NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 5, 2022

by | Jun 5, 2022 | News, NHL | 40 comments

The Avalanche push the Oilers to the brink of elimination in the Western Conference Finals but lose Nazem Kadri to injury. Check out the game recap and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. J.T. Compher snapped a 2-2 tie at 12:42 of the third period and Mikko Rantanen put the insurance goal into an empty net. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice, Devon Toews collected two assists and Pavel Francouz stopped 27 shots for the Avalanche, who hold a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid opened the scoring just 38 seconds into the game but Nichushkin’s two goals had the Avalanche up 2-1 by the end of the second period. The Oilers rallied to tie it in the third on a goal by Ryan McLeod before Compher potted the game winner. Oilers netminder Mike Smith did all he could to keep his team in this contest, finishing with 39 saves.

It was a costly victory for Colorado as second-line center Nazem Kadri left the game early in the first period after being hit from behind into the boards by Oilers winger Evander Kane, who was assessed a five-minute major penalty. Following the game, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Kadri was out for the remainder of the series and possibly longer. Bednar didn’t disclose the center’s condition but it’s believed he injured his right thumb.

The Avalanche can sweep the series with a win in Game 4 on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was Edmonton’s best effort in this series and yet it still wasn’t enough to garner a much-needed win. Despite the loss of Kadri, the Avs still generated more sustained pressure and scoring opportunities while holding the Oilers’ best scorers to just one goal. Indeed, they might’ve widened their second-period lead if not for Smith’s acrobatics in the Oilers’ crease.

The Avalanche adjusted to Kadri’s absence in this game but it could have long-term consequences for them in this series and beyond if they advance to the Final. In my opinion, he was their MVP in this postseason and it won’t be easy to replace him if he’s done for the playoffs. There’s speculation the NHL department of player safety could review the hit, which could lead to supplemental discipline for Kane.

Edmonton center Leon Draisaitl wound up limping off the ice at one point following a hit near his bench. He returned to action but it’s obvious he’s still hampered by the high-ankle sprain suffered earlier in the postseason.

With Draisaitl playing on one good leg and McDavid mostly contained by the Avs checking, it’s not looking good for the Oilers’ chances in Game 4. Only four teams in NHL history (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and 2014 Los Angeles Kings) have overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning center Brayden Point has been ruled out of today’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers. He’s been sidelined with a lower-body injury since Game 7 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers lead the series 2-0.

NEW YORK POST: Ryan Lindgren is the unsung hero of the Rangers’ playoff run this spring. His teammates, however, appreciate his physical defensive play and all-out effort even when he’s physically not at 100 percent.

TORONTO SUN: Former NHL defenseman Larry Hillman passed away on Friday at age 85. He spent 19 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota North Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres. In 791 regular-season games, he scored 36 goals and 232 points.

Hillman won six Stanley Cups with the Red Wings (1955), Maple Leafs (1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967) and Canadiens (1969). He also holds the NHL record as the youngest player to have his name engraved on the Cup at 18 years, two months and nine days. That record won’t be broken under current league rules which stipulate a player must be 18 on Sept. 15 to be eligible to play in his rookie year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Hillman’s family, friends and former teammates.


  1. Just another reason for me to not like Evander Kane. That was a predatory cheapshot that should trigger a suspension if the NHL really cares about the health of its players.

    • And there will be some who will say, considering the target, that what goes around comes around, recalling Kadri’s 8 game suspension for targeting Justin Faulk’s head in the Leafs’ playoff series a couple of seasons ago against the Blues. At that point it was his 6th suspension involving 16 playoff games and 11 seasonal games.

      Now, I am NOT suggesting two wrongs make a right. Just pointing out the “coincidence.”

      As for the game, 29 shots while giving up 42 in your first game at home and down 2-0 suggests you’re not even in the same ballpark as the opposition.

      I go back to my original thought that Canada’s best hope to bring the cup home was Calgary which I based on them having better goaltending, a deeper D and offense distributed over more than just one line. But, alas, they fizzled at the wrong time.

      • George, I had a Florida vs Calgary final with Flames winning it all. Oh well

    • I am pulling for the Avs in the series; I thought Kane’s hit was dangerous but not malicious. It’s worth a game’s suspension IMO, which given the circumstances would be the same as a 4 game suspension.

