NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 31, 2022

by | May 31, 2022 | News, NHL | 27 comments

The Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, plus the latest on the Lightning, Oilers, Avalanche and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers are heading to the Eastern Conference Finals after eliminating the Carolina Hurricanes with a 6-2 victory in Game 7 of their second-round series. Chris Kreider scored twice, Mika Zibanejad collected three assists and Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves for the Rangers.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (NHL Images).

Vincent Trocheck and Max Domi replied for the Hurricanes, who lost goaltender Antti Raanta and winger Seth Jarvis to injuries. Raanta left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury after stretching out to make a save. Jarvis was sidelined with an upper-body injury in the first period by a hit from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a dominant performance by the Rangers, who took an early 2-0 lead and never looked back. They earned this thanks to outstanding goaltending from Shesterkin, solid special teams play, timely offense from their leading scorers and a playoff-leading 236 blocked shots.

The Hurricanes entered this series with starting goaltender Frederik Andersen sidelined since mid-April by a lower-body injury. However, his absence was just one of several reasons why they failed to defeat the Rangers. They couldn’t win on the road, their power-play sputtered and their leading scorers such as Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen failed to deliver.

THE ATHLETIC’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman reports Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse skated with their Edmonton Oilers teammates in practice on Monday. It was Draisaitl’s first practice since suffering an injury in Game 6 of the first round while Nurse had skipped most recent practices.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl is believed to have a high-ankle sprain but you’d never know it by his performance. He set an NHL record in the second round by tallying the most assists (15) in a single playoff round.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of the Oilers, an NHL insider said there was no truth to a report claiming the club had some “COVID-related travel issues” getting to Colorado on Sunday. The Oilers face the Avalanche in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.

THE DENVER POST: On the eve of the Western Conference Finals, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic is earning praise for sticking with center Nazem Kadri and head coach Jared Bednar. Kadri earned suspensions in recent postseasons while Bednar faced criticism for his inability to get his club beyond the second round.

NHL.COM: Brandon Hagel missed his third straight practice on Sunday. However, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper believes the forward will be ready for Game 1 against the Rangers on Wednesday.

THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon had core muscle surgery and will be back at full strength in six weeks. Winger Mats Zuccarello is facing similar surgery plus he had a leg fracture that will heal with rest.

CALGARY SUN: Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom denied his struggles against the Oilers in the second round were injury-related.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: The Vancouver Canucks have added Mike Komisarek and Mikael Samuelsson to their player development department. Meanwhile, Henrik and Daniel Sedin will be working daily with the Canucks’ young players in Vancouver and with their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford.


  1. Three out of four nhl playoff predictions. Rangers, Av’s and Tampa
    Avs over Edmonton
    Tampa over Rangers
    Av’s win cup. Fire Sweeney and Neely.

    • Right On! Rick good picks, I have Avalanche in 5. Also, Tampa Bay in 6 against Rangers. A lot of credit to Rangers, had my doubts they could beat Hurricanes? I’m hoping for Colorado/Tampa Bay, would be a great SCF! Whoever though, I don’t care ad as long as Avalanche are there! GO AVS!!!!!

      • Had Canes winning the SC ….goodbye $200

    • Rick just the other day you had Tampa over Carolina in 7.

      If you pick both ways you you should be 4 for 4:)

  2. As I posted recently, one of those “streaks” of Carolina’s – no loss at home or no win on the road in the playoffs – was bound to happen sooner or later. Unfortunately for them it was the former.

    But, hey, this can’t be categorized as an upset since the Rangers finished just 6 points back over 82 games.

    This next series could be a sequence of low-scoring games – and several OTs.

    • Could be, but the Rangers are a young team, & may be more prone to highs and lows, with deflections & scrums they may have a game or two where they score a bit. This will make Vasy angry. It’s not good to make Vasy angry. Two spectacular wins for Rangers, four grind-it-out wins for the Bolts?

      • We’ll see Richard. I will be mighty impressed if the Bolts win again. Undeniably talented but I’m thinking the amount of games played the last several years is going to catch up to them.

      • Richard, the Rangers may be young in terms of average age but, with a few who have limited playoff experience, they are hardly playoff virgins who will wilt due to inexperience in such games.

        In playoff games you have Braun (113), Reeves (98), Kreider (94), Goodrow (68), Copp (48), Zibanejad (45), Panarin (44), Trouba (44), Nemeth (33), Strome (32), Vatrano (28), Mott (26), McKegg (18), Fox (17), Chytil (17), Lindgren (14), Miller (14), Lafreniere (14), Shesterkin (14), Rooney (12)

        Decent playoff experience and, while certainly no match for similar experience by TB players, those young legs handled expertly by Gallant could wear down some among the opposition.

  3. Igor once again kept the Rangers in it early before the Powerplay put them on the board.

    Goodrow back really adds a balance and you see the team committing. Just like when Lindgren came back against the Pens

  4. To all South of the Border

    Belated Happy Memorial Day

    Congrats to Rangers…. Shesterkin strikes again

    Rangers were very good

    Shesterkin ; once again was unbelievable

    I said before that this kid can carry the Rangers to the ECF

    I think Vazy and the rest if the B2B champs, however; put a damper on Rangers hopes of going to SCF

    Out West….. I’m really looking forward to that extremely fast paced series

    Avs are favoured; but Oil could upset them

  5. Congrats to NY….they did outplay Carolina for most of the series. Having said that, I wonder what will happen now that they will play against a teams #1 goalie, instead of second or third stringers. Maybe NY sends Trouba to Tampa’s net to try and take out Vas. He has been doing a good job of that so far in these playoffs.

