NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2023

by | May 5, 2023 | News, NHL | 27 comments

The Panthers take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series with the Leafs, the Stars tie their series with the Kraken and the finalists for the Norris Trophy are revealed. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in Game 2 of their second-round series. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 35 shots while Anton Lundell, Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling tallied three unanswered goals for the Panthers, who hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as it shifts to Florida for Game 3 on Sunday. Alexander Kerfoot and Ryan O’Reilly scored for the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs also lost rookie forward Matthews Knies with an undisclosed injury after he was wrestled to the ice by Panthers center Sam Bennett. No penalty was called and it remains to be seen if Bennett will face supplemental discipline.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

The Leafs dominated large stretches of this game but costly defensive breakdowns saw them squander their early lead. Bobrovsky’s solid goaltending and physical shot-blocking by the Panthers stymied the Leafs’ offensive attack.

Some Toronto pundits are already declaring the Leafs’ season to be “on the brink”. The last time I checked, this was a best-of-seven series, not a best-of-five. A win in Game 3 by the Leafs could change the direction of this second-round saga. Of course, if the Leafs lose that game, then the “season on the brink” headlines will be justified.

The Dallas Stars doubled up the Seattle Kraken 4-2 to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Joe Pavelski scored his fifth goal of this series, Tyler Seguin and Wyatt Johnston each had a goal and an assist and Jake Oettinger stopped 25 shots for the Stars. Tye Kartye and Jordan Eberle replied for the Kraken. This series heads to Seattle for Game 3 on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski continues to show no lingering after-effects from the concussion that sidelined him for all but one game in their first-round series with the Minnesota Wild. He had four games in Game 1 against the Kraken.

The Kraken seemed somewhat sluggish in this game compared to their performance in the opening contest. Meanwhile, the Stars played with more energy and determination to avoid a 2-0 series deficit.


NHL.COM: Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks, and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are the finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as this season’s top NHL defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that Karlsson is a nominee as he’s considered the front-runner after becoming the first defenseman in 31 years to reach 100 points in a season. I’m surprised that Winnipeg Jets blueliner Josh Morrissey or Vancouver Canucks rearguard Quinn Hughes didn’t get a nod here.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger David Pastrnak revealed he suffered a shoulder injury during his first shift of Game 1 of their first-round series against the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak faced some criticism from Boston fans and pundits over his performance in that series. Despite his injury, he was tied for the team lead in goals with five, including a game-winner.

I’ve noticed some readers calling on the Bruins to trade Pastrnak before his new contract kicks in on July 1 to free up salary cap space in order to improve the club’s overall depth. Management will likely shed some salary this summer but he’s not going anywhere.

Pastrnak is a genuine superstar. With Brad Marchand aging and Patrice Bergeron mulling retirement, he’s now the Bruins’ franchise player. That’s why they signed him to that expensive new deal in the first place. Like it or not, every move they make starting this offseason is to build around Pastrnak. That’s what you do when you have a superstar on your roster.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen will not be playing in the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championships in Finland. He suffered a broken toe during the Avs’ series against the Kraken. His recovery is four-to-six weeks.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Matt Boldy knows that he’ll need to improve his playoff performance. He has just one goal and three points in 12 career postseason games stretching back to last season.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center Dmitri Voronkov to a two-year entry-level contract. Chosen by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL draft, the 22-year-old has spent five seasons with the KHL’s Ak-Bars Kazan.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The province of Quebec renamed its Highway 50 to Autoroute Guy Lafleur in honor of the late Canadiens legend. The highway passes through his hometown of Thurso, Quebec. Lafleur died last April at age 70 from lung cancer.

NHL.COM: Former NHL forward Petr Klima passed away in his native Czechia at age 58. The cause of death is unknown.

Emigrating from communist Czechoslovakia in 1985, Klima spent 13 seasons in the NHL from 1985-86 to 1998-99 with the Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Klima scored 313 goals and 573 points in 786 regular-season games. He also tallied 28 goals and 52 points in 95 playoff games. His most famous goal came in triple overtime in Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final for the Oilers, who went on to win the Cup in five games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Klima’s family, friends and former teammates.


  1. Perhaps those who see the Leafs’ season as “being on the brink” are influenced by the stat that shows a team down 2-0 in a series has come back to win 55 times … but have lost 335 times.

    I’ll say this: if the Leafs prevail and come out winners, that surge of resilience will carry them right to the Cup.

    So far in this series Brobovsky has been the MVP.

    • The leafs need to realize that there’s 60 minutes in a hockey game.

      • There’s that, What the heck, and perhaps better line matching.

        While Rielly, Marner and Schenn have so far in the playoffs posted excellent +/- marks of +9, +7 and +7, at the other end of the scale you have Giordano, Holl, McCabe, Nylander and Brodie with -7, -7, -6, -5 and -3.

