NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2022

by | May 16, 2022 | News, NHL | 43 comments

The Flames and Rangers advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 7 on an overtime goal by Johnny Gaudreau to win their first-round series four games to three. Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist while Tyler Toffoli also scored for Calgary. Jamie Benn and Vladislav Namestnikov replied for Dallas while Jake Oettinger made 64 saves in a losing cause. Stars center Roope Hintz was a late scratch with an upper-body injury while Flames defenseman Chris Tanev missed this game with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 6.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

The Flames will face off against the Edmonton Oilers in the first “Battle of Alberta” playoff series since 1991.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gaudreau silenced critics of his previous postseason performances by stepping up with his best playoff game in his career. The 28-year-old left winger leads the Flames with eight points in seven games. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom was superb in this series, finishing with a 1.53 goals-against average and .943 save percentage.

Oettinger, however, was outstanding, with a 1.81 GAA and .954 SP. He was the reason the Stars pushed this series to overtime in Game 7 and came close to pulling off the upset. The 23-year-old has emerged as a franchise goaltender.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin’s overtime goal lifted his club to 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of their first-round series, eliminating the Penguins four games to three. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller also scored and Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves for the Rangers, who will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.

Jake Guentzel, Danton Heinen and Evan Rodrigues replied for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby, Tristan Jarry and Rickard Rakell returned from injury for this game. Crosby picked up an assist and Jarry made 26 saves. Forward Brian Boyle missed this contest with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some controversy prior to Zibanejad’s game-tying goal in the third period as teammate Alexis Lafreniere wrestled the helmet off the head of Penguins defenseman Marcus Petterson. The incident was uncalled by the on-ice officials.

Under NHL rules, Pettersson had to immediately leave the ice as he cannot play without a helmet, leaving the Penguins scrambling to replace him and creating that scoring opportunity for Zibanejad. The Penguins were upset over that uncalled infraction, which was yet another in a seemingly endless parade of botched or missed calls by NHL officials throughout the first round.

Nevertheless, this was a hard-fought victory by the Rangers. The aging Penguins pushed them to the limit, doing so with key players sidelined at various stretches during this series. Shesterkin shook off a couple of shaky performances and was the difference-maker in Game 7 while Panarin, Zibanejad and Kreider stepped up when it mattered most.


NHL.COM: The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs begins on Tuesday, May 17 with the Florida Panthers facing off with the Tampa Bay Lightning while the Colorado Avalanche tangle with the St. Louis Blues.

The Carolina Hurricanes meet the New York Rangers while the Calgary Flames battle the Edmonton Oilers starting on May 18.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was hampered through this season by a hip injury that caused him to miss the first two months of this season. It’s the same hip he had surgery on in 2015 and there’s some concern it could prove career-ending.

Capitals winger Tom Wilson could be facing off-season surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in Game 1 of their series against the Florida Panthers. Meanwhile, winger Carl Hagelin hopes to continue his career following an injury suffered in practice in March that nearly cost him his left eye.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Backstrom intends to explore all his options in hope of being physically comfortable to play again. The 34-year-old center had 31 points in 47 games and six points in as many games against the Panthers.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Brendan Smith each received fines from the NHL department of player safety for their actions in Game 7 of their first-round series. McAvoy was fined $5,000.00 for tripping Hurricanes rearguard Brady Skjei while Smith was tagged for $2,000.00 for tripping Bruins winger David Pastrnak.

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment could miss Game 1 of his club’s second-round series against the Lightning with an unspecified injury.


  1. Well…. Final two games of round 1… both game 7’s… both OT

    As a Pens fan… you’d think I would be devastated….sad yes… very sad…. But pre round 1 start I had very very little expectations that Pens could win against Shesterkin (Vez and Hart [should be] )…. I thought …. Maybe 1 Pens win at home , two if possibly Rangers run into massive penalty problems AND Pen’s PP shinned.

    Well…. Game 7 and OT to boot…. Well that was beyond my first expectations….. Game 7 win by Rangers…. All on Shesterkin…..

