.
Game 7 should be a beauty.
BCLeafFan, they’ll need a 2-goal lead heading into the 3rd because, if it’s tied or they’re behind by a goal or more the pressure will be unbelievable in that barn while continually showing shots of the huge crowd outside on the scoreboard.
What younger players tend to do in that situation is try to do too much and take chances they ordinarily wouldn’t. And a veteran team like TB will pounce on mistakes. In fact, I see that happening as well in Carolina. The veteran-laden Bruins can afford to be patient and keep it close into the 3rd – that’s where Marchand and Bergeron do their magic.
I’d like to see the Leafs prevail, as well as Edmonton and Calgary, if for no other reason than to increase the odds of Lord Stanley coming home.
George, they’re not so young anymore. And, for once, the fans at the games have made some noise. I like our chances.
A 3rd cup I Tampa just sounds better to me.
And a cup in NY sounds even better. But I’m not holding my breath. Crosby or no Crosby, that’s a big ask.
I’m pulling for the Leafs, Flames, Oil, Pens, Caps and Bruins.
I would have said “ditto” if you hadn’t included Caps
Now if that was a typo and you meant “Cats” instead of “Caps”…. Then Ditto