NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 4, 2023

by | May 4, 2023 | News, NHL | 28 comments

The Golden Knights defeat the Oilers despite Leon Draisaitl’s four-goal performance, the Hurricanes cruise to an easy win over the Devils, and the Calder Trophy finalists are announced. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl scored all four of his club’s goals but it wasn’t enough to prevent his team from falling 6-4 to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Ivan Barbashev scored twice while Mark Stone and Jack Eichel each had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Game 2 goes Saturday evening in Las Vegas.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the second time in this second round that a player scored four goals for the losing side in the opening game of their series. Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski set an NHL record as the oldest player to tally four times in a playoff game as his club dropped a 5-4 decision to the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.

Edmonton opened the scoring but spent the rest of the game playing catch-up with Vegas. Their vaunted power-play went two-for-three on the night but Vegas did a good job limiting their trips to the penalty box. The Golden Knights outperformed the Oilers at 5-on-5 play, using an aggressive forecheck to create scoring opportunities.

The Oilers also lost forward Mattias Janmark in the first period after he fell awkwardly and struck his head against the boards.

The Carolina Hurricanes cruised to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of their second-round series. Seth Jarvis scored what proved to be the winning goal, Frederik Andersen stopped 17 shots while Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook each collected two assists. Nate Bastian replied for the Devils while first-round hero Akira Schmid was pulled early in the second period after giving up three goals on 11 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmid wasn’t solely to blame for the Devils’ loss. By the end of the first period, Carolina led 2-0 and outshot the Devils 10-1. Schmid and his teammates were dominated by the Hurricanes’ suffocating defensive game and did little to contain their offense.


NHL.COM: Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power, and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner as the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as this season’s rookie of the year. The winner will be announced during the 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 26.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant wasn’t pleased over recent speculation suggesting he could lose his job following his club’s first-round exit from the 2023 playoffs.

I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about me getting fired,” he said during his end-of-season press conference. “If I can’t stand by my record and what I’ve done, I think there’s something wrong.”

Gallant said he hasn’t talked to Rangers general manager Chris Drury about his future. He’s the first coach in club history to have back-to-back 100-point seasons in his first two years with the franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers media seems to be seeking a scapegoat for the Rangers’ disappointing end to their season. It’s possible that Gallant’s bosses decide to go in a different direction but I think he’s earned the right to return behind their bench next season. He’s not going anywhere unless the players are unhappy with his coaching and express their concerns to Drury.

Patrick Kane’s short tenure with the Rangers is likely over. The pending unrestricted free-agent winger was acquired from Chicago before the trade deadline. He’s mulling surgery for an injury that’s nagged him for the last two years and clearly affected his performance this season. Kane indicated he’d love to return but acknowledged their limited cap space and younger players they need to re-sign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has thus far declined to provide details about his health but it’s been rumored for months that he’s been hampered by a hip injury. That will affect his value in this summer’s free-agent market, especially if he requires surgery that could sideline him for the start of next season.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has a year remaining on his contract but he hopes to finish his career in Tampa Bay. “This is the only jersey I ever want to wear,” said Stamkos, who was drafted first overall by the Lightning in 2008. He’s hopeful they’ll begin contract extension talks this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos is completing the seventh season of an eight-year, $68 million contract with an average annual value of $8.5 million. The Lightning captain was once again among his club’s leading scorers with 84 points in 81 games. He’s undoubtedly aware of the Bolts’ limited cap space in 2024-25 as they currently have a projected $26.9 million available with just nine players under contract for that season.

Because Florida doesn’t have a state tax, I can see Stamkos accepting a bit of a pay cut to finish his career in Tampa Bay. How much he’ll accept and whether the Lightning can afford him remains to be seen.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Bo Horvat admitted the trade from the Vancouver Canucks to the New York Islanders took a mental toll on him this season. However, he credited the Islanders’ efforts to relieve that pressure when it came to relocating his family from Vancouver to Long Island.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild seemed to lose confidence in young players Marco Rossi and Calen Addison this season. While that’s led to questions about their future, the Wild’s cap constraints could give them no choice but to give them another opportunity next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addison recently surfaced as a trade candidate after becoming a healthy scratch once the Wild acquired John Klingberg at the trade deadline.

