NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2022

by | May 23, 2022 | News, NHL | 29 comments

The Oilers take a 2-1 series lead over the Flames, the Lightning go up 3-0 over the Panthers, the Rangers get their first win over the Hurricanes, the Leafs re-sign Mark Giordano, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: A four-goal second period powered the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of their second-round series. Evander Kane tallied a natural hat trick, Leon Draisaitl had four assists, and Connor McDavid collected three helpers. Oliver Kylington replied for the Flames. The Oilers hold their first lead of this series (two games to one) with Game 4 on Tuesday.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was another dominant offensive performance by the Oilers, particularly from scoring stars McDavid, Draisaitl and Kane. McDavid leads all postseason scorers with 23 points in just 10 games, nine of those multi-point contests. Draisaitl sits second with 19 points and set an NHL playoff record in Game 3 by collecting those four assists in the same period. Kane’s hat trick, meanwhile, gives him a playoff-leading 10 goals.

The Flames’ frustration boiled over midway through the third period when Milan Lucic bowled over Oilers goaltender Mike Smith, sparking a melee that saw Lucic get ejected for charging. Smith was initially removed from the game by concussion spotters but quickly returned to action.

Once again, the Flames failed to contain the Oilers’ leading scorers. This time, they couldn’t score their way out of trouble as they did in Game 1 or even take an early lead as in Game 2. Head coach Darryl Sutter will have to find a solution by Game 4 or risk falling behind 3-1 heading back to Calgary for Game 5.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are poised to sweep the Florida Panthers from their second-round series following a commanding 5-1 victory in Game 3. Nikita Kucherov had four points, Steven Stamkos scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy turned aside 34 shots for the Lightning. Sam Reinhart replied for the Panthers. With a 3-0 series lead, the Lightning can wrap things up in Game 4 on Monday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning took control of this game with two goals in the second period and never looked back. They dominated the Panthers, whose will to win evaporated as this contest went on. The Bolts are reminding everyone why they’re the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, holding this season’s highest-scoring team to just three goals thus far in this series.

A 43-save performance by Igor Shesterkin gave the New York Rangers a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, cutting the latter’s series lead to two games to one. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist while Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also tallied for the Rangers. Nino Niederreiter had the Hurricanes’ only goal. Game 4 goes Tuesday night in New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers’ coach Gerard Gallant’s lineup tweaks paid off for this game, moving Filip Chytil alongside Kreider and Zibanejad and Alexei Lafreniere with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. Shesterkin was rock solid throughout this contest. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes still seek their first road win of this postseason. Their special teams struggled in this contest, giving up a power-play goal and failing to tally with three man-advantage opportunities.

Gallant wasn’t pleased with Blue Jackets winger Max Domi whacking Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren with his stick in the dying seconds of the game. He sent a none-too-subtle warning toward the Hurricanes during his post-game press conference that “we’ve got the guys to match them” if they want to play that way.


TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed defenseman Mark Giordano to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $800K. Giordano, 38, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He was acquired from the Seattle Kraken prior to the March trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a noteworthy signing by the Leafs. Giordano was earning $6.75 million annually on his current contract. Despite his age, he remains an effective top-four defenseman who could’ve earned a lot more than $800K per season on the open market.

Giordano obviously wants to finish his career in his hometown but he was aware of the Leafs’ limited cap space. Taking such a huge discount also shows his belief that his best chance of winning a Stanley Cup is with the Maple Leafs.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues announced goaltender Jordan Binnington will be sidelined for the remainder of their second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche. Binnington suffered the injury following a collision with Avalanche center Nazem Kadri in Game 3. The Blues have recalled goaltender Charlie Lindgren to back up Ville Husso, who replaces Binnington as their starter.

THE DENVER POST: Speaking of Kadri, the Avalanche are working with local law enforcement to investigate threats against the 31-year-old center following Game 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether you believe Kadri deliberately intended to injure Binnington, that’s no excuse for threatening him. That crap has no place in sports at any level.


  1. Happy Victoria Day for those celebrating

    Gio signs 2 yrs @ just over league min… I expected a hometown discount…. Just not that low 👍👍👍

    Yesterday’s games…

    Bolts now set to move on to ECF after tonight…. Bolts just smothering the Cats offence and Vazy coming up huge. A Cats win tonight (unlikely) just staves off the inevitable

    The Vezina (and deserving Hart) trophy winner…. Again takes another game ….. Shesterkin Shestshut the door…. Kid is just amazing

    Draisitl (4 points); Kane (hatrick); Smith (1 GA….970) absolutely shined; and Oilers to a T; had a great game….. but once again it really came down to Oil saying to Flames…. “would you like some fries with your McDavid”

