NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 29, 2022
The Rangers defeated the Hurricanes to force Game 7 of their second-round series, plus the latest on the Oilers, Avalanche, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: There will be a seventh and deciding game between the Carolina Hurricane and New York Rangers.
Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves and collected two assists to backstop New York to a 5-2 victory over Carolina in Game 6 on Saturday night. Filip Chytil tallied twice and Adam Fox picked up two assists for the Rangers. Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta got the hook after giving up three goals on 13 shots. With the series tied at three games apiece, Game 7 goes Monday, May 30 at 8 pm ET.
The Rangers also got an unexpected boost as versatile checking-line forward Barclay Goodrow returned to the lineup. He’s missed the last 11 games with a suspected ankle fracture.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shesterkin also received a minor penalty for interference. With the win and the assists, he had what one pundit called a “Tom Barrasso hat trick.” He’s been outstanding for the Rangers in this series, frustrating the Hurricanes’ leading scorers.
The Hurricanes’ road woes in this postseason continued in Game 6. While they’ve been unbeaten on home ice in these playoffs, there’s a good chance that streak could end on Monday if Raanta has another shaky performance and Shesterkin remains on top of his game.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: As Connor McDavid prepares for his first-ever Conference Finals, the Oilers’ captain acknowledged the need for everyone on his club to step up. “It takes everybody. Everybody up and down the lineup and all the people behind the scenes. The staff and everybody. It takes an absolute army. That’s the mentality we have,” said McDavid.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche’s roster depth was crucial to the club’s second-round victory over the St. Louis Blues. It could take a bigger role as they face off against the Oilers in the Western Conference Finals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This series is being hyped as a showdown between McDavid and Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon. Roster depth, however, will make the difference here. The Avs certainly made the most of theirs to overcome the Blues. The Oilers also got contributions throughout their lineup thus far though they were overshadowed by the offensive exploits of McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane.
Goaltending could determine the outcome of this series. The Oilers’ Mike Smith and the Avs’ Darcy Kuemper have given up questionable goals but also rose to the occasion with crucial saves. It’ll be interesting to see whether that trend carries over in this upcoming series.
NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point is said to be progressing in his recovery from a leg injury suffered in the opening round that sidelined him for the entire second-round series with the Florida Panthers. Head coach Jon Cooper believes Point is closer to playing in round three than he was in the previous round. However, Cooper could offer no timetable for his return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Point’s absence didn’t adversely affect the Lightning in their second-round sweep of the Panthers. However, they could use the proven postseason performer as they face what could be tougher competition in the Hurricanes or Rangers in the next round.
THE SCORE: Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev said he played Games 5 and 6 against the Oilers with a dislocated shoulder. He suffered the injury in Game 6 of their first-round series with the Dallas Stars. Tanev will undergo surgery this week and will require four-to-six months of recovery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, what NHL players are prepared to physically endure to skate in the Stanley Cup playoffs boggles the mind.
SPORTSNET’s Eric Francis reported Flames winger Milan Lucic played with a sprained ACL. Nikita Zadorov had two broken ribs, Andrew Mangiapane had a bad wrist and Matthew Tkachuk had an injured hand.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another reminder that if an NHL player seems to be “underperforming”, it’s sometimes because they’re trying to play through a serious injury that’s hampering their efforts.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson suffered a fractured foot playing for Sweden on May 15 at the IIHF World Championships in Finland. He will require four-to-six weeks of recovery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson missed two games but returned to play against Canada in the quarterfinals. The Canadians eliminated the Swedes in that game.