TSN: The Washington Capitals intend to interview Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern for their vacant head-coaching position. The Capitals recently parted ways with bench boss Peter Laviolette. Halpern spent seven of his 14-season NHL playing career with the Capitals.

OTTAWA SUN: NHL defenseman Mark Borowiecki announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons spent with the Senators and Nashville Predators. A rugged blueliner, the 33-year-old Borowiecki missed all but four games this season to concussion symptoms. In 458 games, he tallied 15 goals and 56 points along with 848 PIMs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Borowiecki in his recovery and his future endeavors.


  1. Three strings four goals
    Draisatl vier ziele

    Still not enough, but fun to watch…I love high scoring games.

    848 for Skinner….. but a bad giveaway and two deflections/tips are a big chunk of that.

    Oil need to tighten up defensively for sure

    • Nice try in German, Pengy 🙂

      • Thanks Juss76

        Had to Google it

        I can count to ten in German (would not know how to spell it) and know a couple of other words…. But that’s it

        I’ve got somewhat distant (5 generations back) and a small amount; of German blood in me

    • Oilers d last might was NOT on there Game Especaly the so called 1st paring of Nurse & Cody Ceci…⁉️

      RD, Cody Ceci is more of the 3rd pairing guy always not in the right place his game is Disorganised..

      LD Nurse is more a 2nd paring d/man… As of July 1st he becomes the 2nd highest paied Oiler @ $9.2M
      after 97…❗️
      The Oilers need to upgrade that 1st RD position July first……….
      The Window to Trade Nurse is open till July 1st then he has a NMC…..🙈…..🤔

      • willie, who are you gonna replace Nurse with on a contending team like the Oil?
        Nurse is a very good D-man, not an elite D-man, and he is first pair all day every day. He is overpaid, but there is also a reason Holland had to do that. And I agree with the decision, when you consider the options.

        Prior to Ekholm he played the most minutes of any d-man on the Oil against the toughest competition. Not sure if he finished the year this way, but prior to Ekholm he played the most minutes against the top opposition in the entire NHL. Finished + 26.

        The guy that was exposed last night, again, was Desharnais, but he lacks experience, especially in playoffs, and there is only 1 way to get it. Play him.

        Nurse made one bad turn, and in reality if Draisaitl didn’t let up on the back check, it was the right decision, depends when Nurse made the read. When it looks like he did, Drai was with him, then he wasn’t, and he couldn’t catch up. All of a sudden 3 on 2, Nurse played it like a 3 on 3.

  2. My vote for Calder would be for Skinner, but Goalies rarely get it. Beniers likely to win

    Stammer for sure will need a haircut to stay…. But they’ll get it done

    Gallant in news re potential firing seems unfounded. Two great seasons; and first round exit as reason??? Are Bruins axing Montgomery? Not a chance.

    Gallant should stay

    Kane to stay in NY…….. state (upper NY state????)

    • Kane to Buffalo would be a very nice homecoming story, and a good PR move. Unfortunately, it would do next to nothing to advance Buffalo’s push for playoff action. Kane is not what Buffalo needs to improve – that would be their back end – like a pair of experienced shut-down defensemen (like McCabe?), and a descent vet in net to hold down the fort while their youngsters develop.

      • Hi Iago

        Agree re your contention on Sabres needs…. But disagree that he would not advance the team

        Firstly…. MST set aside the injury…. Unknown

        If healthy, and reasonable Cap… his production would match his output; but his veteran presence should uplift the dressing room

        He’d need a serious haircut …. But certainly could work IMHO

    • Either Gallant falls or some vets have to get moved.
      that game 7 was a terrible showing…to watch players like Kreider who scored 6 in the series not play complete shifts and no fire coming from the other veteran players was not easy to watch. Panarin’s game does not translate to the playoffs any longer as good as he can be.

      Do not see the place for Kane with the Rangers as he will not help their speed and forechecking needs.

    • Agreed Pengy,

      Skinner would be my first choice to , however Young Beniers has played very well also🤔

      Young Skinner just loves playing in Edmonton..
      I think this kid would play for Free….❗️
      He always seems a bit nervous in a first game
      next game he will come back just fine…👌
      the oilers D need to play way better and the forwards need to comeback faster to defend …

    • My vote would also be Skinner

  3. Buying out Suter and Parise was the right thing to do but man is Minnesota ever squeezed for cap the next couple of years.