    It’s hard to imagine it let alone say it; But the best player on the planet seems to be noticeably improving each and every game…. At every aspect; everywhere on the ice…. Wow

  2. After a season of wondering if our boys had simply played too much hockey over two covid compressed seasons, and watching game after game of the Lightning sort of sloutching through a couple of periods making numerous errors (often bailed out by the Big Cat, to be sure) only to summon ten minutes of effort to gain a point or two, we fans at Amalie last night were looking at each other in some amazement; there IS a switch you can turn on at playoff time and our boys are back in town, smothering the Panthers even without Braydon point, their most reliable playoff scorer. Surviving the Leafs: the Leafs are looking better and better in the rearview mirror. The threepeat is still a Vegas longshot and, watching the speed in the west on can see why, but hope is turning to expectation of a good battle in Tampa as the Lightning defence tunes up, and Vasy shines.

  3. McDavid is definitely the MVP of the NHL and it’s not really close Johnny hockey is awesome but isn’t in same league as Connor. Gio must be getting assured he will be given an office job once he retires from playing hockey. Spezza and Gio May run the doors on the bench in their later years for a couple million a year.

  4. I wonder if the media (spector) and other folks in Edmonton who didn’t like the Kane signing and were upset with McDavid for wanting such a person like Evander Kane on the team; Do they cheer when McDavid or Kane score?

    McDavid was tired of losing and wanted to win and he pushed for the Evander Kane signing. The best part of the signing, no assets given up.

    McDavid by far the best player of the playoffs and Kane lead all goal scorers.

    McDavid has shown he is tired of losing.

    Lucic hit on Smith, maybe a 2 minute minor but for the situation the major keep the game under control.

    • Of course they cheer Caper?

      And yes I still think he is a risky option on a big $ long term deal, although as he ages I am sure he is learning lessons.

      He fits like a glove playing with the big 2, best gig in hockey for a scorer.

      As far a Lucic goes, don’t think he was trying to injure Smith but stupid and dangerous play. Tenders know they can’t be hit so don’t expect it, and he didn’t. You can argue the rule, but it is the rule, so don’t hit him in the back. I wouldn’t be opposed to changing it, but LJ makes a good point for keeping it below.

      Major and a game misconduct? In the situation, the right call. Smith could have been hurt, fortunately he wasn’t.

    • Ray, you’re drinking from your Oiler cup with that reply.

      • Says the guy who thought the barbashev hit was dirty lol! May be time for some spectacles caper.

      • Which reply? Lucic?

        It was stupid and dangerous.

        He took 3 hard strides from the top of the circle and went straight at him and tries to slow at the last 2nd. Got him in the back. Didn’t smoke him, but so what? You can’t hit a goalie playing the puck, especially from behind as he can’t brace for it. Blind sided him. So, back at ya, why did he?

        Not trying to injure, but stupid and dangerous. I stand by it.

  5. Sad situation in St. Louis on the threats Kadri is receiving. As someone who grew up in St. Louis its embarrassing. Both Binnington and Girard plays where tough plays to watch, however both where legal plays. Hope Girard and Binnington get back to full health soon.

  6. Tony Deangelo screaming at the Rangers coach to end the game shows the guy cannot help himself.

  7. Thank You Giordano for taking the hit! Now we got some wiggle room and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out for next years hunt.

    Lucic has to learn that for him to hit a goalie will result in a major in the least but he did slow down and didn’t train roll him like he did Miller even though I feel that sometimes goalies who are out of their crease shouldn’t get the benifit call everytime.

    Kane is working his new contract to higher grounds and Damn I wish Dubas woulda, and now who knows what Kane will ask for just to stay an Oiler but I imagine he’d give a little discount but for all other teams the ask will be high (but still worth it imo) I say he gets at least what soft Nylander gets.

    Domi is a Hurricane and not a winger for the Jacks -haha but that doesn’t erase Deangelo being a Bitc*h.

    Tampa has regained that look but maybe only becaus Florida looks deflated and not even trying to make the comebacks like they did in the regular season. Lack of board work, slow footed,…ect. They won’t come back 3-0 against Tampa but I’d like to see a better effort and extend this series but the old tampa dogs will want some rest and should probably fininish them off tonight with a hurle of rats hitting the ice afterwards.


    • Go Leafs Go, DJ? Really?

      When the Leafs lost last year with their big guns not performing, room for improvement and hope.

      Their big guns played very well this year and they still lost. Room for improvement and hope?

      You know they cliche about doing the same thing over and over again …

      • I tend to agree with LJ. Toronto has multiple holes they need to fill. Goalie, Top pairing defensemen being two of the most obvious.

        They have Matthews for 2 more seasons, before he is going to hit the open market.