    Game 7 was not lost because of the missed slash a minute before the McG OT penalty. Refs weren’t going to call the slash… they were letting things like that slide for both teams. McG’s hold on Miller… was a MUST call…. Prevented a scoring opportunity. Jarry may have had a fair chance at stopping Miller… who knows…. McG holds… proper call… move on

    Game 7 was not lost because Pettersson’s helmet was ripped off and no call, forced to leave the ice, replacement Tanger not set in time for the Zib goal causing it to go to OT. Yes….. should have been a penalty for sure…. giving a Pens a PP with 5 mins left; up by 1…. Refs missed it… move on

    Game 7 was not on Marino (who had a very very poor game and on for all 4 Ranger goals)…. Move on

    Game 7 was not lost because of Sid not at full recovery; Rackell maybe at 50%;or Jarry (noticeably limping leaving ice [2nd intermission and OT intermission] and coming in Cold)… move on

    Game 7 was not lost due to lacklustre Gino effort… move on

    Game 7 was not lost due to 3 irons (post & cross-bar) and out instead of @ least one iron and in… move on

    Game 7 was not lost by missing 3 gaping nets (although 2 with bouncing pucks and one off balance)…. Move on

    Game 7…. Pens as a whole… outplayed, out shot, out-chanced Rangers

    Series not lost because top goalie could only come back (after a month and still hobbling) for game 7, and not lost because 3rd string had to play 5 + games of the series…. Move on

    Game 7 was NOT as much lost by Pens; but more appropriately…. WON by Shesterkin…. forget about earlier in the series …. This was game 7…. He needed to be great…. He was SPECTACULAR …. he was the Shesterkin Vezina/Hart player of the regular season

    So … looking back at my pre round 1 start prediction…. Pens ended up better than I had expected…. This just may mean the end of the big trio being together… had they won… regardless of the Canes series… I think both Tanger and Gino stay… now… we’ll who knows…. Re-tool? Re-build? (Note: new ownership)

    Now…. That’s my take gaging pre series prediction compared to final result

    That said…. The series turned the minute Sid left game 5. No chance at all Rangers win series if Trouba doesn’t elbow Sid’s head…. Pens up 3-1 in series; up 2-0 in game; controlling the play….. no chance Rangers can Win all 3 remaining games if Trouba does not do that hit…. So those sarcastically claiming Trouba as the series MVP may have a technical point…. But to me…. No Shesterkin…. Pens win series, Sid in or Sid out….

    Series won by Rangers (not lost by Pens) because of Shesterkin…. Plain and simple

    Oddly enough…. All my first round series picks came in….

    I picked East final 4, and Oil, Flames , Avs…. But felt Blues/Wild was a coin flip (which I actually did… and Blues won my toss)

    Congrats to Oil, Flames, Avs, Blues, Cats, Bolts, Canes Rangers

    Alta battle and Florida State battle…. Now that’s a true rivalry double-header

    • Igor was Igor and the Rangers pulled it out.
      The goal in game 1 that was called back was a turning point with Igor making 80ish stops in the 3OT. Igor was not the same for the next games.

      If Igor stays himself the Rangers might make it a series.

      • Hi ds

        I think Rangers v Canes is a toss up right now

        I was hoping (for Pens) for ANY match-up but Rangers…. Read as Pens V Shesterkin

        I feared Sir Shesterkin…. Rightfully so it turns out

        I fully believe that Pens could have taken Canes; definitely Caps (if Pens had continued well down the stretch ; and finished first

        Jarry if uninjurred vs Bobo (if Pens fell in standings to WC2)… I like that Match-up

        Pens v Leafs….. would have guaranteed one of my two fav teams going on 👍👍👍

        If Pens had finished 1st Metro…. So then Vs Bruins round 1…. I like that match-up

        If magically Bolts had won ATL and Pens finished in WC2. position… I actually like that match up vs Pens shooting on Shesterkin

        Canes need to respect his talent

        He had a couple of tough games 3 & 4…. But wow …. Games 1 & 7

        Yes I despise what Trouba did and the end result

        But… Rangers need to laud (huge) Shesterkin and not Trouba

      • Who is lauding” Trouba?

