NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 26, 2023
The Oilers and Stars take 3-2 leads in their respective series, the Islanders stave off elimination, Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar suspended, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers are poised to eliminate the Los Angeles Kings following a 6-3 victory in Game 5 of their best-of-seven first-round series. Nick Bjugstad scored twice while Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse and Mattias Ekholm each collected two assists for the Oilers, who hold a 3-2 lead in the series. Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who pulled goaltender Joonas Korpisalo after he gave up four goals on 19 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There will be a long layoff for both clubs as Game 6 goes Saturday in Los Angeles. The Oilers will hope this doesn’t stall their momentum following back-to-back wins while the Kings attempt to regroup and prepare for a season-saving win on home ice.
Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz had three assists in his club’s 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their first-round series. Jake Oettinger kicked out 27 shots to become the first goaltender in the 2023 playoffs to record a shutout. With a 3-2 series lead, the Stars can close out the series in Game 6 on Friday in Minnesota.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hintz has 11 points this postseason, setting a franchise record for most points in a single series. Wild forward Marcus Foligno was ejected from this game for a knee-on-knee hit on Stars forward Radek Faksa, who was helped from the ice but did return to action later in the game.
The New York Islanders staved off elimination by nipping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Brock Nelson and Pierre Engvall each had a goal and an assist while Ilya Sorokin stopped 34 shots. Sebastian Aho and Paul Stastny replied for the Hurricanes, who hold a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 on Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win by the Islanders as they showed considerably more energy and determination than they did in Game 4 on home ice.
NHL.COM: The department of player safety levied a one-game suspension on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar for interference against Seattle Kraken forward Jared McCann during Game 4 of their series on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McCann suffered an upper-body injury. He will miss Game 5 tonight and could be sidelined indefinitely.
TAMPA BAY TIMES/TORONTO SUN: Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy isn’t solely to blame for his club’s collapse in their last two games putting them on the brink of elimination. However, the Bolts need him to be at his best in Game 5 on Thursday to avoid elimination by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vasilevskiy remains a very good goaltender but the team in front of him isn’t as deep as it once was. The Lightning’s roster has been steadily depleted as salary-cap constraints led to several key players departing via free agency or cost-cutting trades. That means the Lightning’s opponents are getting more scoring chances.
Fatigue could also be a factor. Vasilevskiy and his fellow Lightning core players have played a lot of hockey over the past three seasons. Reaching the Stanley Cup Final in three straight seasons eventually takes its toll.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Mark Scheifele traveled with the Jets to Las Vegas for Game 5 of their series against the Golden Knights. He left Game 4 with an apparent shoulder/collarbone injury but it’s hoped he’ll be able to play in Thursday’s crucial game. The Jets face elimination as they’re down three games to one to Vegas.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets coach Rick Bowness said Scheifele is day-to-day but added he looked better yesterday. “Let’s put him in the hopeful category for Thursday,” said Bowness.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Speaking of the Golden Knights, team captain Mark Stone warned his teammates against complacency as they head into Game 5 with a chance to close out the series on home ice. “It’s going to be the hardest one, boys,” said Stone following their Game 4 victory. “Be ready!”
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Patrice Bergeron could make his series debut against the Florida Panthers in Game 5 tonight in Boston. The Bruins captain has been sidelined by an upper-body injury. Center David Krejci remains out with an upper-body injury.
THE SCORE: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and winger Anthony Duclair will return to action in Game 5 against the Bruins tonight. Both players missed Game 4 with injuries.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant is calling out his best players following their lackluster loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 4. “For me, it’s the top-six forwards,” said Gallant. “They’ve got to be a lot better. They’ve got to be more productive.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players include Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko and Vincent Trocheck. The only one who’s played well consistently is winger Chris Kreider. He’s had points in every game and leads the Rangers with five goals.
