NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2022
The Avalanche takes a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, Darryl Sutter wins the Jack Adams Award plus updates on the Rangers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals by blanking the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 in Game 2 on Thursday. Pavel Francouz turned in a 24-save shutout while Nazem Kadri collected three assists as the Avalanche blew the game open with three goals in a 2:04-minute span in the second period. Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist. The next two games are in Edmonton with Game 3 on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in big trouble as they head home for what will be the most crucial stretch of this series. After a sloppy 8-6 loss in Game 1, their offense was smothered by the Avalanche’s checking and Francouz’s goaltending in Game 2. They’re still having difficulty coping with the Avs’ speed, depth, and puck possession. If the Oilers don’t find solutions soon, this series will end in Edmonton by Game 4 on Monday.
THE DENVER POST: Speaking of Kadri, not only is he enjoying a postseason worthy of MVP recognition but he’s also turning Muslim kids in Denver into hockey fans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s performance in this postseason has been outstanding thus far. If his efforts are inspiring kids who share his faith to take up the game, it’s a welcome boost to the sport’s popularity and diversity.
SPORTSNET: Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto left Game 2 with an upper-body injury. It may have been the result of an open-ice hit by Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet if he’ll miss the upcoming games in Edmonton.
Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter is this year’s winner of the Jack Adams Award. In his first full season behind the Flames bench, he guided them to first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points. Sutter was a finalist for the award in 2004 during his first stint coaching the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Sutter took home the award. The Flames made significant improvement, entering this season considered at best a wild-card contender after missing the playoffs during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.
NEW YORK POST: Filip Chytil’s performance in this postseason could address the Rangers’ concerns over their second-line center position following this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been speculation for months suggesting the Rangers could either overpay to re-sign pending UFA Ryan Strome or seek a replacement via this summer’s trade or free-agent markets. It will save them a lot of time and money if they feel Chytil’s improved effort in this postseason will carry forward into next season and beyond.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Injuries to several players are testing the Lightning’s depth. Center Brayden Point remains sidelined with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Brandon Hagel remains hampered by a left-leg injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are probably other Lightning players’ nursing injuries considering their shot-blocking defensive style.
NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal intends to ride out the final season of his contract before deciding on his future. He’s signed through 2022-23 and becomes a UFA next summer.
ESPN.COM: Hurricanes winger Seth Jarvis suffered an apparent concussion following a hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in Game 7 of their second-round series. He also faces dental work from a hit earlier in the series. Meanwhile, goalie Antti Raanta suffered a sprained MCL in that game that would’ve sidelined him six-to-eight weeks had the Hurricanes not been eliminated.
TSN: Jake Gardiner has received medical clearance to resume his playing career. The 31-year-old Hurricanes defenseman spent the entire season on long-term injury reserve following hip and back surgeries in September.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Alexander Radulov could be returning to the KHL next season. Ak Bars Kazan teased a possible Radulov signing with a video on Twitter featurning the 35-year-old forward. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Tempe City Council voted 5-2 to enter negotiations with the Arizona Coyotes and its developer on plans for a new arena and entertainment district.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke remotely at the public meeting, promising the new arena would host an All-Star Game and the NHL Draft if built. He also said the Coyotes would not be allowed to relocate for 30 years.
THE PROVINCE: Former NHL player Gino Odjick will be inducted on June 9 into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL, nearly eight of those with the Vancouver Canucks.