NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2023
The Stars beat the Golden Knights again to stay alive in the Western Conference Final plus the latest on Matthew Tkachuk, the Leafs GM search and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines
NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars avoided elimination again by doubling up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Ty Dellandrea scored the game-winner and the insurance goal in just over a minute and a half midway through the third period while Jake Oettinger got the win with a 27-save performance.
The Stars had to overcome 1-0 and 2-1 deficits as the Golden Knights got goals from Ivan Barbashev and Chandler Stephenson. Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault extended his points streak to four games with two assists in this contest.
Game 6 is Monday night in Dallas with the Golden Knights holding a 3-2 series lead.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights still hold the advantage in this series but the momentum has shifted in the Stars’ favor. Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy attempted to downplay the pressure now placed on his team after failing to eliminate the Stars in the last two games. Nevertheless, he has to ensure that doubts aren’t starting to creep in among his players after blowing two opportunities to end this series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Meanwhile, the Stars’ confidence has returned. They now believe they can win, which is a much better place to be mentally and emotionally after playing desperation hockey following their disastrous Game 3 performance.
The Stars will also benefit from team captain Jamie Benn returning to the lineup for Game 6 following his two-game suspension, provided he doesn’t let his emotions get the better of him again. They still face elimination but they have to like their chances now as they return to home ice.
With the Stars forcing Game 6 on Monday, the 2023 Stanley Cup Final will officially begin on Saturday, June 3 in either Dallas or Las Vegas.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk joined Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Anderson on the NBA on TNT pregame show on Saturday night ahead of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Final between the host Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tkachuk bantered for several minutes with the hosts over his performance in the Eastern Conference Final and the postseason thus far. He and his teammates are awaiting the winner of the Western Conference Final.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Toronto Maple Leafs have held preliminary discussions with Doug Wilson regarding their vacant general manager position.
Wilson was GM of the San Jose Sharks from 2003 until stepping down in 2022 for medical reasons. With his health improving, he is reportedly interested in returning to the NHL in some capacity.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson is just one of several former NHL general managers being interviewed by the Maple Leafs. Others reportedly include Brad Treliving, Marc Bergevin, Peter Chiarelli and Jason Botterill.
TORONTO SUN: The Leafs ongoing search for a new general manager has left their unrestricted free agents such as Luke Schenn in limbo. They’re forced to wait until the dust settles before they can find out if the Leafs intend to bring them back on new contracts.
OTTAWA SUN: The four potential buyers of the Senators met last week with Anna and Olivia Melnyk, daughters of the club’s late owner Eugene Melnyk. They’re among several groups that must sign off on the sale of the franchise. Anna and Olivia wish to maintain a 10 percent stake in the Senators.
A preferred bidder could be selected by the end of this week.
THE SCORE: Germany pulled off a major upset in the IIHF World Championship by defeating Team USA 4-3 in overtime of their semifinal game. They advance to face Canada in the gold-medal game on Sunday.