IN OTHER NEWS…
CALGARY SUN: The long, sometimes acrimonious negotiations between the city of Calgary and the Flames regarding a new arena have finally ended in a deal. The city has an agreement in principle with the team and the province of Alberta on a $1.22-billion deal to replace the aging Saddledome.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, I’m happy for Flames fans and players that they’re going to get a new state-of-the-art arena. It will put an end to concerns about the club relocating without a deal, ensuring their longstanding rivalry with Edmonton (“The Battle of Alberta”) continues to provide entertainment for hockey fans for a long time.
On the other hand, that $1.22 billion price tag is considerably higher than the original estimate of $550 million before cost escalations to $634 million prompted the city to reject it. This new agreement sees the bulk of the cost being picked up by municipal and provincial governments.
Speaking of the Flames, winger Andrew Mangiapane is recovering from shoulder surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. He admitted that his shoulder had bothered him on and off during the season. That would explain the drop in his production this season.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators’ improved performance this season resulted in improved ticket sales. They played to 90 percent capacity in their 41 home games this season. They averaged 16, 757 fans this season, their highest since 2016-17.
Something they don’t mention in that report on the Senator’s home attendance was that several home dates occurred in the midst of snow/freezing rain storms (one was so brutal they had to postpone it because the visiting team couldn’t get here).
Seeing a bunch of Oilers fans copy Will Ferrell’s face paint last night was great! Can’t wait to see if Will Ferrell will have fun with this and see what he will come up with for game 6. lol
That was so funny seeing the oilers fans with W.F Painted Faces….😂
last night you could hardly hear Stu Skinners interview with +5,000 Oilers fan outside Singing and chanting👀😁
Oil seem to have broken the seal on Korpisalo, not the first tender they have done that to.
11 goals in last 2 games.
PP is above 50%, likely not sustainable, but stay out of the box LA or you’re toast.
So the province bucks up $330M for the arena district deal for Calgary and Edmonton doesn’t get a nickel? Good negotiation by Edwards and the CSEC to pull that off, and would hate to think they used the upcoming tight election as leverage.
Commonwealth needs an upgrade…..
Plus Calgary is getting an additional $25 million from the province for the destruction of the Saddledome.
I found the keywords from the Premier were “will be finalized after the election.”
They did say later on today after half of Edmonton called them….‼️
Aftwer Calgary got $300M….
That Wacko Daniel Smith said they are looking at giving the Katz group $$ for Stage 2 of the Ice district development …..
She The Premier Could not Run a Tap that Lady… Never mind Run the Province of Alberta..😳😂🤣
You hate to think the upcoming election played a part in Calgary (leaning unusually to the NDP) getting funding and Edmonton (always NDP) getting none from the UCP is due to the election Ray? I hope you don’t live in Edmonton.
I do live in the Calgary area and I don’t think Lyle wants us to get into politics here.
But if you knew how things are here in Alberta you would know how desperate the UCP party is right now.
In this instance, I’ll accept it, KevJam. My first thought when I saw this report was the UCP is desperately trying to buy votes in Calgary because their re-election hinges on winning votes in that city where they’re currently doing poorly according to polls.
I live in the lovely community of St Albert LJ, just north of Edmonton but part of the greater Edmonton area.
I usually don’t like to assign motive to folks when I don’t know for sure, but this seems pretty likely and was being slightly sarcastic.
Which does not always come through in print.
The link KevJam posted below makes it seem pretty obvious. Will probably work too.
4 games into round one and my bracket is looking so-so. My West picks are looking better than the East picks.
West I have:
Colorado in 6. This is looking like it will go 7. I really wouldn’t mind if I get this one wrong.
Dallas in 6. This is looking true.
Vegas in 7. This is looking like I’m right with Vegas, but will probably be done in 5.
Edmonton in 6. After last night this is looking really good.
East I have:
Boston in 5. This is looking really good.
