NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2022

The Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead over the Predators while the Panthers, Rangers and Stars even their respective series at a game apiece. Check out the details and other news in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Cale Makar lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Nashville Predators 2-1 to give them a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven opening-round series. Nathan MacKinnon opened the scoring for the Avalanche while Yakov Trenin replied for Nashville. Predators goalie Connor Ingram made 49 saves.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for Ingram this could’ve been another blowout loss for the Predators. They must get their offense going as the series shifts to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 or risk getting swept by the powerful Avalanche.

The Florida Panthers evened their first-round series with the Washington Capitals at a game apiece with a 5-1 victory. They got three unanswered second-period goals by Mason Marchment, Anton Lundell and Carter Verhaeghe while Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for the win. Capitals netminder Vitek Vanecek got the hook after giving up five goals on 19 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The suffocating defense that worked so well for the Capitals in Game 1 vanished in this contest. They also missed rugged winger Tom Wilson as he was sidelined by a lower-body injury. All five Panthers’ goals came at even strength. This series shifts to Washington for the next two games.

New York Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and two assists to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2, squaring their opening-round series at one game apiece. Igor Shesterkin kicked out 39 shots for the win. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for the Penguins as this series heads to Pittsburgh for the next two contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins need more from their secondary scorers. Almost all their goals in this series have come from the Crosby line. Meanwhile, Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin missed Game 2 with a lower-body injury. Rangers winger Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Ryan Lindgren were also sidelined by injuries. Goodrow (lower body) is listed as week-to-week.

The Dallas Stars got a 29-save shutout from Jake Oettinger to blank the Calgary Flames 2-0, tying their first-round series 1-1. Joe Pavelski and Michael Raffl were the goal scorers. Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Stars thanks to young Oettinger’s goaltending. He’s tied with Markstrom for the best goals-against average (0.50) thus far among postseason netminders.

HEADLINES

TSN: Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Carolina Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov in Game 2 of the first-round series on Wednesday. Marchand’s teammate Derek Forbort also received a $5,000.00 fine for high-sticking Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Bruins, defenseman Hampus Lindholm has been ruled out of Game 3 on Friday. The club also confirmed Jeremy Swayman will get the start in that game.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, goaltender Antti Raanta skated with his teammates today but his status for Game 3 is uncertain. He left Game 2 after being shaken up in a collision with Bruins winger David Pastrnak.

THE SCORE: Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour believes the Bruins are deliberately targeting his goaltenders. “It can’t get any more obvious,” he told reporters following Game 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL headquarters could issue a warning to both clubs about running goalies. Brind’Amour could also get a call about his comments.

NHL.COM: Center Shane Wright of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs is the No. 1 prospect among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of this year’s top prospects. Left winger Jural Slafkovsky of TPS in Finland is the top European skater.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils confirmed Lindy Ruff will return next season as head coach. The announcement comes a day after they announced they were parting ways with assistant coaches Mark Recchi and Alain Nasreddine.

PHILLY.COM: The Flyers have added Sami Kapanen and Kyle Shero to their scouting department.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2022

The Hurricanes take a 2-0 series lead over the Bruins, the Lightning, Oilers and Wild tie their opening-round series, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes became the first team in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs to open a 2-0 lead in the opening-round best-of-seven series with a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Pyotr Kochetkov made 30 saves in relief of an injured Antti Raanta for the win in his first-ever NHL playoff game. Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter each scored twice for the Hurricanes. Patrice Bergeron scored both goals for the Bruins, who also lost defenseman Hampus Lindholm following a thunderous hit from Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta was sidelined in the first period following a collision with Bruins winger David Pastrnak. His status, and that of Lindholm, remains uncertain as there was no update on their respective conditions following this game.

Dominated by the Hurricanes for lengthy stretches in the first two games, the Bruins have been forced to play catch-up thus far in this series. I expect Jeremy Swayman to replace Linus Ullmark in goal for the Bruins as the series shifts to Boston for the next two games.

The Canes, meanwhile, will be hoping Raanta or sidelined starter Frederik Andersen will be ready for at least backup duty in Game 3. Third-stringer Kochetkov played well in Game 2 but they’re running out of healthy netminders with NHL experience.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman had a goal and three assists as his club held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3, tying their first-round series at a game apiece. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each had two points for the Leafs while teammate Michael Bunting scored in his return to the lineup after being sidelined by injury on April 23. The series moves to Tampa Bay for the next two games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning rebounded well from their lopsided loss in Game 1. They made the Leafs pay for their undisciplined play in this contest, going three for seven on the power play.