      • Another entertaining game…too bad about the warranted result.
        When the Leafs turn over the puck like you saw in this game, no not the forced plays ones but the totally wtf was that type of turnovers, they flat out lose. They need to leave that crap behind whatever it is (that causes it). Otherwise a good time!

    • George, what’s the record for teams who have lost the first two games of a series at home?

      • Good question Howard. The stat I posted above I saw on TSN – courtesy of Kypreos. I tried looking up the record of a team losing the first 2 of a series at home … but can’t find anything.

      • They are 1-0 in 2023!

    • George, speaking of losing the first 2, and coming back to win series, then getting a surge to carry them to the cup.

      Were you thinking of the Bruins in 2011?

      They did once for sure, they lost the first 2 to MTL, at home, in the first round.

      Not 100%, but close, that they lost the first 2 against VCR in the SCF as well.

      • They did lose the first two of both rounds, Ray.

  2. I am really liking the Cats game! Bob is re-achieving his Vezina form and at the right time! Sergei Smythe!😁

  3. Tough luck for Toronto yesterday….Bob played out of his mind. But the guilty parties committing turnovers early in the 2nd – Nylander, Marner, and Matthews – that just can’t happen.

    I am not impressed with the Norris nominee list. Karlsson belongs, and should win. But, as Lyle mentioned, therefore several other names deserving mention. Morrissey, Hughes, Hamilton,
    Montour, Dahlin, or Heiskanen all could have replaced Fox and Makar as nominees.

    • Morrissey over Fox and Makar. Fox is better defensively than people give him credit for and way above the D work from Hughes or Hamilton.

      Dahlen could win the Norris next season.
      Ekblad probably gets more votes than Montour due to the writers being lazy and going with the ‘names’.

  4. Love the fact that Rte 50 has been renamed in honor of Guy Lafleur. I drive that road several times a year and have on occasion detoured to pass through Thurso to check out the statue of Guy and reminisce.

  5. I was frustrated to see several failed Boston powerplays late in the series against Florida without even a single one-timer attempt from Pastrnak.

    I guess the shoulder injury explains that. Hopefully something minor that doesn’t linger into next season.

    • Shoulder injuries are probably right near the top of a list of injury types that can become chronic in nature.

      Josh Norris here in Ottawa is a prime example. Tarasenko, too, has experienced several recurrent injuries of that type.

      • True that George, just to add to the list; Oscar Klefbom, retired at age 27, who would have been the Oil’s #1 D-man at the time.

      • Yeah, for certain Ray. Forgot about Klefbom. 27 y/o and out. Damn.

  6. Previously we would say you’re not out of it until you loss on home ice; this year you’re not out of it until you loss on the road.

    Florida compete level is thru the roof and they’ve have all 4 lines buying in and pulling in the same direction.

    You know exactly what you’re going to get from them every shift, high pressure, hit or rub out on every play.

    Florida players cross the line and take penalties; it almost appear to be the game plan. It’s like their saying:
    “We are going to get some calls against us but the refs are not going to call everything.”

    They know this style creates turnover and rushed plays.

    In 2016 draft the Winnipeg Jets had the 6th overall draft spot before the lottery draft, they won the draft lottery to move up to 4 spots to the 2nd overall and choice Patrik Laine. In the 6th spot Calgary Flames chose Matthew Tkachuk.

    Tkachuk in a redraft would be taken 2nd overall behind Matthews.

    In hindsight the Jets lost the draft by winning the lottery.

    Would Tkachuk had stayed in Winnipeg? who knows, but his mom is from here and his grandparents, Uncle and Aunts live here.

    • What if what if what if… Flames also drafted Adam Fox that year… What if

      • He woulda played out his college career and ended up in ny anyway.

      • If? If your uncle had different equipment he’d be your aunt.

    • Brock that’s all it is, what if.

      It’s interesting how things sometimes work out.

  7. Cale Makar 60 games played 66pts, played 74% of the season and is nominated for the Norris.

    Josh Morrissey had a great season for the Winnipeg Jets 16goal 60assit 76pts in 78 games played and by far Winnipeg number one dman. I would’ve had Morrissey over Makar this season.

    • Cale Makar should not be a finalist for Norris Trophy! He did not play well defensively even when he was in the lineup!

    • Cale Makar should not be a finalist for Norris Trophy. He did not play anything close to Norris type consideration

    • I love JoMo and the Jets but both faded out brutally mid-Feb to mid-March. I’m sure that cost him a lot of votes.

  8. I will say it again… it’s too easy to forget that these Panthers were President’s Trophy winners last year and actually IMPROVED their team for post season play this year. Took time to gel but it seems to be coming together. Tkachuk and Bob are playing well and Maurice is no pushover as a coach.