    • If the NHL cared about the safety of their players Kadri should be demoted to the AHL and let some goons have their way with him. Suspended 6 times for a total of 27 games – takes out St. Louis’ goalie and pretends it was a hockey play. Give me a break. Evander Kane hit him about 8 feet from the boards which at that speed propelled him into the boards. It was no more dirty than many hits so we will see what the league does or doesn’t do to Kane.

      • Still sour of losing to the AVS two years in a row are we? Get a better team and learn the game.
        Binnington is a man-child and the “man” part is questionable. Everyone outside of St.Louis knows his injury was a result of a hockey play and not intentional.
        Enjoy your game of golf going forward.

    • Agree Mark. The list was already pretty long.

      • Hello Mr. AJ. I’m pulling for the AVs since my Hurricanes blew it in game 7. I lived in Colorado for awhile so why not. I just don’t care for Kadri because he is kind of a reforming kinda thug. I am so sorry that I do not know the game like you do so please enlighten me because your arrogance is notable. I do love golfing and fishing by the way. Enjoy the Day !!

  2. Kane is a complete thug…albeit with some skill…he has been head hunting the whole series…time for the av’s to put the oil out of their misery on monday

  3. Boston will be next seasons nhl patsies. The bedard sweepstakes are now becoming a reality. SOP got so excited about the possibility of the Bruins finishing in last place he immediately went out and renewed his Bingo membership. George O recharged his pacemaker. Tampa wins today it’s a different series they lose it’s all over Elvis has left the building. Oilers are toast

    • Just to be clear, Dubya, George O doesn’t give a rat’s butt about the Bruins. Now go flex your imaginary martial arts expertise and kung-fu a 90 year old.

    • Bless your heart, Rick.

      • Heh. “Tampa wins today it’s a different series they lose it’s all over Elvis has left the building.”

        File that under “no s*&t Sherlock” – he does have a talent for stating the obvious though

      • Sop.

        Bergy has brace on arm too at MMA fight last night
        So they are truly the walking wounded

    • Lets try to add some reason here. As I am going down the game this afternoon, I need some reason for hope. There is some — although Point still being out is a blow, especially as a defensive center against a speed team. Excuses are not permitted. Vasy can play better; and although the ESPN crew has made much of his ‘high side blocker’ “weakness” it’s been there for his HOF career and through two cups. The other side has to snipe a 4″ slot on the fly, and while NY has been fabulous, maintaining the shooting percentage on high blocker snipes may not happen; Florida missed ALL of theirs through four game with equally skilled layers and 10% is greatness. They are likely to continues to adjust, game two was better than game one and I expect the see Stamkos back at center for defence. He, Cirelli, Paul, and possibly Nash will draw the middle & they’ll play for a 2-1 game. Fancy state scoring chances aren’t horribly lopsided, actually … those cross ice passes by the Blue shirts have been things of beauty…but the ugly Lightning scrums have generated a lot of close in misses and puck luck has a lot to do with what goes in and what doesn’t. Two series ago I would have questioned the Ranger’s resiliency — but that’s out so it’ll have to be 5 of 5 the hard way. So 2-1 today, 3-1 with an empty netter Tuesday, and back to NY for the best of three. Both the team and the goalie can play four essentially mistake free games of five — and that’s what it will take. The thing is, we’ve seen this group do it before. This is the sixth conference final for the majority of the team. There is always a changing of the guard in sports, so my final hope is that New York comes to town thinking about Colorado, and sipping from the Cup. Controlling those thoughts and emotions can be a big hurdle. Toronto and Florida were goo teams too.

      • Oh, I – for one – am not counting out the Lightning on the basis of an 0 for 2 start on the road. Richard. Many years ago during the Habs 5 and 4 cup stretches I recall them dropping the first 2 at least once.

        Having said that, this one is obviously a definite must – and this Ranger team is showing that they are a complete team tuned into whatever game plan Gallant sets out, and one that will not panic if they fall behind early. TB cannot get an early lead and then try to play Katy-bar-the-door. If they do that, they’ll lose.

  4. Honestly, Since Ryan Lindgren name was mentioned, feel like he takes similar hits from behind like Kadri did in every game. As George O always points out, these plays happen in the bat of an eye. Calling someone a thug is unnecessary. Kadri wasn’t injured from the hit. He was injured from the fall. Av’s got the call.

