NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2024

by | May 30, 2024 | News, NHL | 21 comments

The Oilers rally back to defeat the Stars and tie the Western Conference Final at two games apiece, the latest on the Rangers and Panthers, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame an early 2-0 deficit to beat the Dallas Stars 5-2, squaring the Western Conference Final at two games apiece. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had three assists, Leon Draisaitl netted his 10th goal of this postseason, and Mattias Janmark scored the game-winner. Wyatt Johnston and Esa Lindell gave the Stars the early lead before the Oilers rallied. The series returns to Dallas for Game 5 on Friday, May 31 at 8:30 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appeared the Stars were going to crush the Oilers until the latter got goals by Ryan McLeod and Evan Bouchard before the end of the first period. Janmark and Draisaitl blew the game open late in the second period with goals less than a minute apart and never looked back. Janmark’s goal was the Oilers’ first shorthanded tally of the postseason.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (NHL Images).

The Oilers were the most physical of the two clubs, outhitting the Stars 47-23. They also held the edge in shots 29-22.

Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse’s struggles in this postseason made him the target of criticism from the Edmonton media. He had a shaky start to Game 4 but finished strong with one assist, 12 hits, and three blocked shots.

Sportsnet’s Kevin Bieksa defended Nurse and slammed the Edmonton media, calling them “meat” because, in his opinion, they’re “raw, dead and dumb.” I can appreciate Bieksa sticking up for Nurse but his remarks seemed designed to pick a fight with the Edmonton press. As a former Canucks defenseman, he knows what it’s like to play under a sometimes harsh media spotlight in a Canadian city.

Dallas defenseman Chris Tanev left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with his right foot. There was no postgame update on his condition but Stars coach Pete DeBoer hopes Tanev will be ready for Game 5.


Dallas Stars arena DJ Jonathan “Slippy” Shipman drew criticism from Edmonton fans for playing “La Bamba” following the Oilers’ loss in Game 2 of this series. Shipman was unaware of the song’s importance to the Oilers and their fans. He publicly apologized and donated to the Ben Stelter Foundation, joining Stars fans who contributed $20,000.00 to the fund.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stelter was a six-year-old Oilers fan who coined the phrase, “Play La Bamba, baby,” during the club’s run to the 2022 Western Conference final. He died of cancer later that year.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers need their top three forwards – Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad – to regain their scoring touch heading into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final with the Florida Panthers. They combined for just three assists in the previous four games. The series is tied at two games apiece.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Matthew Tkachuk was unfazed over Kreider grabbing the Florida Panthers winger’s mouthguard and attempting to toss it into the crowd following a heat third-period scrum in Game 4. “I told him it was the best play he made the whole game,” laughed Tkachuk on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tkachuk has a knack for getting under the skin of his opponents. That was a world-class chirp at Kreider, who’s been held scoreless in this series after netting seven goals and 10 points in his first 10 games of this postseason.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Anaheim Ducks winger Cutter Gauthier was named USA Hockey’s College Player of the Year.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: The Predators brought back Mitch Korn to oversee their goaltending department. Korn spent 16 seasons with the Predators from 1998 to 2014.

DAILY FACEOFF: Minnesota defeated Boston 3-0 in the fifth and deciding game of the Professional Women’s Hockey League Finals, becoming the first team in league history to win the Walter Cup. Minnesota forward Tayler Heise was the first winner of the Ilona Kloss Playoff MVP Award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Minnesota, who barely squeaked into the playoffs but would upset heavily favored Toronto in the semifinal to reach the Walter Cup Final.

The PWHL had a record-setting inaugural campaign that bodes well for its future. Everyone who played in this league is a winner, laying the foundation for what could become a vibrant and successful women’s professional hockey league.


  1. Both series look to go 7 games! Far cry from the NBA playoffs!

  2. As Don Cherry once (accurately) observed, 2-0 is the worst lead in hockey.

      • I was thinking about that Cherry phrase last night watching that game as well George. Back to back games, same thing just reverse the teams.

        Man did the Oil need that one. Good to see them rally around Nurse, who has been getting drilled by fans and media. He was dash 2 before the Oil had a shot, and in both plays he did his job exactly the way he was supposed too. Then he was a beast, and extremely effective. You had to laugh at how it started, almost seemed to relax him. Perfectly summarized his playoffs so far.

        I get why Nurse has taken some heat these playoffs, he has lost inside position a few times that has cost the team a couple goals. But his minus #’s are not reflective of his overall play. Yes he can be better, and I think he will, but some of the takes are way over the top.