        The move that makes so much since for Toronto is a Nylander for Chychrun deal. That would free up some cap, as they still have RFA that are all going to need raises, they will have to fill a couple of forward slots as well. Then they still need a goalie, Campbell is going to cost at a min 4 mil AAV and is that really the guy?

  8. That seems to be the strategy for the year. If you’re losing your series, just take out the other goaltender. It’s sad and difficult to watch but at least the league is waking up. No penalty for taking out Binnington who’s leading the league with a .970 save percentage in the playoffs. But at least the league woke up when Lucic took out Mike Smith. Major penalty and game misconduct which is still not enough of a penalty for taking out the other goaltender.

  9. Goalies are generally huge men and wear the most padding/protection of anyone on the ice.
    If they choose to leave the crease and play 3rd defenseman, I say they should be fair game. An unpopular opinion, I’m certain, but that’s just my opinion.

    • Yes, SOP, I have thought so too but teams can only dress two goalies. If you could hit a goalie when they are outside of the crease there would be a lot of games where the team would have to throw a forward into net, making for a pee poor game to watch. And most teams don’t have an NHL caliber third goalie, making for more crap games to watch.

    • Simple LJ, stay in the crease. If you want to make a passing play, your fair game.

      The league wants more scoring, having goaltenders think their forwards doesn’t help.

      If defending, then protected, making offensive play, then be careful because you might get hurt.

      • Check the rules Caper, goalies are not fair game when playing the puck behind the net.
        That’s the issue.

  10. Smith likes to play the puck outside the crease as we all know. Lucic (presses) him against the boards hard enough for a 2 minute penalty that’s all. Smith turns his back to the play and has the puck. What do you want the player to do act like Smith has a force field around him…a no fly zone.
    You play the puck out there your a skater. Leave it for your dman if you don’t want to be contacted.
    Never understood the protection zone extended beyond the crease area.
    Saying all that I do agree on protecting them more inside there crease

    • My only issue with the hit is that he went straight at Smith and never the slightest attempt to play past Smith. I am all for being allowed to but goalies if they are playing the Puck but running them I am not. I agree it would normally be a 2 min but as someone said the refs called the 5 to maintain control of the game. I agree with the 5 on those grounds but it was no more than a 2 otherwise.

  11. Gallent publicly calling for head hunting again. Better watch yourselves around trouba fellas!

    • Now we know why there’s a baby formula shortage. Also hearing all shipments of Kleenex are being diverted to the Pittsburgh area?

      • Nice. Very nice.😂

      • Did you know there is a market for human breast milk in body builders? Supposedly it tastes like the milk in the bottom of the bowl after eating fruity pebbles.

  12. There is no question 🍁McDavid is the MVP of the NHL….Last night he was Great Again…

    So were his linemates, 97 just motovates them to a higher level Leo & Kanner both played Great,
    So did the 2nd line they had there best game as a 2nd line last night

    Mike Smith had an other Steller Game…. Oilers were lucky Mikko was not in goal too long… Or could have been a diffrent story..
    Luccic hit was not cool on the goaltender… lots of running the goaltenders this playoffs⁉️

    in July the Oilers will look to sign a UFA goaltender to be there Starter.

    Lots of Oilers unsung heros last night.. Especially Josh Archibald was Great so was young Ryan McLeod was just Flying out there

    Duncan Keith on d, really is a calming influence out there, Especially on young 21 yr old Evan Bouchard
    He is looking better every game, Bouchard has the best shot from the point out of all the Oilers d/men
    cant wait for Tuesday night👍

    • I wish the bruins had taken a chance on Kane. I know playing with Mcdavid is paying dividends for Evander but, he’s the whole package eye for the net speed, mean, size, can hit and can fight. We ended up the human barnacle Nick Filigno. barnacles attach themselves to ships and live in the ocean, Foligno attaches himself to teams and lives on the players bench.

      • McDavid can make a 2nd line winger look like a Top Line Winger…..❗️
        kane can finish and has size thats what 97 needed its like when Leon plays with 97 same thing…..
        But Leon is a top 5 Centre in the NHL also…..

        Edmonton Oilers were the perfict fit for Evander Kane, there are lots of Strong personalities in the dressing room and some tough customers like Nurse & Kassian and older wise owls….
        like Duncan Keith & Mike Smith they set him streight when he arived in Edmonton and managment with Holland, Low, Keith Gretzky, in upper management…

  13. The main reason for rounded corners of the ice are so Lucic and the likes can get turned to go back in the direction they came from.

  14. Lucic hit was a joke he tried to hold him up Smith was fine very weak call should have been zip – 2 minutes would have been lots. Stay in your net if you don’t want someone to touch you. If Loooch want to run him they would still be picking up pieces.