    • kane has been flying around swinging elbows the whole series…blaming “how” Naz got hurt from the fall is missing the point that Kane initiated the most dangerous play in hockey…he is a thug

      • You’re an Av’s fan. Do you think Kadri’s a thug? I’m only commenting on the play. Whatever Kane is doing during series has no bearing on this play. And the fact is, Kadri hurt his hand when he hit boards. Be angry if you like, but Kane has been one of Edmontons top players.

    • You do understand basic physics right? Even the high school version? Bodies in motion….. Kadri was absolutely injured because of that hit. If Kane doesn’t hit him there Kadri is still playing. Kane is a thug everyone knows it. Kadri is one as well. Everyone knows that too. Doesn’t make taking guy out with a cheap shot right. Now if the two had squared off and Kane knocks him out in an honest play, so be it. That just wasn’t an honest play period.

      • But doesn’t it take a thug to know a thug? Nazem Kadri will never be associated with a choir boy.

    • Asinine take on a play that didn’t even involve the Rags, Slick.
      That was like saying the shooter didn’t kill the people, the bullets did.

      • Not at all Shore. I see these hits every game. Did you see me screaming thug when Niedereiter sent Lindgren to locker room? No call. In case you missed it
        And by the way, doesn’t involve B’s yet here you are.

      • “Assume take”. Someone here complained a few weeks back that they don’t like posting because people like me attack them. Nothing like crap I take from you. You could be a Ranger fan with that name ShoreOrrPark

      • That take is even dumber than the first one.
        Stop posting stupid things, and I’ll stop commenting on said, stupid thing.

  5. Mike Smith’s certainly making a case to be back next year in Edmonton. Wonder how Oilers fans feel about that?

    • Smitty is a good guy, good teammate etc. You just can’t ride him to victory often. He doesn’t have the goods to steal a win for you against top end competition. The oilers need to stop listening to agents and influencers and listen to their greatest player ever who said on the broadcast, you have to play defense to win the Stanley Cup. That came from the great one. He isn’t wrong

    • Pretty sure he signed a 2 year contract last summer.

      • Yep, icebear – one year to go at $2.2 mil. What they need is for him to assume the back-up role only and somehow, some way, latch onto a bona-fide # 1

  6. Everyone is a thug unless they are on your team then it was a split second decision gone bad. I would say 99.9% of players are never out to hurt another player

    • Mr Bruin, that’s probably the most accurate statement. I’ll add, that 99.9% of posters on this site spend the whole year complaining that there team needs more grit. More size. That their team has too many small forwards that play on the perimeter. Or they have too many small, puck moving dmen.
      If Kane was on your team, all they’d care about is whether he’s helping their team win.

      • Oh yeah – I bet if a survey had been done in Edmonton during the SJ mess months back, the vast majority would have had a negative view of Kane from several angles. But when he joined the team and was instrumental in that turnaround, all that was instantly forgotten. And that would have been the case regardless of where he went.

      • 100%. Accurate 👍

  7. The call on the ice was correct. What name is on the back of the jersey shouldn’t matter (victim).

    I dont see a whole lot of malice in the hit.

    Kane could’ve drove him with alot harder.

    The end result was unfortunate.

    If a suspension, it will be 1 game only.

    • A huge reason for call disparity is the all-too-human tendency to call the result. If the player pops up and goes after the checker it’s two. If he stays down for a minute and goes to the room, it’s five. If he doesn’t come back, it impacts calls the rest of the game. This is not surprising. A crosscheck that breaks ribs (literally) can go uncalled, an awkward touch at the wrong time and place on the ice can ‘earn’ a major.

      Another human tendency is to be aware of which players are involved in dicey situations time after time, and look at them differently. There are guys who are good defensively, play hard, finish checks, and can go 30 games without a penalty — and then there are the others.

      • Richard, that was well said.

  8. Brad Marchand and Nazem Kadri get 6 games for Evander Kane’s hit on Kadri.

    • True enough Obe – but then again, both have had many more suspensions for on-ice illegal hits than has Kane

  9. AND anything kadri had done in the past has absolutely nothing to do with evander kane or the edmonton oilers. So any trying to justify that because of a past with another team against another team might want to reassess

  10. Was Lyndon Byers really a goon ?