NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2022

by | Jun 12, 2022 | News, NHL | 36 comments

The Lightning defeats the Rangers to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the latest on the Flyers and Golden Knights’ search for new head coaches and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: For the third straight year, the Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to the Stanley Cup Final. Steven Stamkos scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves as the Bolts defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to take the series 4 games to 2. Frank Vatrano replied for the Rangers while Igor Shesterkin made 29 stops.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

The Lightning will face off against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, June 15, in Denver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Experience, a commitment to defensive play and their best players stepping up were keys to the Lightning winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. Those factors also enabled them to overcome a 2-0 series deficit against the Rangers.

The Bolts didn’t get rattled after dropping the first two games in New York. They effectively neutralized the Rangers’ top offensive players as the series went on, holding the Blueshirts scoreless in the final two games and limiting them to one goal in each of the final three games and just one five-on-five goal in the final four.

Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat rose to the occasion over the final four games. Shesterkin was outstanding for the Rangers, but Vasilevskiy won the goaltending duel.

The Lightning will also get a boost to their roster for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Center Brayden Point is expected to be ready to rejoin the lineup after being sidelined by a lower-body injury since Game 7 of their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THE DENVER POST: Speaking of the Avalanche, Mike Chambers agrees with Wayne Gretzky’s opinion of Cale Makar as the best defenseman since Bobby Orr. “The closest player we’ve ever seen offensively and defensively that can make an impact on the game that much – probably Bobby Orr,” Gretzky recently said on TNT. He considered Makar to be the Avalanche’s best player on the ice during the Western Conference Finals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Makar has been an impact player since his arrival with the Avalanche in the 2019 playoffs. He’s the favorite to win the Norris Trophy this season and should be a perennial candidate for that award for at least the next 10 years.

Makar is a big reason why the Avs reached this year’s Stanley Cup Final and have a legitimate shot at dethroning the Lightning. He has to be considered among the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

DAILY FACEOFF: Sources tell Frank Seravalli that the Philadelphia Flyers have narrowed down their list of head coaching candidates. Former bench bosses Barry Trotz and John Tortorella are believed to be among the finalists.

YARDBARKER: cited Seravalli reported the Vegas Golden Knights have zeroed in on Bruce Cassidy in their search for a new head coach. Cassidy was recently relieved of his duties as coach of the Boston Bruins.

THE SCORE: cited NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky reporting New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald met recently with winger Jesper Bratt and the two sides are trying to get a deal done this summer. The 23-year-old Bratt is coming off a career-high 73-point performance. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fitzgerald indicated his intent to pursue a long-term deal with Bratt during his end-of-season interview last month. The Devils GM could seek an eight-year deal while the winger’s camp could be looking for a raise of over $7 million annually.

TSN: The NHL Board of Governors is set to meet this Thursday in New York City.


  1. Got to cheer for bolts and the 3 peat. Incredible opportunity to cement legacy as best team of the cap era

    • Should be a classic series Mrbruin3 … and TB having Point back could be huge.

      • I agree. George. Pretty even. FW. D. Slight edge goalie to TB. If point back for finals and relatively healthy. I would think they repeat

      • That’s a real big addition for an already stacked team George. This is going to be one hell of a series coming up.

    • Yeah kind of agree but would also like to see Nate Mckinnon win his first he is so talented and humble…

  2. So close to forcing a game 7 – but how many times have we seen teams scored upon seconds after finally breaking through with a big goal? It happens so often … Gallant should perhaps have called a time out before the following face-off to make sure his team had settled down. Ahh well … the Rangers will be in the top end of things for a few years now.

    • Stamkos adds a couple of clips to his HOF induction ceremony reel, Cooper wins the chess match of line-o-matics, and the Shesterkin/Fox Rangers/kidline group , having been shown that the ‘defense wins championships’ cliche’ is repeated with reason, give their MSG fanbase realistic hope of a decade emulating the track the Vasy/Hedman/Stamkos Lightning have taken. The foundation is in place and the first playoff lesson was cemented last night by a group chasing history. The Lightning dominated the Bolts, but young Shesterkin almost stole one to get them back home for game 7. It’s a great time to be a Lightning fan, and getting Point back will make a huge difference as they look to establish where the top of the mountain is for cap-era teams. Colorado is a special challenge, I feel because their home ice advantage includes the very real issue of Altitude. But, as in each of the last 11 playoff series, the Lightning expect to have the advantage with 88 in goal.

