NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

by | May 18, 2022 | News, NHL | 45 comments

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.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

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.


  1. Even as an avid Blues fan, I admit the score could have been 9-2 Avs (at least)—SPEED kills!

    • Appreciate your honesty Iowa Prince, exactly! Binnington was outstanding and gave the Blues a chance to win. I hate those games because one little bounce or break can go against you. Avalanche escape but are going to have to be better at burying those chances! GO AVS!!!!!

  2. Sweeney’s got to go the list of snafus are endless, you can pick from a couple of dozen or more. Don’t trust this guy with a rebuild he has already destroyed this team. Also what has Lurch upstairs done? He gets paid multi millions to show his face every now and again, pour himself another cup of the td garden’s coffee and the occasional fist pump up in the executive box. They have not done anything for this team, don’t sign Sweeney for Gods sake. And get rid of the baggage upstairs. This team needs to have a clean start, Bigger, Faster Meaner and a little more talent. Sweeney can’t do it if the Jacobs family can’t see this now maybe they should sell the franchise to someone who knows something about hockey. Mr. Bruin aka ( Scott) for gm

    • Who is Scott. Lol

      Bruins ; ever good and bad fan till death

  3. Re the continuance of Shanahan – Dubas – Keefe – not surprising given the season the team had.

    But as Steve Simmons writes (and yes, I know he’s not on most people’s Christmas card list). what if this is their peak?


    Hard to refute or challenge any of the points he raises.

    One other thing I discovered, purely accidental while searching for something else, is that in the 37 year history of the President’s Trophy (the one the recipients never dare to touch due to the superstition tat, in doing so you jink your Cup chances) the Leafs have never won it.

    • Good article George . Will be very tough for all those players to match or better those numbers they put up . Also something Simmons missed is that they may lose there starting goaltender or major cap space resigning him

    • Good link George

      I don’t always agree with him…. But most of his article is sound

      He couldn’t wait however to put in the line “Auston Matthews scored 60 goals and will almost certainly be rewarded with the Hart Trophy”

      “almost certainly”…. Is exactly the hyped Leaf media mindset

      Again … Hart is awarded by definition to “most valuable to HIS team”

      Shesterkin value to Rangers far far greater than AM value to Leafs

      Let’s not forget Jossi’s value to Predz….. Predz completely carried into playoffs on Jossi’s back

      Simmons once again is espousing his contention (and his vote for sure) that AM is the League MVP…. not Hart BTW…. and backing his contention with AMs 60 goals

      No argument from me that AM should be top 2 in NHL for NHL MVP; just not Hart

      Re League MVP…. World’s best hockey player…. McD…. Plays IN the NHL…. So how can he not be league MVP

      Lindsay…. League MVP …. Voted on by players…. since recent poll of players put McD at top…. Should go to McD

      Hart could; probably likely ; go to AM , ONLY because voters like Simmons are voting erroneously for League MVP vs “most valuable to HIS team”; AND because of the huge disproportionate number of PHWA voters who are working for TSN/SN/Bell Media/Rogers (same owners as Leafs) and/or covering Leafs (Star, Globe & Mail, etc etc)

      Shesterkin by far deserves Hart
      AM will get Rocket Richard
      McD should get Lindsay

    • George, if this year was the Leafs at their peak, a coaching change during the 22/23 season will be the first move.
      Before it gets to that stage, though, let’s see if some of the prospects make the team. Sandin and Liljegren should be regulars on defence and the fourth line could be all rookies.
      Matthews, Marner and Nylander are in their prime and will continue to get better imo.
      Goaltending depth is the big issue. How that shapes up will be huge.
      I’d still like to see a coaching change, so many good coaches out there but not to be- yet.

      • BCLeafFan, if a team is going to go through an entire season with their 4th line comprised of all rookies – they had better be damned good rookies. Not to say it hasn’t happened but I’d bet in such cases those were rebuilding teams content with rookie errors that are bound to happen in the name of experience.

        No reason Sandin and Liljegren couldn’t be regulars – but Dubas has to find the cap space to re-up them since both are RFAs. Probably looking at 3-year bridge deals in both cases.