        Your “cousin in Manhattan “?

        Stop it, right now just stop!

      • Igor was IGOR in Games 1 and 2…….I think that the hit by Carter late in Game 2 affected him because he wasn’t himself in Gms 3 and 4….Very simply he was not good…And for those thinking that he was intimidated by “IGOR!!! IGOR!!!!” chants don’t forget that he’s Russian and chants are the last think that would bother him….

    • WOW….what a fact filled rant by one of the resident writers here. Humility does not seem to be one of your strong suits. With your seemingly never ending supply of insight into all the rights and wrongs of NHL hockey and also the business end of things besides having time to share your wisdom with us mere mortals, you are truly a legend in your own mind.
      Could you please give us your predictions for next years Stanley Cup 16 finalists predictions and the order in which they will finish.
      Thank you…and just think we get all this info free, just for getting on this site.

      • LMAO!!!
        Perfectly noted.

      • Old hockey fan,

        There is no standing ovation emoji on my phone, but if it existed I’d insert one right here!

  2. With all the chatter about which teams will be looking for a goalie. one thing became very clear in this playoff season … Dallas ain’t one of them!

    Holy crap – 67 shots on Oettinger … now he knows what a target must feel like in a shooting gallery!

    At least now we know that 1 Canada-based franchise will still be in the hunt for the cup after this 2nd round is done.

    Now the rest of this thread will be inundated by comments about the officiating in the Pittsburgh-Rangers game.

    • not just this one isolated game, the entire series! head shot after head shot, targeting the head and only a select few are called. The NHL will always be a Garage League.

  3. Officiating caused 5 game 7’s in the 1st round. More games, more money for the NHL and the owners and broadcasters. Bettman chalks it up to “parity”, and another win for him.

  4. The league got what it wanted, the New York Rangers moving to the next round. This series should have been over in 5 … yes, I’m crying and whining, but the Rangers got the directive from Gallant who was a dirty player and head hunted the entire series. This is a Garage League that consistently refuses to protect its star players .. or any player for that matter.

    All you need to know is that Darnell Nurse used his helmet as a dangerous weapon launching it into the head of Philip Danault which would have got him arrested in the real world … and he received a one game suspension for it.

    Pens had total control of Game 5 before Trouba’s dirty chicken wing on Sid and that was it. Missing DeSmith was huge and Evan Rodriguez’s stupid retaliatory penalty was a turning point but it never should have gotten to that point.

    Pens need to get heavier, the league has changed and you can’t keep saying We Like Our Group and then get bounced for the 4th straight season in the first round.

    New owner John Henry isn’t married to this front office and I suspect changes might be coming. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hextall relieved of his duties and Brian Burke taking over with the personnel decisions.

    I have said it a million times, the Pens are a nice regular season team and nowhere near built for the playoff grind. Okay, I’ll go grab some kleenex and hug my puppy and turn on a Hallmark movie.

    • So, is it that the Pens weren’t constructed to compete, or the Rangers head hunting, or the conspiracy theory that Bettman and the entire NHL is out to help NY succeed?

      The message is a bit confused?

    • Ed, regarding the Nurse head butt, yes it would be illegal outside pro sports.

      So would slashing with a stick, elbow to the head, punch in the face, grabbing a guy from behind and face washing him, running across a field and tackling a guy hard, throwing a hard round object and hitting a guy, charging the mound and punch a guy in a beer league game, etc etc.

  5. Complaints about officiating – not just in hockey but in all major sports – have been around as long as the sport itself. That will never change.

    And as I’ve said before, I’ve learned (often the hard way) to live with that. But one thing I cannot accept is the conspiracy-theory notion that the Commissioner sat down with the officials and laid out ground rules for key calls – or non-calls – to ensure 7-game series.

    THAT is bordering on therapy time.

    • George, other than hockey I only follow two more sports.
      Tennis and Cricket – both these sports have adopted technology and the results are apparent.

      We have seen series turning on missed calls and also phantom calls, make it challengeable. If the challenge fails, the requesting team gets a minor just like on offside challenges.

