NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2023

by | Apr 23, 2023 | News, NHL | 38 comments

The Devils, Golden Knights and Leafs garner tough overtime victories, the Avalanche hold off the pesky Kraken, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights needed overtime for a 5-4 victory in Game 3 over the Winnipeg Jets after the latter overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third period. Michael Amadio tallied the winning goal while Jack Eichel scored twice and collected an assist for Vegas. Nino Niederreiter, Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry scored in the third to rally the Jets while Neal Pionk collected three assists. The Golden Knights lead the best-of-seven first-round series 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets also lost puck-moving defenseman Josh Morrissey for the remainder of the series after he suffered a lower-body injury in the first period. That’s a major setback to their hopes of winning this series.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Morgan Rielly lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-3 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Ryan O’Reilly had a three-point performance, scoring the tying goal late in the third period to force the extra period. Brandon Hagel had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game could be a preview of what the remainder of this series will look like. After each club traded lopsided wins in the first two games, Game 3 was a more closely-contested and physical match. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos goaded Auston Matthews into a fight in the third period while Nikita Kucherov jumped Rielly after he crunched Lighting forward Brayden Point into the end boards.

Leafs fans have to be feeling better about the goaltending of Ilya Samsonov. He bounced back from a brutal 7-3 loss in Game 1 with two solid victories in the next two games, including a 36-save effort in Game 3.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 on an overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton. Rookie goalie Akira Schmid stopped 35 shots to win his first NHL playoff game while Jack Hughes scored the tying goal for the Devils. Chris Kreider netted his playoff-leading fifth goal for the Rangers, who still hold a 2-1 lead in this first-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the Devils. Had they lost Game 3 they would’ve faced the almost impossible task of overcoming an 0-3 deficit to win the series.

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Seattle Kraken 6-4 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Jaden Schwartz tallied two goals while Matty Beniers scored his first NHL playoff goal for the Kraken.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kraken opened the scoring, fell behind 3-1 and rallied back to tie the game before MacKinnon and Rantanen put this one out of reach. MacKinnon praised the Kraken as “a really great team,” calling this series the hardest first round he’s been in thus far.

The Avalanche got the win without winger Valeri Nichushkin as he’s out for what head coach Jared Bednar called “personal reasons.” Kraken forward Morgan Geekie missed this one with an undisclosed injury.


TSN: Carolina Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen underwent successful hand surgery and is sidelined indefinitely. He suffered the injury during Game 2 of the Hurricanes’ win over the New York Islanders.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said center David Krejci is 50-50 to play in Game 4 today against the Florida Panthers. Krejci missed Game 3 with an upper-body injury.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: It’s uncertain if Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek will be in the lineup for Game 4 today against the Dallas Stars. He’d missed the final two weeks of the regular season and the first two games of this series with a lower-body injury. He played just one shift in Game 3.

NHL.COM: Speaking of the Wild, they’ve shaken up the coaching staff of their AHL affiliate. General manager Bill Guerin yesterday announced the Wild won’t renew the contracts of Iowa Wild head coach Tim Army and assistant coaches Nate DiCasmirro and Nolan Yonkman.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: There’s concern among Edmonton followers that the Oilers could lose their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers are down in the series 2-1 as they’ve struggled to hold leads and have been undisciplined at times against the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are an improved team over the one that pushed Edmonton to seven games in last year’s opening-round series. If the Oilers lose today they’ll be down 3-1 in the series and face elimination on home ice in Game 5.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers recalled defenseman Lucas Carlsson as Aaron Ekblad and Josh Mahura will be game-day decisions for today’s matchup with the Bruins.

OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for final bids for aspiring owners of the Senators is expected to be May 15.


  1. ROR was definitely a MAJOR addition !
    What doesn’t he do ?
    Wins face offs, blocks shots, hits, a fierce competitor when the Leafs need him most , results are proven
    I just wish there was a way to tame Gooner Jeanot , installing Simmons might hinder the team in another way , but he would definitely “tune” the GOON !

    • So, set your goon against the other guy’s goon?

      Come on, man, admit it, if Jeannot were a Leaf you’d be singing his praises.

      As to the game, as I posted yesterday it wouldn’t have been necessary for the Leafs to win game 3 in order to win this series in 6 … but they at least would have had to make TB work their butts off for the win.

      So, they not only did that but they got the win as well.

      Leafs in 6 it still is … and maybe even 5.