        And it just isn’t goaltending depth that needs to be addressed … it’s goaltending period. He must find the cap to re-sign Campbell (or someone just as good if not better) and he doesn’t have the cap to do that either. Holl has a M-NTC clause so dealing him and his minimal $2 mil cap hit won’t be easy. No one is taking Mrazek at $3.8 mil – not even with a sweetener as some suggest because there’s nothing sweet enough that they’d be prepared to relinquish to get a team to take that albatross deal.

        Kerfoot? Someone would take him but his cap hit would be barely enough to re-up Sandin and Liljegren on their bridge deals.

        So, who’s left that they could readily trade to get the $5 mil needed to keep Campbell? Because, contrary to suggestions elsewhere, at age 30 he’s not going to blow his one big chance at a career deal just for the honor of playing in Toronto.

        And we haven’t even touched upon how they replace UFA Lyubushkin who, like Campbell, is a UFA and facing his one big chance at a career deal. Someone suggests that, coming off a cap hit of $1,350,000 he should be happy to sign an extension which would give him an increase of just $1,150,000 per for 4 years. Only if he’s nuts.

        Nor, as that someone suggests, will UFA Mikheyev leave $5 mil on the table over 4 years by signing an extension at $4 mil per. Why would he do that? And when he’s gone, who replaces his 21 goals 5 on 5?

    • GeorgeO, takes the leafs out and put in any number of teams and it hold true.

      The NHL has been littered with career years, I don’t know why but maybe the compressed schedule.

      Playing tired teams 3 games in 4 nights etc. I do expect to see some stats rescinding next season.

      Not sure how many career years consecutively players normally have; but hard to imagine 4 players with established careers having career years back to back.

      • I think it was Frank Seravalli who suggested that scoring has been up because there’s been less time for practice this season. Teams haven’t been able to do the usual amount of work on their defensive systems. Seems plausible to me.

      • Pretty good crop of young high skill players entering the league for the past 6 or 7 years as well, some hitting their prime now.
        We’ll see if it lasts.

        Hope it does.

  4. Which may be a good thing since, in its 37-year history, the winner has gone on to win the cup just 8 times. Which doesn’t bode well for Florida. (and that’s jinx not jink above)

  5. I might be tempted to trade WN for the devils #2 pick if they could find a suitable replacement in free agency

    • The problem with that Man on TV is that the trading of Nylander would be solely for the purpose of freeing up cap space so they can re-sign Campbell (or someone just as good if not better), along with their RFAs, so any suitable replacement in free agency with as many – or even close to – Nylander’s 80 points is going to cost big $$ off the cap.

  6. Here’s hope that the Bruins get the Patrice Bergeron situation settled before the UFA period starts in July. wouldn’t mind seeing them sign #46 to a one year contract … with #37 & #46 back that would give them 2 high power scoring lines … tinker with the 3-4 line get bigger and quicker …. and improve the # 5-6 Dmen …

    • You’re dreaming Joe, but if they somehow could do those things, I would be getting down on my hands and knees and begging both to return all they need then is a hard nosed winger who can score 20 goals, another big fast mean piece on the backend and they might be capable of giving it another go. They are getting pretty long in the tooth though, that’s
      a lot of for if’s I don’t want to see Sweeney or that big goof upstairs back either. They ruined the club.

  7. Trotz is exactly the coach the Jets need, they have lost many games due to a loosy-goosey defensive structure, and he is the man to fix it

  8. “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.“

    Ok. We get it. Crosby is a national treasure and Rangers are lucky to move on. It was all Shesterkin. (Even though they also have reigning Norris winner, a 50 goal scorer and 2 other guys that had 96 and 81 points respectively.) Let’s not mention Motte missed 1st 5 games. Goodrow went out in game 1. Lindgren missed significant time and played hurt when he was out there. At least we’re still not hearing about “helmet rule” Give NY some credit.

    • What are you going on about, Slick? It’s not uncommon for NHL teams to reveal how many of their players were seriously injured after being eliminated from a playoff series. I never mentioned anything about the Rangers or why they advanced to the second round.