      • er ‘dominated the Rangers’. It was a long night — the kind of night where ya wish you had a horse instead of a car so you could just slap it on the tail and let it take you home.

      • I used to think Stamkos was one-dimensional before the Cup wins. He is a team first guy with elite wheels and shooting.

    • George O, I couldn’t believe Gallant didn’t use his T O with 40 seconds left on PP. rest the top guys and get them back on ice Then Vatrano scores on ensuing face off. Go figure. They had momentum so no need for T O. I like Trouba game, except for fact he lacks foot speed to catch guys once they’re behind him. Stamkos blew by him. Goal was reviewedto see if it was kicked in. It wasn’t. A shame though that Gallant couldn’t risk a coaches challenge for interference. I don’t believe Rangers played nearly well enough to win series. I don’t sit here and cry about refs. But, if you go back to game 1 vs Pitt. Read explanation for coaches challenge and why goal with 3 minutes left in game was overturned. Read rule and explain how Stamkos goal is any different, except that Kakko was pushed into Pens goalie and Stamkos skated in impeded right into Shesterkin. Puck doesn’t go in without that.

    • Glad Rangers are out,,cheap shot team..

      • Glad Trouba rang up that whiner cry baby I’m the process. That was hilarious!

  3. Surprise run for this Rangers fan. There is a lot to like and of course some disappointment. Drury needs to find a center that makes room for and can finish with Panarin. There are enough pieces to keep this a solid team.

    Coming out party for KA Miller, Chytil and Laf.

    Kreider playing mostly perimeter hockey and often not with a complete effort was not expected. I would move Kreider for that center when you have the LW position depth-Panarin+Laf and Othmann+Cuyle almost here.

    UFA will depend the price tags. Vatrano and Motte are my choices. Strome and Copp can walk

    • ds. Kind of thought we were past all the old bs about Kreider. I mean a 52 goal season should count for something, no? You want to talk perimeter play? How about the guy making more than twice Kreider? Neither going anywhere. Full nmc’s. Agree there’s definately been a need for a 2C that can put puck in net. I’ve never hidden my disdain for Strome. Gallant scratching Kakko and dressing Strome was a real head scratcher. Disappointed Gallant didn’t give Jones a chance as the 3rd pair LD. All in all Rangers exceeded expectations. Young guys got valuable experience and team needs are exposed. Cap-space is tight this summer. I don’t expect any huge moves. Prioritize signing guys part of future.

      • Tight is right Slick62 – didn’t realize how tight until I took a close look at it this morning. Their $69,041,469 committed to 14 includes dead cap of $3,427,778 for the buyouts of Shattenkirk, Giradi and Deangelo – which would look nice added to the $13,458,531 they have with which to sign 9.

        Two of their RFAs will present no problem in re-upping – should they decide to even keep them (Gauthier and Blais, who spent most of the season on IR). And both could be in the AHL even if they do re-sign them. But Kakko, coming off an ELC of $925,000 and a season of 7g 11a 18pts and a +9 – with 2g 3a 5pts and E in 22 playoff games, will likely cost in or around $2 mil on a short-term bridge, while Georgiev, coming off $2,425,000 with a seasonal record of 33gp 2.92gaa and 0.888 save % will probably cost in the area of $3 to re-up on a similar bridge. Dealing him – and there are a number of teams in desperate need of goaltending – would enable them to keep around $10 mil of that cap reserve to spend elsewhere after they get a back-up – maybe through a trade or from Europe.

        But that won’t be enough to retain the 3 among their UFAs they might like to keep – Copp coming off $3,640,000, Strome coming off $4.5 mil and Vatrano coming off $2,533,333, all of whom will be looking for boosts.

    • @slick
      I expected more from Kreider. He is a big strong player and he rarely took the puck to the net all series. Panarin was battling more than Kreider but the results were not 11.5mil either.
      Not sure why its BS when your power forward was not getting dirty enough. Zib’s effort and creating plays was there -he just had no room.

  4. Cassidy should be in demand from more than one source so, if I were he I wouldn’t be in any hurry to grab the first offer to come along if it’s Vegas. That team is starting to show cracks, with some of their key players getting a bit long in the tooth and with reduced production. I see them among several high-riding teams in recent years as trending down, with little in the kitty in the way of prospects – e.g. Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington …

  5. It’s a beautiful morning today!

    • Chrisms,

      You’re probably WAY TOO YOUNG to remember The Rascals:

      It’s a beautiful morning,
      I think I’ll go outside for awhile,
      and just SMILE,
      just take in some clean, fresh air……



      • That the kids with alfalfa?