Speaking of bounce-back performances, the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 to tie their opening-round series 1-1. Mike Smith picked up the shutout with a 30-save effort while Evander Kane scored twice and collected an assist. Games 3 and 4 of this series will be played in Los Angeles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers blew this one open with three goals in the second period, outshooting the Kings 19-9 in that frame. They remain lethal with the man advantage in this series, going two for four on the power play for the second straight contest.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a hat trick and teammate Joel Eriksson Ek tallied twice in a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, tying their series at one apiece. Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 32 shots for the win. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist for the Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaprizov continues setting franchise records for the Wild. He became the first player in team history to record a postseason hat trick.

St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo left the game after being struck in the head by a puck in the first period. Blues rearguards Marco Scandella and Nick Leddy missed Game 2 with injuries while sidelined Scott Perunovich won’t be ready for Game 3.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban and Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty are among this season’s 32 players nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is presented annually to the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to the community.”

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger Tom Wilson (lower-body injury) is a game-time decision for Game 2 of his club’s series with the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins announced goaltender Casey DeSmith (undisclosed injury) and winger Rickard Rakell (upper body) are listed as day-to-day. Each remains under evaluation. The Penguins recalled netminder Alex D’Orio from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Penguins starter Tristan Jarry still rehabbing an injured right foot, Louis Domingue will get the call for tonight’s game if DeSmith isn’t cleared to play.

TSN: Don’t expect any change to the current NHL playoff format. League commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday dismissed the notion of expanding the format, claiming the current one creates greater competition and more meaningful games during the regular season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league’s expansion to 32 franchises has some pundits calling for an expansion from the current 16-team setup to 20 or 22 with a “play-in” round. The only way I see Bettman changing his mind is if it can be proven that expanding the format will bring about a significant increase in revenue. Any change to the current format will have to come from a majority of the NHL board of governors.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils parted ways with assistant coaches Mark Recchi and Alain Nasreddine. No word on the future of head coach Lindy Ruff, who has a year remaining on his contract.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Former NHL player Mike Ribeiro has been charged with sexual assault stemming from two incidents last June in East Texas. He was arrested on April 28 and released the same day on a $200,000 bond.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Frans Nielsen intends to retire after he plays for Denmark in the upcoming 2021 World Championships. The 38-year-old center spent 15 seasons with the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings and was bought out of the final year of his contract with the Wings last summer. He spent this season with Eisbaren Berlin, helping them win the German DEL championship.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nielsen was considered a solid two-way center during his playing prime. He finished with 167 goals and 306 points for 473 points in 925 NHL contests. Best wishes to Nielsen in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 4, 2022

The Penguins down the Rangers in triple OT, the Avalanche bury the Predators, the Flames blank the Stars and the Capitals tame the Panthers in the opening games of their first-round playoff series. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored in triple overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the New York Rangers 4-3 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round series in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jake Guentzel scored two goals in regulation, Bryan Rust had a goal and two assists and Sidney Crosby collected two assists. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 79 saves in the six-period marathon while Chris Kreider and Mike Zibanejad each had two points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins’ third-string goalie Louis Domingue got the win after replacing Casey DeSmith in the second overtime when the latter suffered a lower-body injury. DeSmith is being evaluated and his status is listed as day-to-day. Penguins starter Tristan Jarry’s been out since April 14 with a lower-body injury.

DeSmith wasn’t the only Penguin injured in this game. Winger Rickard Rakell suffered a head injury following a hit by Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren in the first period and didn’t return. He’s also being evaluated.

A five-goal first period carried the Colorado Avalanche to a lopsided 7-2 victory over the Nashville Predators in the first game of their best-of-seven opening-round series. Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen led the way with three points each. Matt Duchene scored both Nashville goals while Predators goalie David Rittich got the hook after giving up five goals on 13 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To say the Predators missed sidelined starting goaltender Juuse Saros in this contest is an understatement. Nevertheless, the Predators still would’ve lost this game even with a healthy Saros between the pipes, only it wouldn’t have been quite so one-sided. The Avalanche dominated this game from the opening puck drop. The Predators will need a better team effort as well as better goaltending or this series will be over quickly.

Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom had a 16-save shutout and Elias Lindholm scored the only goal in a 1-0 blanking of the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of their first-round series. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger acquitted himself well in his first-ever playoff game with 25 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A line brawl broke out during the first period after Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk hit Dallas defenseman John Klingberg behind the Stars net. Tkachuk wound up scrapping with Michael Raffl while Klingberg wound up tangling with Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson. Both blueliners received game misconducts.

The Washington Capitals got three third-period goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller to double up the Florida Panthers 4-2 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in a losing cause. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger Tom Wilson left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He is being evaluated and his status for Game 2 remains uncertain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson’s injury was the only blight on what was a solid defensive effort by the Capitals in neutralizing the Panthers’ vaunted offense.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said head coach Bruce Boudreau will not receive a contract extension. They are instead willing to bring him back on his current deal, which has an option year in which either side can opt-out by June 1.