      Its silly not to utilize the technology available.

      • Hi Taz

        I think that would be a great addition to the game

        Allow more challenges (and expand what can be challenged)

        To limit a free for all…

        Max …. 2 challenges per game; 1 extra in playoffs IF it goes to OT

        If your challenge fails…. 2 Min penalty

        2nd failed challenge …. 4 minutes

        That way only “basically” sure 2nd challenges (if first failed)… are done

        Hi se Technology as you gave said

        Finally…. But most importantly…. Fire Parros

        NOTE: They changed the rules after the Little Joe fiasco that cost Knights moving on

        Time for more changes

      • Hi Taz

        I think that would be a great addition to the game

        Allow more challenges (and expand what can be challenged)

        To limit a free for all…

        Max …. 2 challenges per game; 1 extra in playoffs IF it goes to OT

        If your challenge fails…. 2 Min penalty

        2nd failed challenge …. 4 minutes

        That way only “basically” sure 2nd challenges (if first failed)… are done

        Hi se Technology as you gave said

        Finally…. But most importantly…. Fire Parros

        NOTE: They changed the rules after the Little Joe fiasco that cost Knights moving on

        Time for more changes

      • So, you’re proposing the allowance of challenges of decisions made by AI. How, exactly, is the “perfect” technology going to see it any differently the second time around?

        If sport comes down to that they can stuff it. Human error is, always was and always should be part of the game. Antiseptic perfection I don’t need.

        But of course, they’ll have a whole new generation ready to accept it – they’re already plugged in anyway with their constant checking of their “smart” phones. Chaque un a son gout!

      • Hi George

        I don’t think Taz was inferring challenging AI ; and I certainly wasn’t… was not sure who your post was directed to

        Regardless of AI; I’d love to have “what is challengeable” opened up

        If they can use AI to determine the outcome of the challenge…. All good

        It seems the suggestion of a chip in the puck (to confirm crossing goal line) has been bandied about for a while … if it can be done…. and has zero impact on the weight and physics of the puck itself…,Why not ?

      • Why not? Because it removed ALL doubt – no friendly arguments between fans at the games – or in places like this – everything antiseptic and PERFECT. Jaysus I hope not. That kind of thinking, with the continued development of AI could well one day in the future leads to games being played by frikken androids. Yea, yeah, I know, far away … but the end result is that sort of “perfection” in all aspects of the various sports.

        Some of THE most exciting (North American) football games – whether college, NFL or CFL – were played in mud baths and howling winds.

        Now it’s geared towards antiseptic fields, indoor artificial surfaces. Everything perfect.

        No thank you.

      • George, that was one of the better old guy rants I have seen in a while. And I will 2nd it.

        NHL referees have the hardest job in pro sports with the baseline expectation from fans being perfection. Although I agree it does seem worse this year, but perhaps that is just recency bias, which we all have.

        The NHL reviews what it should review IMO. The NFL, NBA do not review penalty calls for the most part. And when they tried to do it with pass interference (or was that the CFL?) it changes next to nothing other than more delays.

        Goals and off side for goals is working, great. If teams can challenge penalty calls? Yikes. Remember these calls vary from ref to ref and interpretation of the rule. Other than the absolutely most obvious misses will ever be overturned and taking away that decision from the refs who know the temperature of the game is a mistake IMO. Yes, they manage the game.

        Should they let one go that doesn’t impact a scoring chance and when it has been a very physical battle with plenty of “borderline” plays? They have in the past, and I am OK with it personally.

        Reality is they don’t call fewer penalties in the post season as many claim “they put the whistles away”. The #’s suggest calls go up.

        The reality is the intensity and physical play amps up to a rate that is unsustainable for an 82 game regular season.

        If you want to take that out of the game, call everything and watch the intensity come down or the game turn into a special teams contest.

        I like it this way. Just my 2 cents.

      • Taz wrote: “We have seen series turning on missed calls and also phantom calls, make it challengeable. If the challenge fails, the requesting team gets a minor just like on offside challenges. Its silly not to utilize the technology available.”

