NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2023
The Golden Knights advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the schedule for the Final is released, plus the latest on Milan Lucic, Oliver Wahlstrom and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights are heading to the Stanley Cup Final after blanking the Dallas Stars 6-0 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final to win the series four games to two. It’s the second time in the Golden Knights’ six-season history that they’ve gone to the Cup Final.
Adin Hill stopped 23 shots for his second career playoff shutout while William Karlsson scored twice and collected an assist. William Carrier, Keegan Kolesar and Michael Amadio each had a goal and an assist.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As in the Golden Knights’ lopsided victory in Game 3, they jumped out to an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back. They dominated the Stars with their aggressive forecheck and exploited the Stars’ defensive breakdowns.
Vegas’ quick start was powered by the fourth line of Carrier, Kolesar and Nicolas Roy. They started the game on the opening faceoff and were key to their club’s quick start with Carrier and Kolesar tallying two of the Golden Knights’ three first-period goals.
It was another tough night for Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger as he gave up all six goals. However, Stars head coach Peter DeBoer pointed out that his club left Oettinger hung out to dry. “We put him in some tough spots,” said DeBoer. “We can’t ask him to win that game all by himself.”
Stars captain Jamie Benn returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for cross-checking Vegas captain Mark Stone in Game 3. However, he was a non-factor in this game.
The Golden Knights will face off against the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final with Game 1 in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 3 at 8 pm ET.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers will have had a 10-day break from the end of the Eastern Conference Final to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. They intend on making the most of it to prepare for the Golden Knights and allow time for banged-up players to recuperate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The downside of such a lengthy break is the Panthers could be rusty when they face off against the Golden Knights on Saturday. Practice helps but is no substitute for game action.
TSN: Milan Lucic is mulling his future after helping Canada win gold at the 2023 IIHF World Championship. The 34-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after spending the past four seasons with the Calgary Flames. He said he’ll spend the next month thinking about the next step in his career and the best fit moving forward.
NEW YORK POST: Oliver Wahlstrom’s role with the Islanders remains unclear heading into the offseason. The 22-year-old restricted free-agent winger is expected to be back with the Isles next season.
Because it’s unclear whether veteran wingers like Pierre Engvall, Zack Parise and Josh Bailey will return next season, it’s unclear whether Wahlstrom will move into a top-six role with the Isles next season.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports NHL sources claimed the sale of the Senators has reached its final pivotal stages. One of the sources believes Toronto billionaire Steve Apostopoulos had the highest bid at $1 billion USD. “It’s getting there,” said one source, adding it’s hoped there will be something announced later this week.