Rutherford praised Boudreau’s performance after the club went 32-15-10 when he took over from Travis Green in December. However, the club president pointed out his interim bench boss did not coach a full season. He said that Boudreau was informed that the club wants him back next season on his current deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So the decision now rests with Boudreau if he’ll return for next season or look elsewhere for a long-term coaching job. He shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new team given the fine work he did in reversing the Canucks’ sagging fortunes this season.

Rutherford’s announcement also gives the impression he’d like to bring in a coach of his choosing. He inherited Boudreau, who was hired days beforehand.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford receive a one-game suspension for boarding Lightning forward Ross Colton in Game 1 of their first-round series on Monday. Lightning forwards Pat Maroon and Corey Perry and Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds received fines for unsportsmanlike conduct during that contest.

Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon was fined $5,000.00 for cross-checking St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchenvich during the first game of their opening-round series on Monday.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is tinkering with his top-four defense pairings for Game 2 of their series against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. Matt Grzelcyk will move up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the left side of the first pairing while Hampus Lindholm drops to the second pairing with Brandon Carlo.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said he’ll be meeting with club management to discuss his future with the franchise. He has a year remaining on his contract. DeBoer also confirmed starting goalie Robin Lehner will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday while backup Laurent Brossoit will require an offseason medical procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBoer expressed his hope to return with the Golden Knights next season. We’ll find out soon if management gives him that opportunity after the club missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Multiple knee injuries have forced Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin to end his playing career. The 26-year-old has spoken with management about an off-ice role with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morin was a highly-touted blueliner who was chosen 11th overall by the Flyers in the 2013 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2017 but the knee injuries began soon afterward, derailing what could’ve been a promising career.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired St. Louis Blues director of player personnel Rob DiMaio as their new assistant general manager.

THE ATHLETIC: The Seattle Kraken parted ways with goaltending coach Andrew Allen.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former and current Canadiens, hockey luminaries, politicians and fans bide a final farewell to Hall-of-Famer Guy Lafleur during his state funeral in Montreal on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rest in peace, Flower. You will never be forgotten.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2022

The opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw the Leafs shut out the Lightning, the Kings upset the Oilers, the Blues blank the Wild & the Hurricanes tame the Bruins. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthew scored twice in a three-point performance and Jack Campbell made 24 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven opening-round series. Mitch Marner scored to snap an 18-game playoff goal drought and collected two assists. Leafs forward Kyle Clifford was ejected from the game in the first period for boarding Lightning forward Ross Colton.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was total domination by the Leafs. They out-skated and outworked the Lightning, who were stymied on the power play and gave up too many odd-man rushes. This lopsided defeat could spark a better effort from the Lightning in Game 2, but the Leafs deserve full marks for their strong effort in this series-opening contest.

A turnover by Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith led to Phillip Danault’s game-winning goal as the Los Angeles Kings got a 4-3 upset win in Game 1 of their opening-round series. The Kings jumped to an early 2-0 lead but the Oilers bounced back on goals by Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick made 37 saves for the win while Trevor Moore had a goal and two assists. Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson (undisclosed) missed this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t know what Smith was thinking but attempting to pass the puck up the middle from behind his own net rather than chipping it up along the boards was a big mistake. Quick was outstanding for the Kings, showing the form that backstopped his club to two Stanley Cups.

St. Louis Blues winger David Perron tallied a hat trick while Ville Husso had a 37-save shutout to blank the Minnesota Wild 4-0 in the first game of their opening-round series. Perron finished with four points while Torey Krug collected three assists. It was reported the league will review a nasty downward cross-check by Wild captain Jared Spurgeon across the ankle of Blues winger Pavel Buchenich.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild controlled the play for most of this game, out-shooting and out-chancing the Blues. Husso, however, proved up to the challenge in his first-ever NHL playoff game while his teammates capitalized on their chances, including two power-play goals.

Third-period goals by Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck and Andrei Svechnikov carried the Carolina Hurricanes to a series-opening 5-1 victory in Game 1 against the Boston Bruins. Backup Antti Raanta kicked out 35 shots for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta was superb between the pipes as this game went along, shaking off what appeared to be a nervous start with several big saves as the Bruins pressed to open the scoring. The Hurricanes will need more of that from him as starter Frederik Andersen could remain sidelined for Game 2 with a sprained knee.

HEADLINES

DAILY FACEOFF: The Philadelphia Flyers will be moving on from interim head coach Mike Yeo as they’ll search for a new bench boss. Yeo took over from Alain Vigneault when the latter was fired in December.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are also searching for a new head coach, though interim Dave Lowry will have the opportunity to interview for the job. Lowry replaced Paul Maurice when the latter resigned in December. Associate coach Jamie Kompon and assistant coach Charlie Huddy face uncertain futures.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Flyers and Jets will be seeking new coaches given their disappointing performances this season.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Bruce Boudreau is confident he’ll be returning next season as the Canucks’ head coach. The club missed the playoffs but made significant improvement after he took over behind the bench in December. Boudreau said he’s spoken with Canucks management and is hopeful a contract can be worked out.

