NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022
The Avalanche and Lightning draw first blood in their respective second-round series, the Selke Trophy finalists are announced, the Jets interview Barry Trotz, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Josh Manson lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round series. Valeri Nichushkin and Samuel Girard also scored for Colorado while Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou tallied for St. Louis. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 51 saves in this game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was outstanding in this contest and couldn’t be faulted on Manson’s screened shot eluding him in overtime. However, the Blues must do a better job containing the Avalanche’s fast-paced offense or this series won’t last long despite Binnington’s heroics in net.
Third-period goals by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves for the win. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left this contest in the second period after blocking a shot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was looking forward to this series as last year’s first-round matchup between these two clubs was among the best of the 2021 postseason. Sadly, this game failed to match last year’s pace and intensity. Here’s hoping that improves as this series progresses. Penalties proved costly for the Panthers as three of the Lightning’s four goals came on the power play.
NHL.COM: Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm are this season’s finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forwards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the 11th straight season Bergeron has been a finalist for the Selke. He’s tied with Hall-of-Famer Bob Gainey for the most Selke wins (four) and could break that record this season. Barkov won the award last season while this is Lindholm’s first time as a finalist.
SPORTSNET: The Winnipeg Jets will be interviewing Barry Trotz for their vacant head-coaching position. Trotz, 59, is a two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. He’s third all-time in NHL coaching wins, won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Washington Capitals, and guided the New York Islanders to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final and the 2021 semifinal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s how that interview with Jets general manager Ken Cheveldayoff should go: “Hi, Barry, how much money do you want, who do you want as your assistant coaches, and is there anything we can do to ease your family’s move to Winnipeg?”
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe will be returning in their roles next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So will team president Brendan Shanahan. As I said after the Lightning eliminated the Leafs from the first round, the club’s franchise-best 115-point season and pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to seven games in that series would buy that trio another season to get it right.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl could be dealing with a high-ankle sprain as his club prepares to face off with the Calgary Flames in their second-round series.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl is believed to have suffered the injury in Game 6 of their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. He played in Game 7 but has taken time away from recent Oilers’ practices.
TSN: It looks like Chris Tanev will be ready for tonight’s game against the Oilers. The Calgary Flames defenseman missed Game 7 of their first-round series with the Dallas Stars dealing with an undisclosed injury. He participated in practice with his teammates on Tuesday.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and head coach Mike Sullivan denied a report claiming he was cleared to play in Game 6 against the New York Rangers after suffering a head injury in the previous game. The report also claimed Crosby was held out of Game 6 by management.
A head injury also sidelined winger Rickard Rakell for most of that series. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin suffered a knee injury in Game 1 and was also nursing a foot injury that nagged him throughout the season. Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith underwent season-ending core muscle surgery due to an injury suffered in Game 1.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Tyler Seguin played through a fractured foot in that series against the Flames. Forward Luke Glendening suffered a groin injury, a twisted knee and concussion symptoms. Center Roope Hintz missed Game 7 following a reaction to treatment for an oblique injury while forward Radek Faksa left Game 7 with a concussion. Backup goaltender Braden Holtby missed the final two months of the season and the series against the Flames with a hip injury.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL player and current league executive Ray Whitney will reportedly interview for the post of Sharks general manager on Thursday. Whitney currently works in the league’s department of player safety.