    • Jeanot wouldn’t be tamed by Simmonds. That guy has no fear. He’s a middle weight who regularly pounds heavyweights.
      Look for him to continue with the hard heavy play.
      This series is must watch hockey. A little bit of everything going on.
      Smart move by Stamkos by grabbing Matthews and forcing him into the box for the oncoming PP.
      Mitch should have given Stammer some shots while he was tangled up with Matthews.
      I did feel kinda bad for Matthews though. He wasn’t sure what the heck was happening until he was bull dogged to the ice. Maybe this helps his courage going forward?

      • You could clearly understand why Keefe was incensed that the Leafs weren’t up 5 on 3 after that sequence.
        Kucherov jumped Rielly. The ref closest to the play didn’t even have his arm up when Point went into the boards. It was two guys competing for the puck and one guy lost an edge. Kucherov shoukd have got the extra penalty there. Then Stamkos instigates a fight with Matthews who is minding his own business…not squared off with anybody.

        As Keefe said post game “Tampa knew exactly what they were doing”
        I think Keefe has a much different reaction post game if they lost

        Maybe Stamkos just lit a fire under Matthews?

      • Ya, seems like Matthews hasn’t had much practice with the scraps growing up.

        Good to see the pushback, but I don’t think these types of incidents help the Leaf’s chances.

    • Obviously Mattews is a goon, picking a fight with old man Stamkos!!!!!!! 😉

  2. George, I wouldn’t be singing his praises at all

    Marchand , YES , a Super Pest and a Major Contributor

    It’s just Coopers twisted personality that brings this on , in the first place .

    Tampa paid a king ransom for this goon , for what , Appease Cooper !!

    • No Ken – actually – he acquired him to do exactly what he’s doing.

      You could ask the same question re Simmonds, i.e. why did Dubas give him a contract? It sure wasn’t for his skating ability or scoring prowess.

      The game has ALWAYS had it’s “enforcers” – for want of a better word – and I, for one, wouldn’t want it any other way. The day hockey goes to teams made up of St. Michael’s choirboys – regardless of how good they are in putting the puck in the net – is the day I look for different entertainment. Australian rules rugby perhaps? Or Irish hurling.

      • Hurling is viscious George. I used to play when we would go home to Ireland for the summers. I would come back to Canada black & blue.

        My friends thought I was being beaten while on holidays.

      • Oh, I know FD. At one time I thought nothing would beat competitive lacrosse … until I saw my first hurling match. JAY-sus!

  3. George , I don’t disagree with your thought process

    Luke Schenn, Simmons , ROR , McCabe – All combined didn’t cost what Tampa had to pay for 1 – “GOON! “

    Corey Perry is a more effective disturbance to the opposition IMO , at a pinch of the cost going to the other way
    Wish he was on Leafs 3rd line

  4. I am not a maple leaf fan due to what I hear all time, because of TSN and Sportsnet they are bias against every team that Toronto plays all hear how great they are. They r a good team but please there are other good teams in this league but all hear is how they get screwed when they lose and how great they are when they win. TSN and Sportsnet should give every team the same amount of coverage as the leafs, I still feel the leafs will lose in 7 games and then u hear how bad they were, I am sorry to air my grievances with u guys but I am just pee oh about TSN and Sportsnet sorry that’s how I feel now let’s watch some great hockey

    • Robo

      I’m a Leaf fan… have been for over 5 1/2 decades

      I fully agree with you

    • Robo, a lot of us in here share your thoughts on TSN and Sportsnet … and don’t forget CBC, the so-called State Broadcaster paid for by taxpayers from coast to coast to coast.

      What I have decided to do this time around is to mute the homer idiots so, with Ottawa out of the picture (again), I can pull for a Canada-based team to go all the way … and of the 3 teams still in the hunt, I truly believe the Leafs can be the one to bring the cup back to Canada for the first time in 30 years!

      If that happens I won’t exactly be doing cartwheels down the street or hoisting a Leafs pennant over my roof (OR tuning in to the fawning homers just mentioned for the rest of the summer at least), but I will be happy for a long-suffering grandson and daughter-in-law who live in Scarborough.

    • That’s so BS. I’m sure you want to hear more about the Yotes right, like as much as you do your team? I’m all for hearing about all teams and a neutral bias but seriously there only so much you can talk about teams that have less to talk about and from a business perspective, it’s best for them to talk about a team that has a very large fan base and maybe a bigger one of haters that can’t be bothered to ignore it.

      Leafs fans have to deal with a lot of the BS said about the team, which as a news flash (not that you need anyone to tell you) is usually dumb positive or not.

      Like at the time of writing this comment, there are 20 and I’m the only Leafs fan to make a comment. So I think we can see who’s responsible, right? I and I doubt any other Leafs fan honestly wouldn’t miss hearing about them by people who are biased when it comes to the team/players.