      • Sorry Lyle, last few days seems like there’s been plenty of talk about Pens. Was anyone unaware of these injuries? Feels like nobody giving Rangers much credit (except Shesty) Maybe I took it wrong way, but mentioning Pitt injuries and not NY just seemed to take away from well earned series win. Guess I’ve been brainwashed by Pengy’s comments.

      • Understood, Slick. BTW, Lindgren’s injury earlier in that series was duly noted here, as was Barclay Goodrow’s, including my mention in yesterday’s morning coffee headlines that he might return in the upcoming series against the Hurricanes.

    • I don’t think the Rags have the team to beat Carolina. Too deep on the back end. Too deep up front. Solid goaltending. Very well coached.

      The key will be for Reeves and company to smash DeAngelo every time he’s close to the puck. He’ll take stupid penalties and then the Rags big boys can go to work down low.

      • Hi SOP

        Team v Team…. I’m in agreement with you

        However…. If Shesterkin plays every game in series just like he did in Games 1,2, 7 (of Pens series) and so many games throughout the regular season…..He alone can shut down the Canes

        Reeves will be an influence

        Canes do have a well rounded team

        Ranger have key players that snipe excellent goals at key moments

        My take is Rod the Bod has a better read on the game and his team than Gallant for Rangers

        All that could be moot if Shesterkin plays the way he can…. He is that good

        He can be beat and can collapse… cite pulls in Pens series

        … but if he is full on whole series…. He can individually carry Rangers to ECF

        Will be an interesting series

      • ShoreOrr. Canes have a good team. Interesting that half of their D corps and goaltender are all Ranger castoffs though. Other 3 guys more than make up a very good group. I think Rangers youth and inexperience showed in round 1. Hopefully they play better this go round. Otherwise, I’m not sure even Shesterkin can save them.

      • The fact that 3 defensemen and a back up goalie were former Rags, only speaks to the enviable D core that they’ve pulled together. Raanta is a very serviceable back up on any team.
        Should be a great measuring stick for the NYR’s. They’re already 2 years ahead of where I thought they’d be.
        Great rebuild on the fly.

  9. Also, after they team exit interviews, it has been decided that the Maple Leafs will play next year’s first round with golf clubs! 😆

  10. Is it possible that management kept Crosby out of game 6 and that he was medically cleared to play…. Possible…. I guess

    However…. It is very hard to imagine that actually happening …. One of the most competitive players to ever lace them up; is told he is medically cleared to play; it’s game 6 ; home game; and there is a chance that this is the last time Sid, Gino, Tanger dress as team-mates for a home game….. and management over-rides that medical clearance , knowing that winning game 6 will be very tough without Sid; and losing game 6 means the dreaded game 7 at MSG…. To me…. I’m not buying the “medically cleared management over-ride “ story

    Bolts v Cats…. Seemed like Bolts were playing the “rope-a-dope” strategy to slow down game and pounce on opportunities when they happen… worked. Also Vazy shined (971) and Bobo failed to star (889)

    Avs v Blues…. I expected an Avs win…. I expected a shot onslaught…. But certainly did not expect that many shots allowed by Blues; nor it going to OT…. Binnington , IMHO, Bolts nay reason it got to OT

    Canes to get some dreaded Shesterkin experience…. If Shesterkin plays like games 1,2, 7 (of Pens series)…. Rangers will be quickly wiping the smiles off of Canes faces

    Battle of Alta should be a beauty … looking forward to it

    • Friggin auto correct… “Bolts nay” supposed to be”only”

  11. Here’s tot he Battle of Alberta being more exciting than the Romp in the Swamp down south. Can’t wait for the Oil and the Flames to go at it. The addition of Kane is going to make a nice difference in grit for the Oil if he can keep from taking costly penalties.

    • I’d like to see Looch tune Kane in, every game.

      • The rink will be revved Rock, the players too. Hopefully for the Oil they keep in check and stay out of the box while staying physical.
        I can see the Oil outhitting the Flames in this series, even though fan perception is different from that.

        SOP, that would be an interesting one. Kane would have a chance in it, might even win it, but wouldn’t bet $20 on it. If he still played for SJ, I would root for Lucic, but now torn as I really want the Oil to beat Calgary as I travel there regularly for work.