Tampa in 6. This can’t happen in 6 and is looking like the Leafs will get their first-round win in a long time. I guess it was bound to happen sometime. lol
NYI in 7. I thought with Carolina’s key injuries and Sorokin in the net for the Islanders this would be an advantage for NYI.
NJD in 6. This is looking like it will go 7. Who would have thought after the first two games, but NJD really turned things around.
I had the NYR beating NJ, I thought the Devil’s lack of experience and size would cost them. Turns out they caught on after only 2 games.
And oh yeah, who the F is Akira Schmid? Wow, outta nowhere.
Don’t get goalie’d Rags and start firing, getting to the net and getting traffic.
I was going back and forth on the NYR and NJD series. The deciding factor for me was seeing that the Rangers have Kakko and Lafreniere down on their third line. IMO those are the wrong types of players to have on a third line.
This really brought to light how bad the Rangers drafting has been the last bunch of years. 4 top 10 picks in the last 6 years and Kakko and Lafreniere are the only two on the team and they are on the third line.
Ray, I took NJ in 6. Nothing they do this year will surprise me. Over 82 games they finished with a 52 22 8 112 pts record, with a goal differential of + 65. Only Boston was significantly better in all areas.
The Devils were 5 pts better than NYR whose goal differential was +58, 2 better than Colorado (+54), 1 pt better than Carolina, Toronto and Vegas (+53, +54 and +43 respectively).
If they beat the Rags George they will have earned it. Tough draw for an inexperienced team.
NJ tending was a big question mark for me as well, Schmid has been on fire the last 2. We will see if that continues.
But to your point other than game 2 they have been out chancing the Rags as well. Exactly how they played most of the season. Go figure.
The Avalanche got to forget about not having Makar; stupid play on his part! Attitude has been poor. They think they are entitled while Kraken could care less and have come to play in this series! The Avalanche are their own worst enemy, not winning puck battles, turning the puck over and generally thinking they have all day out there. Need to up the urgency big time and take care of the puck. Also, need to protect their goaltender and not let guys just walk down main Street for great scoring opportunities. Pull your heads out of your ass. GO AVS!!!!
“ This new agreement sees the bulk of the cost being picked up by municipal and provincial governments.”
Again I have no idea why they should allow this. Do Oilers fans feel they should pay part of the costs, because they will be. Also who makes these deals? The people of Alberta pay for this arena who will have the billionaire’s toy, errr team play there but not pay for it, in fact the profits do not go back to the province and the city! I’m happy that I think 25% is held back until after the election. I hope the current government is booted out and hope people not living in Calgary cause the deal to fail. Talk about BS.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind socializing the costs but take a huge issue over privatizing the profits. If a city or in this case whole province is asked to pony up, they should have an equal share of the profits. Tax dollars should not be spent on buying billionaires’ toys! They need to be spent on bettering the province and the people in it, not to billionaires and their toys.
The last line of this link makes me sick as an Albertan.
That blatant voter blackmail should be illegal.
The maturity and calmness Skinner exhibited after being rattled and then pulled in the previous game makes me see him as a bona fide goaltender. You can see the team plays with confidence in front of him more and more as each game is played.
Politics aside (and they not s concern on this site) glad to see a new arena coming in Calgary
Oil… line juggling and loading up a line with McDLeon… paid off
Kempe’s goal was nice; but Oil played very well
4 days off???? Has that happened first round before??
Certainly not counting the result ahead of time …. But…. Is the Bruins choir gearing up for …. “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, hey, goodbye “
Makar…. Uncharacteristic…. But suspension warranted.
McCann loss is significant for Kraken
I fully believe the cup champs will play much more like champs
Im happy the Flames are getting a New Areina too..
it would Not be the Same with No Flames…
All Oiler fans are happy,
as an Oilers fan, Im happy they get a New Arena
So we can continue to Kick there Ass….😁
But its a political Game that going on in Alberta right now,
The conservatives are playing it up and D.Smith is a Complet 5***** Dangerous WACO‼️😳