      I think the media does cater to attitudes like yours though. Either to stoke your fire or attempt to make home broadcasts of Leafs games sound like home broadcasters for the visitors especially if it’s another Canadian team or media darling team. If you subscribe to NHL and see other market teams home broadcasts, Toronto by far is the least Homerish when you compare other market team broadcasters including Canadian teams.

      • Ya this is pretty simple, Sportsnet and TSN have a job, make as much money as they can. That’s it.

        The more folks watch, click and read, the more revenue they make. So they try and attract the most viewers. They live in the GTA.

        Go figure?

        And as far as the CBC goes, they pay Sportsnet for the rights if I’m not mistaken and simply rebroadcast it using the same hosts and analysts.

      • Correct Ray and I would add they do a poor job. However, watching other markets as well as ESPN, they still are leaps-and-bounds better even with their senseless fawning of any given hot button, be it Marner, the potential that the young Ottawa team has, or the amazing Draisaitl, Makar, Cooper…

        I don’t know what I’d like to see… other than simple honest, unbiased analysis, not opinion or speculation and certainly someone entertaining and likable, not guys that have a hard time putting together a coherent thought. Too much to ask?

      • Hey Ron, Boston and Edmonton broadcasts are nearly unwatchable unless you are fans of these teams. The hometown bias is ridiculous.

  5. Well, for the first time in the Toronto/Tampa series, I thought that the better team on the ice lost. Tampa had multiple Grade A chances to put the game away, but didn’t get it done.

    As for ROR, I thought he was the best forward on the ice for either team at both ends of the ice. His box out in front of Toronto’s net was classic, something Tampa failed to do on the tying goal in the third. I think it was Cole who allowed ROR to establish position in front of Vas, which is surprising that a veteran like Cole allowed that to happen.

    • Hi Iago


      I personally thank the refs for giving Leafs the V

      Bolts out shot, out chanced; out hustled the Leafs; and deserved the win

      👍Refs… keep up the good Leaf work

    • Iago you’re right. Tampa should have won and the numbers show that. Samsonov shut the door after spotting them 3 soft goals…that’s encouraging. The deadline adds are paying off, that’s nice to see for once. Historically for this team playing a game like this one would have been a loss, they rallied from behind after being dominated in every way, scored in the dying minutes of the game and made good by winning in OT on the road.

      It would be just as great if it been any other team too, it just so happens to be the Leafs this time. Again, a pleasant surprise for a deserving fan base.

  6. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”

    “Be grateful when gifted something you didn’t deserve, and shut your gob”

    Old adages …. Certainly appropriate re Leafs win last night

    They won…. Sooooooo , never mind those old adages

    Leafs , outshot, out chanced, out hustled, truly bested in the game

    Thanks to the refs and Samsonov… Leafs now up 2-1 in this series

    I can’t believe the refs let all those missed calls go in the third ; especially the two hooks AND two blatant picks AFTER we pulled Samsonov…. Call any of those 4 … Bolts win in reg ; up 2-1 in series; which they deserve.

    And it continued in the OT… amok

    So….. for this fan, although embarrassing to win with obvious outside help…. Since I’ve been waiting 5 1/2 decades for a Leafs cup AND about two for a first round win…. I humbly thank the refs assistance for the win. Leafs couldn’t have done it without your help 🙏🙏🙏

    That said…. Hoping Karma doesn’t bite Leafs in the butt next game (or even in more games)

  7. Leafs won a game they were outplayed.

    Leafs who had two dirty hits in the series McCabe and Bunting are calling TB dirty?

    I hope the series goes 7, lots of physicality and a few injuries here and there just part of the process.

    Interesting that Both Ekbald and Morrissey initiate the hit and both are injured.

    For me watching the playoffs the player I’m most impressed with is Leon Draistl. What a player.

    Bertuzzi and Orlov lead the Bruins in scoring at 4pts each. So far the two are paying off. Need more production from the big boys.

    Can start watching playoff hockey at noon and go right up to midnight.

    I don’t feel well today, can’t get out to do spring cleanup. Just going to curl up and a blanket and watch TV all day. I hear Keith’s is good for what I got.

  8. As per Iago

    Strong , Accurate Post -Thank the great gazoo for the end Result

    As per Pengy – I disagree , the ref’s have been in no means favourable to either team .

    I just hold my breath , that they hold off any poor decision making , when it comes to the Leafs
    Game 1 was totally in Tampa’s favour

    • Ken,

      I thought that the cheap penalty calls went both ways in game one. I counted 4, with 2 against each team. I can’t imagine what game the refs were watching that day.

      • @SOP

        Maybe we will have to wait until Bunting gets back to TUNE the Goon !

        Lol !!!

