NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2022
The latest on the Rangers and Lightning as the Eastern Conference Finals returns to New York for Game 5, ongoing fallout from the Oilers’ elimination from the Western Conference Finals, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New York Rangers hope to regain the lead in the 2022 NHL Eastern Conference Finals on home ice as the series returns to New York for Game 5 tonight at 8 pm ET. They saw a 2-0 series lead evaporate as the Lightning won Games 3 and 4 in Tampa Bay.
The Rangers haven’t lost on home ice since Game 1 of their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re also 3-0 in home games following a road loss.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers centers Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil will be game-time decisions. Strome has been sidelined since Game 3 with a lower-body injury while Chytil left Game 4 with an upper-body injury.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper hasn’t ruled out center Brayden Point for Game 5. He’s been working his way back into the lineup since suffering a lower-body injury in Game 7 of their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The presence or absence of Strome, Chytil and/or Point could affect the outcome of Game 5. While the Lightning has coped with Point’s absence, his return would provide them with a big boost. The Rangers, meanwhile, are still learning to adjust without Strome and Chytil in their lineup.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland revealed several of his players were coping with injuries during their playoff run. However, none of them are expected to undergo surgeries.
Holland confirmed forward Leon Draisaitl played with a high-ankle sprain suffered during their first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings. He still managed to finish the playoffs with 32 points in 16 games, including four primary assists in their 6-5 series-ending loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals.
Defenseman Darnell Nurse played the entire postseason with a torn hip flexor. Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was dealing with a shoulder injury but still managed 14 points in 16 games.
Winger Jesse Puljujarvi suffered a shoulder injury in Game 4 against the Avalanche and his recovery timeline is four-to-six weeks. Winger Kailer Yamamoto missed the final two games against the Avs due to concussion protocol.
Holland also indicated five-to-seven other Oilers, including goaltender Mike Smith, were battling injuries.
TSN: Holland also praised interim head coach Jay Woodcroft for doing a “fabulous job” in getting the Oilers to the Western Conference Finals. He intends to meet with Woodcroft next week to discuss his future with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should be a short conversation with Woodcroft getting the “interim” tag removed from his job title in the near future. He took over a club that was sinking in the standings and quickly reversed its fortunes, guiding them to a 26-9-3 record in their final 38 games and a second-place finish (104 points) in the Pacific Division.
THE DENVER POST: Ticket prices in Denver for the 2022 Stanley Cup Final are going for up to $1,000.00 on the secondary market, with some peaking at $10,000.00.
NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz examines the trades by Avalanche GM Joe Sakic that helped turn his club into a Stanley Cup finalist. Among the noteworthy additions were Nazem Kadri, Devon Toews, Darcy Kuemper, Andre Burakovsky, Samuel Girard, Josh Manson and Arturri Lehkonen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic has made moves that will help his club now and over the long term. He’s proven to be among the savviest general managers in the league.