        I don’t think the Edmonton media are “meat” so disagree with Bieksa on that, there are some excellent journalists in these parts, and not all of them piled on Nurse. And it wasn’t just local, but his comments about Nurse’s play were accurate. He needs to be better, but he also had some outstanding games, and I don’t mean points. So good on Bieksa for that, and good on McDavid and the Oilers for standing up for Nurse publicly.

      • Agree re Nurse

        Could he (and should he) have played better so far this post season. Yes

        But he’s had quite a few minus plays go against him due to no fault of his own (like properly boxing out his man only to have an inaccurate pass go off his skates and in; or shots off his butt and in, etc. etc).

        Agree fully with your take on him re last night’s game

        Dallas is favoured for next game and would certainly give them the edge in the series; but not guaranteed.

        I however, believe if Oilers win the next game; they win the series in 6

  3. Lyle – any plans for adding PWHL summaries to the coffee headlines next season?

    • I’m thinking about it, Ed. I noted the highlights of the PWHL’s first season throughout this season. The NHL remains my prime focus but it’s important to showcase women’s hockey.

      • If this site’s focus is going to broaden then please also include the IIHF world championships, where coverage is difficult to find. It also has implications to the NHL.

        And how about Memorial Cup coverage? Both of these events have links to the NHL, which can’t be said for the PWHL.

        Mind, if you do start covering other leagues what would differentiate this site from all the others, I wonder?

      • I do provide what coverage I can of the IIHF events like the Worlds and the WJC as well as the Memorial Cup. However, the main focus is the NHL. And don’t forget, I’m a one-man band here. I can only do so much considering my freelance work.

      • Not a complaint about what you can do as a one man band, Lyle. My comments arise out of the frustration of getting timely and good coverage from well resourced sites like Sportsnet or TSN on theIIHF world cup and the Memorial.

        One can go to the IIHF site directly, but the information and coverage is wanting.

  4. Bieksa is letting out his frustration over having had to play in the Canadian hockey media fishbowl. But can he deny that Nurse has had an awful playoffs? Or a subpar season? And at a cap hit of over $9m. Highly paid players justifiably garner more negative attention when they struggle.

    • Howard, agree. Bieksa like to come to the defense of the defenseman but in this case he is the one who is meat.

      • I think we are all meat technically.

      • Some better cuts than others 🙂

  5. RE; Oilers & Stars

    Edmonton Media Can be very Tough on the Oilers, Especaly Mark Spector is Always Slamming the Oil for antthing and everthing…He has been for many many years ❗️

    The Best Game Nurse has played All Year last night with 12 hits, and three blocked shots..
    Where did that come from….❓

    At 2-0 & Nurse was on for both goals….i said to my wife if the Dallas score one more and it reall looked like that what was going to happen…., it would be the right Time to Pull Skinner & Bench Nurse to see if we can wake him up…..

    An other Great Game from Leon, & Bouch….
    and young 22 d/man Broberg who did help with zone exits and great 1st pass played well

    • williew, Nurse wasn’t responsible for either of those 2 goals, in fact he played them exactly the way he was supposed to and his coach would have wanted him too. So he was dash 2.

      So why would he bench him?

      I get it Nurse is overpaid, he hasn’t been playing up to his standard for some of these games in the playoffs, it’s been about reads, and body position. he also spends a bunch of time covering for folks, he needs to quit thinking about that.

      But bottom line is, there are very few defensemen in the NHL, with his length, speed, ability to close, and finish guys like he can. He is in a role, shut down, that isn’t really suited for him, Eckholm’s role is. He is an all around D, best suited for playing with offensive players and pushing the pace with his wheels. So he sucks it up, he is doing his job, for the most part very well, playing hard and being a leader and not whining about it. Will stand up for anyone, against anyone. For that, he is taking heat from all over.

      His team mates appreciate him, so does his coach, which is why they said what they said yesterday. He deserves their respect and he has it.

      I hope he sticks it up everybody’s arse.

  6. What would’ve been funny if Kreider had of successfully threw Tkachuk mouthguard into the stands and received a one game suspension for doing so.

    That would’ve added insult to injury

  7. Lyle..
    Before the playoffs you mentioned a computer analysis that forecast Wyatt Johnson as the most valuable player. Can you send me that link?

    • Sorry, Hud, I can’t seem to find it. Perhaps it’s in one of the Morning Coffee Headlines before the playoffs.

  8. Trade Nurse to Boston for Hampus Lindholm! Edmonton retains 2 million of his salary!

    • What’s in it for Boston?