NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2023

by | May 15, 2023 | News, NHL | 34 comments

The Golden Knights advance to the Western Conference Finals, an update on the Blue Jackets’ search for a new head coach, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights are marching on to the Western Conference Finals after defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 in Game 6 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Jonathan Marchessault tallied a natural hat trick to erase an Oilers’ 2-1 lead while Adin Hill kicked out 38 shots for the win. The Golden Knights face the winner of tonight’s Game 7 between the Dallas Stars and the Seattle Kraken in Dallas.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights have reached the Western Conference Finals four times in their six-year history. They outscored the Oilers (18-9) at even strength, received solid goaltending from Adin Hill after Laurent Brossoit was sidelined by injury in Game 4, and limited Oilers star Leon Draisaitl to just one point in four games after he tallied six times in the first two contests.

Draisaitl wasn’t the only one struggling to score in this series. Injuries appeared to hamper Evander Kane and Zach Hyman as they had just one goal between them against Vegas. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was also limited to one goal.

The Oilers got shaky goaltending from Calder Trophy finalist Stuart Skinner, who got the hook in Game 7 for the third time in this series. It raised questions over why head coach Jay Woodcroft didn’t at least give Jack Campbell a start against Vegas. Campbell relieved Skinner four times in this postseason, finishing with a 1.01 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage.

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen hopes to have a new head coach in place before he departs on May 21 for the IIHF World Championships in Europe.

The Jackets have not requested permission from the New York Rangers to speak with Gerard Gallant after those two parted ways on May 6. Gallant still has a year left on his contract with the Rangers. He previously coached the Blue Jackets from 2003-04 to 2006-07.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the World Championships, Washington Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sandin has made his presence felt playing for Sweden. He leveled Austria’s David Reinbacher with a huge hip check during yesterday’s game between the two countries.

Reinbacher is a prospect in this year’s draft class. He was sidelined for the remainder of the game and will undergo further evaluation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some scouts consider Reinbacher to be among the top 10 in this year’s prospect class. It’ll be interesting to see if this injury affects his value in the draft should he be sidelined for the rest of the tournament.

SPORTSNET: Los Angeles-based producer Neko Sparks has reportedly partnered with First Nations groups in Canada in his bid for the Ottawa Senators. A source said it was not a token involvement but one that would give First Nations Peoples a seat at the table. Rapper Snoop Dog is also among Sparks’ partners in his attempt to purchase the Senators. The deadline for final bids is May 15.



  1. So much for the All-Canada SCF. Maybe next year…….

  2. Oilers stars didn’t show up when it mattered in this series.

    Another wasted year with McD in his prime.

  3. It would be interesting to hear Woodcroft’s reasoning behind not starting Campbell at least once – especially when he felt it was necessary to pull his goalie FIVE times in the playoffs.

    • There was a poll in Edmonton and the Fans wanted Jack Campbell to start the game 65% to 35 % wanted Stu Skinner🤔

      All in All Skinner played very very well for a Rookie in his first year in the NHL taking the starting job as #1 Goaltender,….. 👌

      But Remember he is only a kid at 24 yrs old….
      a bit shakie the vegas series, the oil should have played Jack Campbell more But Great Experince for Stu👍

      For all you fans out there… Goaltenders take longer to Ripen up….( Ken Holland term) love it…..👌
      To gain the proper Experience they need to develope in the AHL….

      Look at local Edmonton product young 24 yr old Carter Hart in Philly …? They have wasted this kid rushing him up @ 20 yrs old to the NHL…
      Now 4 seasons and his numbers have got Worse every year…⁉️ the kid looks dejected now😳

      • You could also have the best goalie ever and that probably wouldn’t change the result…that D was bad from game one. Once you shut down that potent offense the warts on the back end are ripe for the picking.

      • All true … but at what point does it sink in to the coach’s skull that repeated yankings – which MAY – but not a;ways – be shrugged off by veteran goalies, can’t be doing a rookie any good between the ears?

      • Valid point there.

  4. @George

    It is odd for sure

    • I kinda get it with the Oil tenders. We were out fishing in BC and debating it the pub after game 5.

      It was hard to make a good case for starting either one. Skinner was the better guy all year, but struggled of late. Campbell was brutal for the majority of the season. Not just struggling here and there, but brutal. All we agreed on was we were happy we were not the ones making the call.

      Sort of heads you win, tails I lose.

  5. sweet another No Canada Cup year. One day the Dodgers and the Yankees will manage payroll correctly and greedy agents will go away…. nope

    • A lot of similarities between the last two Canadian teams left standing

      – good seasonal results – well up in the standings

      – each a couple of seasonal top points producers

      – each top heavy in terms of the % of the cap devoted to 4 players

      – each needing improvements on the D

      – each needing better – or at least more consistent and reliable goaltending

  6. Oh, and before I forget

    – each with a head coach who has raised questions with game decisions

    • Good points that can be made with most teams that get eliminated, really. I see it more unstoppable force meeting an unmovable item. Somehow one will beat the other if it figures out first how to do that. Of course there is much more to it but generally we’ve witnessed this very thing in a few series so far this playoffs.

      Vegas man, talk about fast tracking or accelerating a team’s development. In six short years they’ve accomplished more than any team not named the Lightning. Bold moves producing great results so far. Shot straight out of a cannon!

  7. Happy for Bruce Cassidy, wonder if Sweeney has any regret or if Cassidy send him a thankyou note.

    Vegas will be in the finals.

    I think Gary Bettman is in his glory.