        Which – to me anyway – is saying “use the technology – at the same time make the calls challengeable …” – to which you responded “I think that would be a great addition to the game … Allow more challenges (and expand what can be challenged)”

        Not sure how I can read it any other way. If you weren’t referring to his suggestion to use the technology available and only his increased challenges suggestion … say so. I’m not a mind reader. I read what’s written.

      • Ray, I wish I had put it that eloquently. Agree 100%. Endless delays added to commercial breaks removes – or at least severely hampers – all momentum.

    • Ahhh…the elusive “Bettman Theory”. It’s more of a manifesto, and I can confirm it exists in the Hockey Hall of Fame. It was originally written for play off series involving the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. It read simply that no team from Ottawa shall ever succeed over a team from Toronto in the playoffs, and that any all officiating efforts must be made to ensure that outcome. It was amended some years later to decry that no Ottawa Senators team shall every win a Stanley Cup before the Toronto Maple leafs do.

      Finally, regarding the helmet, ripped off thing. He could have put the helmet back on, done up his chinstrap and kept playing.

      • Waaay too logical and simplistic for the conspiracy theorists Dark G. Maybe they should have penalized Pettersson for “European embellishment.”

  6. Pens fans will believe what they’ll believe. Try watching this video without the rose colored glasses.

    • Good link Slick62 … and officials have to respond to these kinds of collisions in split-second time.

      We’ve been hearing for a few years now about how ever-developing AI technology should be applied to all sports, to remove any and all margins of officiating “errors” … but if it comes to that in whatever time I have left I’ll stop watching.

      Pro football, for example, would be reduced to an endless parade up and down the field for holding, illegal block calls, etc., no indignant manager yapping about close calls at the various bases in baseball – no emotion by batters on called balls and strikes, no emotional outbursts by tennis players about ball location, endless foul-shot line-ups in basketball, and frequent whistles (or hoots or whatever the hell would be implemented for the AI decisions) for hockey infractions called solely “by the book.”

      At least until all participants grow up with and develop their games under such new officiating regimes and the games become colossal bores.

      Nuts to that. Live with the calls – they always work both ways – and move on. As Forrest Gump allegedly and inadvertently coined “s*&t happens.”

      There is NO conspiracy.

      • The technology that might be useful, George, would be the digital strike zone in baseball. They are still working out the kinks but it might be used in MLB in a couple of years. I look forward to hitters complaining to a machine about a strike call.
        Pitchers should love it, catchers might hate it because a big part of their game, framing a pitch, will become obsolete.
        Not sure how a new technology could be used in hockey, especially to make penalty calls.

      • BCLeafFan, I have no doubt that the technology will soon be available to absolutely guarantee balls and strikes as written by the rules. It will also eventually allow for micro-chips in pucks to determine definitively that it crossed the goal-line. And many will be happy with that.

        No arguments, disagreements – all emotions removed from the game. And total boredom will follow. At least from this old-crock perspective. As I say elsewhere – antiseptic sports.

  7. Let’s clarify the rule. When players helmet comes off, they must exit ice, if they don’t put it back on in a reasonable timeframe. Meaning if they can put it on before they continue playing.
    Interesting link that Lyle shared. Who would’ve guessed that a Pens writer could be so biased. He writes “Lafreniere grabs at helmet until it comes off. Interestingly enough, he includes a video of play. Players came together going for puck on back wall. Coming off wall Pettersson cuts off Laf forcing him into back of net. Laf falls over net and grabs Pens Dman around neck as he’s going down. If anything, maybe it’s a holding penalty. Would be a very weak call late in game. The arm around head is what caused helmet to come off. Laf had stick in hand and never grabbed helmet.
    Petterson chose to turn to ref, throw his hands in the air and complain. His helmet was literally 2 feet away. He could’ve just put on helmet and kept playing. Stop blaming rule for his poor choice

    • I totally agree. Petterson didn’t even skate that hard to the bench. Maybe if Petterson had his chin strap done up tight enough his helmet wouldn’t come off.