        Catch him
        With a Cheap Shot
        Well worth Another Suspension

      • Ha! I’m certain that wouldn’t work out in Buntings favor. He could always give it a whirl though.

      • With the way they’re playing, if Keefe re-inserts Bunting into the line-up when his suspension is over he deserves to lose.

    • Hi Ken

      Overall games 1 & 2 , I agree

      Certainly not saying they consciously favoured Leafs in 3rd period and OT last night

      What happened with the last couple of mins in reg; AND in OT…. Refs proverbially “put their whistles away”…. For both sides

      However….. where Bolts may have gotten away with 2 questionable “maybes” in OT …. Leafs got away with 4 definite/absolute penalties when they pulled Samsinov… resulting in goal sending it to OT; and Leafs got away with at least a half dozen in OT

      Putting their whistles away…. Literally won the game (undeservedly) for Leafs

      So deliberate or not … Refs (thank you) won the game for Leafs

      • Pengy…Hearing the Penguins have really discussed Gibson at length…

        Anaheim needs some defense bad and a few vets to help all those young players.
        Blockbuster that makes sense for both teams.

        To Pittsburgh:
        – John Gibson 29 $6.4 M
        – Adam Henrique 33cc $.825 M one year left
        – Max Comtois 24 RFA $ 2.035 M
        $ 14.3 million to PITT

        To Anaheim:
        – Brian Rust 30 $5.125 M 2027
        – Jeff Petry 35 $ 6.25 M 2024
        – P O Joseph 24 $ 825,000 2024 RFA
        – Jeff Carter 3 $ 3.125 M UFA
        – # 2 pick 2023
        $ 15. 1 to ANA

        We get our elite goalie,
        we get our third line center
        and a 24 year old 4th line winger who is 2 years removed from 17 goals and he is tough….

        Anaheim gets P O J who fits there young core and can play second pair, the get a perennial 20 goal scorer in Rust to bury some goals, a rhd vet in Ptery rto help stabilize and Jeff Carter a pending UFA to balance out the money and a second round pick.

        we still have money to spend on a Carson Soucy and a Matt Dumba……Jan Rutta / Ty Smith your third pair..

  9. Leafs were given the game Tampa made it 4-2 and goal called off it was exact goal Florida scored on Boston after whistle went. If someone can justify I will gladly listen but watched both 10 times they are the same.

    • Obe what? Tampa never made it 4-2 and I don’t know what goal was called back. There’s been some poor calls in every series and like some have commented it’s weak to point to the refs for a loss.

      I guess to give props to a good hockey team that in the past would of definitely lost that game, too much for you and others that look for excuses to why the won. Great character trait there! Stay strong. I can’t see anything wrong with that game, it had everything.

      I guess talking about hockey takes a second seat since not one comment was about anything that we saw nor any talk about any other team… like the Kings gutsy win. I’m heading to todays game, hope they win but not expecting it but can’t wait to watch McD do his thing…I expect he’s going to be brilliant.

      • Well, the 4-2 goal that wasn’t and the surrounding controversy will come up again….first period of Boston/Florida..puck between goalies pads…..Marchand sees it open, pushes it in….just like Point…whistle is a split second late, but you can hear it….result….good goal. Identical situation….different referee reaction….perhaps game changer in both situations.

      • You can always tell when it’s an American with no knowledge of hockey makes a comment. The point goal did not count because he hit it again after the whistle. In Marchands case the puck was shot before the whistle and then went into the net so it’s a good goal. Unbelievable that I have to explain that. By the way both goals went to the situation room where they were reviewed so it was not the refs who did anything although they were both the correct calls.

      • Well well well, what the heck. Perhaps you aren’t feeling well today ? Maybe some alka-seltzer or aspirin might help ? Or maybe a nice big gulp of Crown Royal ?

        Perhaps you should read my post again. I never insinuated that the calls were incorrect. Any idiot who follows hockey knows the rules about when whistles blow – even you.

        I suppose that every country has their rude, arrogant, condescending residents who think that their residence gives them exclusive knowledge and power of judgement about anything hockey related (it doesn’t). I guess ugly is ugly, no matter where you live.

      • Lol Florida scored game 3 to make it 4-2 puck was defiantly hit after whistle goal counted. Point did exact same thing and didn’t count and would have made it 4-2 Cooper went nuts he was right. I’m not talking about Marchand goal. Whistle didn’t even blow on Marchand goal and I’m Canadian but how our Country is being run not sure I should mention it but US is worse.

      • That’s just a tad … elitist? Whattheheck

  10. @ Obe

    Sometimes a ref mouth gets dry !

    It’s not they have a mint in their top pocket to saliva on..

    Blowing the odd whistle without necessary need helps with the dry mouth !