    If Seattle wins his last two expansion teams will be playing in the conference finals.

    If Dallas wins 4 southern markets in the conferences finals

    • Caper, all I know is that none the 4 I picked for the final 4 made it.

      • So far I have Carolina and Vegas and if Dallas can beat Seattle in game 7 I’ll be 3 for 4.

      • I have Florida, and Dallas, if they win.

    • Cue the lowest ratings for the next rounds now that teams who play in front of not packed arenas during the season make a glorious run to the cup.

      That oughta boost the popularity of this sport…

      All the teams including Seattle deserve it and hope these non traditional markets realize how lucky they are and watch a worthy match.

      • You might want to check this years regular season attendance for the teams you are referring to.

      • GP what are they compared to hockey markets? What teams have I misspoke about? I just wanna know where I’m wrong.

    • Ray, like you and many others on here I’ve watched a lot of hockey over the years. But for some reason this year loss by the Bruins stung more than any other time.

      I picked Toronto to go to the finals this year. It was between Edmonton and Vegas for the west finals.

      Strange now that I don’t have a team to cheer for and none to cheer against.

      Because I think Cassidy got a raw deal in Boston and Vegas has 5 Manitobians (Patrick not playing) I will cheer for Vegas.

      Or cheer for the opposite of sportsnet picks.

      • Boston simply fell victim to a situation repeated often over the years in NHL playoffs … a great team miles ahead of everyone else as the regular season wore down, falling into a coasting mode meets a very good team which, the season before, were where the Bruins were this time around, but this season had to get into playoff mode over the final weeks of the regular season just to make the playoffs.

      • Ya, same boat for me with no one to cheer for or against.
        Gonna go with Carolina, with all the injuries, plus knocking on the door for a while. I like the team game Rod the Bod has implemented, and they have bought in. Overcoming those injuries would be a good story.

        Ya George, I was harping on here about how the B’s weren’t playing well down the stretch and it concerned me. But when your team plays that well during the season, you gotta pick em. Just the way it works.

  8. There was some discussion a few days ago about the consequences of paying a team’s top forwards too much as a % of the cap.

    I had a look at the remaining playoff teams. No team has a player making more than 10 million.

    However, here are the % of the salary cap paid to the top 5 players on each team left in the playoffs:

    Florida: 52.7%
    Vegas: 47.9%
    Dallas: 50%
    Carolina: 36.9%
    Kraken: 33.4%

    The Oilers, by the way, come out at 50.7

    This surprised me, as the much maligned cap management of the Leafs top 5 paid players eat 52.7% of their cap.

    So the issue with the Leafs is not that they are out of step with their cap distribution compared to the rest of the league’s best teams. With both the Leafs and the Oilers, it was the lack of secondary scoring that did them in.

    • Good analysis LJ. And in short order both Carolina and Seattle will find themselves edging up into those top figures as and when they have to start paying their secondary scoring the kind of salaries commensurate with their contributions.

      • In Carolina’s case it’s the defensemen and goaltending that they will have to start paying in the next two years.

    • LJ is $10M a good idea to pay a goalie?

  9. Another early exit for Mathews and Mc Jesus oh well ho hum….

    Mc David did everything he could playing hard and playing well while Auston Matthews is as soft as Kleenex tissue. .

    .Edmonton stars showed up but they aren’t deep enough as a team and Toronto the team was deep enough but the stars didn’t show up. $32 million dollars for 1 goal in the second round for Mariner/Matthews and Tavares.

    Do you think either leaves their city for a chance to win a Cup ?

    That is why —-
    Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin

    Jonathan Towes/Patrick Kane

    Andre Koptiar/Drew Doughty

    Mario Lemieux/Jaromir Jagr

    Wayne Gretzky Mark Messier

    Brian Trottier Mike Bossy

    were so great they had it that F you they battled they scratched clawed checked and won.

    Not sure Mc David /Matthews and some others have that it factor They maybe need to change teams only time will tell. McKinnon has seemed to learn what it takes to learn, grind and win.

    • You’re right both those players suck. Hopefully the Leafs and Oilers can get a bag of pucks for those players. 🙄

      • Ron…I didn’t say there were bad players. They are two of the most talented players that ever played gifted, fast, skilled.

        But hey don’t win and the greats are measured by Titles and that makes their legacies.


        Until Mc Jesus and Matthews win they will be the Charles Barkley of the NHL bottom line.

        Look at the monkey Ovechkin got off his back when he won a Stanley Cup ..it is a fact Titles and Cups cement legacies.

  10. The Oilers last night,
    An other Banner Game by the Oilers $9.M dollar d/man Mr Nurse…🙈❗️🙈

    Oilers 1st paring of Nurse & Ceci we Brutal again last night, they should be the 3rd paring, i really dont know were the Oil are going with Nurse paying him $9.M PA as they are in Cap HELL

    1/ Nurse was on the ice for the 2nd Vegas Goal made a bad play, it was a easy goal for Jonathan Marchessault

    2/ Nurse was on the ice for the 3rd Vegas Goal
    him and 2 forwards all skated towards the puck and left Jonathan Marchessault on his own Wide open to score

    3/ Nurse was also on the ice for Goal #4…
    vegas had 2 forwards left un marked behind Nurse Again

    • Wow does Nurse make $ 9 million wow…

      Who made that deal?

    • They got Ekholm for a reason to be on the number one defense pairing?

      A couple times the Edmonton goalie was left all alone three oilers left the front of the net???

  11. Wow does Nurse make $ 9 million wow…

    Who made that deal?