    • Hi Slick

      Re “Petterson chose to turn to ref, throw his hands in the air and complain. His helmet was literally 2 feet away. He could’ve just put on helmet and kept playing.”


      I said so …. To the screen at time… not smart by Pettersson

      That said …. it was a penalty… but as I also said in my post above… that certainly didn’t cause the loss for Pens. Calls were missed on both teams…. McG hold (Miller) came a minute or so after a missed call… it was a hold… McG had to do it to prevent a scoring chance…it had to be called…. Right call by refs; great shot for the goal… again NOT reason for Pens loss

      Pens did excellent last night; on a whole….outplayed; outshot; out-chanced Rangers last night

      Last night was not a loss by Pens but in reality a true Victory by Shesterkin

      I feared Pens v Shesterkin going into the series…. Rightfully so…. Look at what he did game 1… yikes

      Shesterkin WILL get Vez; and 100% deserves Hart

      If Canes think they can walk over Rangers….each Cane player needs to watch all video all angles of Shesterkin in Game 1 and Game 7

      Kid’s the real deal

  8. 6-8 in the first round, Boston and Minny being the exception.

    2nd round; Rangers, Florida, Colorado and Calgary

    Calgary deserved the game and happy they won. Oettinger, that was entertaining wow. I was surprised as the OT started because early on Dallas dominated the OT.

    Markstrom also made some very difficult saves, to keep the tidal wave going.

    I think the battle of Alberta or Canada Cup will be very entertaining. Hope it lives up to its hype.

    Picked Colorado to win the win; however, i think they’ll be in tough against St. Louis.

    • I was also 6 for 8 in the first round. My two misses were Minny and Dallas.
      2nd round I have Colorado, T-Bay, Carolina, and Edmonton.
      Calgary’s defence is beaten up. Tanev missed last night’s game and Zadorov and Kylington are both hurt. It’s going to be a great BOA!

      • 7 for 8.
        Missed on the Leafs. That will teach me.

  9. Looking forward to the Romp in the Swamp series from the Florida teams. If V does his best, Tampa may just extend their chance at a threepeat. If not, what a crapshoot!

  10. Fans love to blame the officials or conspiracy theories when their teams lose. Just like gamblers love to blame Vegas when they pick the wrong teams. If the NHL wanted to interfere with the playoffs to make the most money, they would make sure that Montreal and/or Toronto not only make the playoffs every season but at least one of them makes it to the finals.
    As a fan of the Oilers, I admit that I have blamed the officials my fair share of times the Oilers lost. Even Though I knew that the officials missed calls against the Oilers. Players should know that they shouldn’t put the officials in a position to make, or miss, a call.

  11. Hey, what’s that sound I’m hearing in the distance?

    Everybody, shhhhhhh!

    No, I’m serious, shhhhhh!

    Choo choo!!

    Wait it’s getting louder?


    “All aboard “

    “next stop Pittsburgh, please be sure to grab your complimentary box of Kleenex before departing “

    Oh, it’s just that Monday 8am excuse train pulling in right on time!

  12. Have the Canes to win the SC at 11/1 …… played a 6 team $ line parlay …Blues got me ….. Bruins got some work to do in offseason and not many assets…will Sweeney and Neely still be in control

    • I hope not but,bad moon rising he just signed 1st round busts Zobril and Beecher whoopee Ti Yi Yo

      • Rick, that’s just basic “cover your ass” routine. If they aren’t re-signed and eventually picked up by someone else and then start to shine – hoo-boy, then watch the howls. And besides, Beecher is on the AHL roster.

        One thing it does do is make dealing them easier as any interested team won’t have to go through the RFA process. They know what the cost is.

      • Zboril was playing pretty well until he got hurt.
        If the B’s are going to make some moves to improve, like trading Grzelyck, they need another LD that can move the puck and even play 2nd PP unit.
        I would much rather it be Zboril we are throwing out there than Ahcan. He is bigger, better and can wire it. Can be physical as well.

        This allows cap flexibility if they make a move, and Lindholm addition allows them to do it.

        Good signing IMO, we will see if he continues to develop and will start as 7th D man, and we need all that we have.