    • Hi F22

      Closing in on 20% of Cap on 2 players employed elsewhere is a crap load of hurt.

      They certainly needed to move them…. But perhaps (I don’t believe they did explore this) 50% retained (plus sweetener) on at least 1 of them , may have been better

      At 50% retained….either Parise or Suter would have cost receiving team an average of only about $1.1 M cash…. $3.7 M Cap …. 4 years

      • If they would accept a trade, they did not! Both had full NMC’s.

      • Hi JZ

        Yes they had full NMCs and I knew that… but NMCs can be waived if (1) asked and (2) granted

        I don’t remember anything on the exploration of this; could have happened, but I didn’t hear about it

        At the very least it should have been a conversation by Billy G with them on that

      • Agreed Pengy , seems like the tactics you mention were not used as much a couple of years back. On the other hand both had NMC so it would have involved finding their preferred destination to boot.

      • Pengy…Would love to see the Penguins move Jeff Petry in the off season. Although he was
        + 2 for the season…he was inconsistent and not worth the price tag.

        Maybe he will bounce back !

        Let DuMoulin walk, trade to move Petry, and trade Joseph……

        Ty Smith is better and Jposeph does have some value…maybe trade with Anaheim.

        Exchange 24 year olds
        Joseph, 24 to Anaheim helps their awful defense with a young puck moving defenseman that fits their rebuild and he will play top 4

        Max Comtois 24, Winger, big, gritty, two seasons removed from 17 goals, brings us some much needed toughness, size, and will defend teammates….nice 4th liner

  4. I’d enjoy learning how close Marchenko came to being a Calder finalist. While I never expected him to win the trophy, I do think he is worthy of being in the conversation.

    • Leaving Matias Maccelli who out produced Beniers in points per game (not lying look it up) and was out due to injury is a shame. Goalies never win and he was only added to the list because of the team he is on. Maccelli put up awesome numbers on a bottom team.

      • Hi AZ nut

        Below … was not trying to duplicate your post…. I posted soon as I saw Paul’s post (and yours was not there at the time); but somehow actual showing of my post was delayed???

        As you can see…Fully agree re Maccelli

      • Pengy, I’m going with Beniers, first line center on an expansion team help get them into the playoffs.

        Can’t just look at goals in assists, Beniers is also a strong two-way player as indicated by his +14

        Skinner is a worthy choice and gets way more headlines because of where he plays.

        Owen Powers is also a worthy choice 23:48 toi finished with 4g 31a +10

    • Hi Paul

      Or Maccelli…. He had more PPG (and on a waaaay weaker team) than Beniers. Maccelli finished only 8 points behind Beniers…but played 16 less games

      Wyatt Johnston had 24 goals

      Skinner won 29 games; had a winning percentage of 66; save percentage of 914; carried a load of the late season surge by Oil

      To me… Skinner should win it…. But it comes down to journalists voting…. so Beniers is likely to win it

      If the players were voting on this award (as they should be)…. Skinner wins for sure

      • Hi HF30


        Not sure if you were responding to me…. I used “rarely”

        Only 1 in last 14 years; 3 in last 28 years

        Only 8 in the 5 1/2 plus decades I’ve been watching

        Would love to see more

        I truly believe it should be Skinner this year….. but Beniers likely to win…. Yet , to me he wasn’t as good a candidate as Maccelli…. Who was burdened being on the Yotes and had more PPG than Beniers; finished only 8 points back on him ; Beniers playing in 16 more games; and more importantly…. Beniers on the much better team with gobs more talent around him

        I was shocked that Maccelli wasn’t top 3

  5. Goalies never win the Calder?
    Many have won it, Crozieer, Esposito, Dryden, Barrasso, Belfour, Brodeur, Nabokov, Raycroft, Mason and in a 6 year period there was Gelineau, Sawchuk, Worsley and Hall.

    • Jack Gelineau now theres a name you don’t hear often

      • Along with Frankie Brimsek, Mike Karakas and Frank McColl

    • While it’s not quite right to say “never” it is certainly rare and hasn’t happened since 2008-2009. I mean, Mason and the two runners up (Bobby Ryan and Kris Versteeg) are all retired, which tells you something.

  6. Please tell me the various reports that the Oilers hung out on the beach for a couple days after the LA series is just BS…