      • LOL

        YOUNG Rascals, not LITTLE Rascals

        There’s so much still to learn from your elders…


      • Groovin’ ….

        One of THE best Pop songs ever.

    • Rags in the bags

  6. Even a “Blues Loyalist” will admit that the two best/most complete teams have emerged for the Stanley Cup Final—should be AWESOME!


  7. Tampas going to be dangerous, but the last few years the trek to the cup takes a lot out of the players physically and mentally I think it’s The Av’s time. Next season I may be involved in lot more pickup hockey games I can’t watch what Neely and Sweeney might have in mind for the bruins it’s just too painful. It’s gonna take a miracle to even keep them out of last place.

  8. So Corey Perry could lose three straight cups final series with three different t teams? Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy

  9. No disappointment here. As I’ve maintained all year, you can’t expect to come from behind in games all the time never mind multiple series. This team is still very young and green. A good experience for these kids.

    This team looked tired and hurt. I’d expect Lindgren and Strome to be having some sort of surgery / injury disclosed (I think Troubas elbow may have sustained an injury on Crosbys face?😂😂😂) in the coming days.

    I’m not sad at all that NY took the 2 time Stanley cup champs to 6. And I won’t be sad to see them win it again.

    Ny are exactly where the bolts were before they were winning cups. They proved a lot of people wrong this year including myself.

    Plus, sending Pittsburgh home (Crosby was an added bonus, that was a beautiful hit!!!! Way to keep that goofy head up up there Quagmire!!! Then Carolina who NY had “no chance against “ was a nice bonus!

    I still think it’s very likely NY takes a step backwards next year. Unless they can get even more young kids (Othmann, Kravstov Jones) to step in and replace Vatrano / Copp Braun / Nemeth and or Strome).

    Don’t expect any big names coming this year to add depth or balance. They’re going to have to get through the coming year before adding any pieces.

    • Cue the whiny leaf fans saying they took the Champs to 7 games

    • Glad Trouba is having surgery Karma Obvious..

      • Well, how many times can you use Karmic justice on the same team and be wrong? I think that’s 4-5 now?

        Too bad Trouba ISN’T having surgery. It was an obvious joke. They are just trying to get Crosbys face imprint off his elbow! Lmao! So it’s an outpatient thing with no healing time.

        How many more times can he get that bell rung up before he’s forced to retire? That’s Karma!

  10. Well my final fell short. For the Rangers nothing to hang your head about.

    The experience the kid line got won’t be long before their the 1st line.

    Congrats to TB all the changes and still keeping the core together.

    TB advantage in goal, depth belongs to Colorado.

    Colorado in 6

    • Hmmm. So you got Colorado winning in game 6 in Tampa.

      Traditionally, the toughest game to win is the one that eliminates a defending cup champion … and to do that AND in their home arena … I dunno man.

      • CO the unseating is coming.

        TB won’t be able to handle Colorado speed.

        Your not watching if you think Colorado is a one line team.

        The only reason it will go 6 if it does, will be solely because of TB goaltender.

    • I’d disagree about Colorado having more depth. If Tampa can find a way to keep that top line off the board (not completely but to a minimum) .

      Tampa : Stamkos, Kucherov, Pointe (if healthy) Cirelli (grossly underrated selke type player) Hedman, Sergachev, Mcdonagh, Vasi, Palat, Killorn, Paul, Hagel, Colton look a hell of a lot deeper than Colorado.

      As I’ve been saying, it’s up to someone to unseat Tampa. But until that happens, I’m not betting against them. This team is deep and knows how to win.

      • Forgot Maroon. He doesn’t get a lot of minutes, and he doesn’t score a lot of goals, but he gets both minutes and goals in playoff series that are important, and he seldom makes mistakes. And when Perry plays around with the puck and his aging body can’t keep up with his mind, Maroon has been cleaning up those messes too. Seriously, especially when dealing with altitude, a good 6-8 minutes from you fourth line is gold, and when they can put up the odd goal it’s even better. Tampa skates 18 deep, effectively. Colorado was in their sights the last two runs, and ‘something happened’. No doubt Colo was the class of the West, but the Bolts went through 347 regular season points by three good teams to get here.
        Should be fun.

  11. Anyone else catch Cooper mouth, “that’s on you” to Stamkos after the Vatrano goal?
    How about that response from the captain?
    Awe inspiring to say the least.

    Great job by the Rags. They played great hockey all year, right up to the end. They’re gonna be good for a spell with that core.