        Kane would be wise not to as the Flames would take that exchange all day. 1st line winger vs 4th line winger.

        What I would really like to see is Kassian deal Tkachuk. Again. My guess is the turtle boy will go star hunting to try and goad them. Boys need to be smart about it. But if opportunity knocks, it couldn’t happen to a better guy.

      • Lol. I’d like to see that rematch as well.
        “If you dot wanna get hit, stay off the tracks”

        This should be an epic series.
        I’m rooting for the Flames.
        I remember all to well what the Oil did to my Bruins. I hope they only last 4 games, then go home for the summer.

      • I compartmentalize those old Oiler Bruin series.
        Especially Wesley putting a back hand over an open net in OT, before Klima in his Great Gazoo helmet comes off the bench to win it in 3 OT.

        I saw Tkachuk’s “stay off the tracks comment”, and I get why he said it, part of his schtick.

        But what he did, twice, to Kassian was get out of his lane on the highway (where he supposed to be positionally) drive through the ditch to hit Kassian “on the tracks”.

        Still believe it was a cheap shot, twice.

        You’re getting me all fired up SOP!

        Drop the puck!

      • Lol. I agree with you with regards to your analogy. He did just as you said. He was wrong. I have a hard time liking him to be honest. He’d make a fine Bruin………so would his little brother.

      • Ya, he could play on my team any day, the prick. I’ll take his bigger little brother first though.

      • The Oilers could have had Matthew in 2018 but they took Puljujarvi 4th. So could have Vancouver, but they took Olli Juolevi 5th.

        3 teams had a crack at baby brother Brady in 2016, but Buffalo chose Dahlin, Carolina decided on Svechnikov., and Montreal went for (WHO?????) Kotkaniemi. Two out of 3 ain’t bad, I guess.

      • Yah Ray, sometimes you are really funny 😂.
        Kane will skate away from Lucic every time he comes near him because he only fights non-fighters.
        As for Kassian and Tkachuk, he will take him on way before McSlewfoot takes on Gudbranson, Ritchie or Looch.
        Kassian is another Oiler player who is only tough when he fights guys that don’t fight!
        Edmonton fans expect our 100 pt star to fight your goon, but whine like heck if anyone touches one of their stars.

      • Hoo boy.

      • Atta boy Sparkles!

        Kassian has fought Lucic before and will if required, but honestly the Oil would be better off keeping Looch on the ice.

        They did dump him and his frying pans for hands for a slow over the hill Neal, just because the buy out was cheaper and the puck doesn’t bounce off his stick repeatedly.

        Looch won’t see the game with anybody good on the ice from EDM so not a concern.

        Nobody will throw at the rock head unless it is serious enough to do so.

        Drop the puck!

      • All Bark, yes thanks for trading us Looch fol Neil.

        He is a real team player that plays a 200 ft game and can beat the bejesus out of almost anyone in the league.

        The sweetest part is the Oilers gave up a 3rd round pick and are still paying $750k of his salary, all for a useless cancer who will be further dead cap space for years to come haha.

        I will bet money that if kASSian can summon the courage to fight Lucic he will get his lights punched out.

        Let the fun begin!

  12. ray bark, remember that series well, staying up 3 OT’s and Wesley’s backhand up over the gaping net. I remember just thinking please someone end this, can’t take anymore! Bruins, looking back had no chance in that series due to them wearing a path to the penalty box and John Muckler just laughing at us as we put the Oiler’s on the power play over and over? Bourque was awesome but that was about it. that’s when I lived back east and the Bruins were my favorite team but since have lived out in Colorado for 20 plus years. The Bruins could never get over the hump then, I was surprised they beat Vancouver in 2011. That hit on the Bruin, I forget who it was now, changed the series. GO AVS!!!!!!!!

      • Can’t see anyone who could possibly beat them – although in a TB-Colorado final I wouldn’t be comfortable betting against the defending champions. There are a lot of cagey veterans on that team who’ll go through a brick wall for a 3rd-in-a-row to become a modern day dynasty.

      • Yes, that hit was vicious, turned the whole series around in my opinion? The Bruins seemed to rally around each other and that was it for Vancouver!