    • I’m just here to read the disclaimers of why NY won.

      And how the NHL is turning a blind eye to these dirty hits Trouba is getting away with.

      • Special teams, timely goals, proper attitude for the atmosphere, and a dialed in goalie, is about what I can tell.
        They look pretty friggin good for a team pulling short on a rebuild.

      • Trouba hits have meaning. He almost always puts great emphasis on them. Many of them could be considered unnecessary, but as long as it’s legal, that’s what he’s deployed to do……and he does it well.

      • I would 100% that they may be unnecessary. Maybe a bit over the top in his delivery.

        One things for sure, he doesn’t discriminate. Ny didn’t trade away assets and pay this man 8 million per to be a nice guy.

        Something tells me if he shied away from these hits, he’d be “soft”.

  6. Was cheering for rags in that round. Now go Tampa. One less 1st round pick in the metro.

  7. Curious to hear some opinions on Trouba. Lots of disagreements here. Is there any difference between Trouba and Kadri? The apologists keep telling us how clean his hits are but every one is high with the head in mind. Unbelievably the genius who used to defend the NYI and now defends the NYR for the Athletic had the audacity to call the Penguins missing Sid and Jarvis being knocked out LUCKY. Thoughts?

    • Brettsky, I thought that hit by Trouba was clean? He had a similar hit on MacKinnon earlier in the year
      that I didn’t care for but MacKinnon had his head down. So, he was eligible? Jarvis seemed to see him coming and it looked clean to me. Unfortunately, that’s part of the game, someone is going to get hurt at times IMHO! Hope that answers your question! GO AVS!!!!!

    • If you lower your head, he is going to hit you. When you’re 3-5” smaller, it’s not going to look pretty.

      Maybe he should start shoe string tackling?

      Then people can claim he’s trying to injure an acl, mcl, Achilles?


      The 2 games after the Mackinnon hit, he also sent two players to the locker room.

      If he’s on the ice, you may want to be aware . And probably a good idea to keep your head up if he’s in your vicinity.

      • Pk’s slew foots are somehow more accepted than open ice hits.

        Nino N literally left his feet for a pile on Lindgren when was low in the corner.

        I dont love head hits but you cannot say Trouba went out of his way to make the hit with Jarvis or Sid this playoff run. he is not marking his man and coming across the ice ala Scott Stevens or Cooke

      • Do the Hurricanes have anyone compared to Maroon in their lineup? If Trouba tries anything, Maroon won’t have an issue introducing himself. Reeves won’t even scare Maroon.

      • I don’t think Trouba , Reaves are going to change their style of play around concerns of Pat Maroon.

        Again, Trouba has been Trouba all year. (207 hits in the regular season, 54 in the playoffs) He’s not discriminating. And he’s had to answer the bell for a lot of those hits. He certainly won’t be changing his game over fear of Pat Maroon.

      • Hope this doesn’t double post. Froze up after submitting.

        I don’t think Trouba , Reaves are going to change their style of play around concerns of Pat Maroon.

        Again, Trouba has been Trouba all year. (207 hits in the regular season, 54 in the playoffs) He’s not discriminating. And he’s had to answer the bell for a lot of those hits. He certainly won’t be changing his game over fear of Pat Maroon.

  8. My predictions

    🍁Edmonton Oilers in 6 over the Avs

    🇺🇸 NYR in 7 over the Tampa Bay …..But If Igor Shesterkin stays Hot it could be all over in less than 7 games with the 2 Russian Top Goaltenders……⁉️

  9. In the Eastern Final, we have the former Vesna winner and current Conn Smythe Trophy winner vs. the favourite to win this year’s Vesna.
    Rangers score a lot (2nd in the playoffs in goals for), and they also have allowed a lot of goals against (1st in allowing the most goal against) in the playoffs.
    Tampa hasn’t scored a lot, but they also haven’t allowed a lot of goals in these playoffs. Where the Rangers have scored a lot, and also allowed a lot of goals.
    This will be an interesting series.
    Rangers in 7.

    In the Western Final, we have three of the most skilled centres in the NHL. Draisaitl and McDavid vs. MacKinnon. One thing that is being overlooked in this series is Draisaitl. A secondary headline here is, this is the second series in a row the Oilers are going against a goalie, Kuemper, they pursue over Smith that turned them down. More motivation for Smith to put in a good performance. Smith has the better s%, HDS%, xGA, and goals saved percentage in these playoffs than Kuemper. Smith has also faced more shots.
    In my bracket, before the playoffs started I picked Colorado over Edmonton in the WCF. That bracket was busted when the Rangers beat Pittsburgh, then beating Carolina who I had picked to be in the SCF. I also didn’t expect Smith and McDavid to be putting on the performances that they are. Wild cards are Draisaitl and Makar.
    Oilers in 6.

  10. You have to wonder if some – if not all – of the Russians currently under NHL contracts and who return home for the off-seasons are feeling a bit edgy about developments in the Ukraine, the Russian requirement that all between 18 and 27 must serve a year in the military, and the recent increase in age limits to those up to age 40 who can now serve as “volunteers.


    • Trying to tamper down my darker humor side… I’m gonna leave it at I doubt even Putin is desperate enough to try to pull a 80’s style elite group of Soviet shock troops out of the nhl to infiltrate the new enemies Finland and Sweden. Ovi does have a hell of a shot,….

      Dang it. I tried.