TSN: Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (left leg injury) will miss the first two games of his club’s opening-round series with the Colorado Avalanche.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker has been cleared to play in Game 1 of his club’s first-round series with the New York Rangers. Zucker was sidelined on April 26 with an undisclosed injury.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond will no longer be participating in the upcoming World Championships for his native Sweden as originally planned. His father, Jean Raymond, and his agent, Peter Werner, explained the rigors of his first NHL season took more physical and mental energy than expected. “My advice to Lucas was to listen to his mind and body,” said Werner. “He needs this time to during the summer to recharge the batteries.”










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 2, 2022

Connor McDavid wins the Art Ross Trophy, Auston Matthews takes home the Richard Trophy, and the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight. Check out the latest in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s points leader while Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews won the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in 2021-22.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

McDavid finished the season with a career-high 123 points in 80 games, marking the fourth time he’s taken home the Art Ross Trophy and the fifth time he’s netted 100-or-more points in a season.

Matthews won the Richard Trophy after scoring a career-high 60 goals. It’s the second straight year the Leafs center has led the league in goals.

NHL.COM: The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with the puck dropping on four of the eight first-round, best-of-seven series. The Boston Bruins face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Tampa Bay Lightning travel to Toronto to meet the Maple Leafs, the St. Louis Blues square off against the Minnesota Wild, and the Los Angeles Kings are in Edmonton to face the Oilers.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: All signs point to Alex Ovechkin being in the Washington Capitals lineup for Game 1 of their opening-round series against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The Capitals captain missed the final three regular-season games nursing a shoulder injury but took part in regular practices with his teammates over the weekend.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Panthers, sidelined defenseman Aaron Ekblad is practicing with his teammates and could be ready for Game 1 against the Capitals. Ekblad’s been out of the lineup since March 18 with a lower-body injury.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Hurricanes will be without starting goaltender Frederik Andersen for Game 1 against the Bruins tonight. He’s been sidelined since April 16 with a lower-body injury. Andersen’s taken part in off-ice workouts but has yet to take part in full on-ice drills.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersen was the Hurricanes MVP this season and a potential contender for the Vezina Trophy. His absence could be a critical factor in this series with the Bruins.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche got some good news as team captain Gabriel Landeskog has been medically cleared for Game 1 against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The 29-year-old winger has been sidelined since March 10 by knee surgery.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins starting goalie Tristan Jarry (foot injury) and winger Jason Zucker (undisclosed) are listed as day-to-day and won’t be part of the lineup in their upcoming series with the New York Rangers.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers, meanwhile, will get sidelined forwards Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp back in the lineup for Game 1 against the Penguins tomorrow night. Both of them missed the final two games of the regular season for precautionary reasons nursing minor injuries.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse was back on the ice with his teammates for practice on Sunday after missing the final four games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. His status remains unconfirmed for Game 1 tonight against the Kings but it’s assumed he could be in the lineup.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars expect to have John Klingberg and Vladislav Namestnikov in the lineup for Game 1 of their first-round series against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Klingberg missed the final game of the regular season with a lower-body injury while Namestnikov missed the final five games.

CBS SPORTS: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting (undisclosed injury) is doubtful for Game 1 tonight against the Lightning.

THE PROVINCE: Brock Boeser revealed his father’s battle with dementia during an emotional season-ending press conference yesterday. He revealed it took a toll on him throughout this season. “He’s not doing well. He has pretty bad dementia right now. It got pretty bad this year,” said a tearful Boeser. “It has really hit me hard.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser was overcome with emotion and understandably left the press conference soon after. The Province’s Ben Kuzma reported his teammates praised the winger’s perseverance as he attempted to remain a difference-maker for the Canucks.

Fans and pundits sometimes forget the players have to deal with personal issues just like everybody else. Sometimes, it can affect their performance despite their best efforts. My sympathies go out to Boeser and his family during this difficult time.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to a three-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the speculation suggesting Cheveldayoff was in danger of losing his job following this disappointing season. He’ll have his work cut out for him this offseason. The Jets have been declining since reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2018. One of his priorities will be determining Mark Scheifele’s future with the franchise. I’ll have more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with assistant coach Phil Housley, who was in the final season of a three-year contract.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks parted ways with associate coach Marc Crawford and assistant coach Rob Cookson. Crawford had a year remaining on his contract. Derek Kings remains the interim head coach but a decision on his future is expected soon.

NHL.COM: The 2022 Draft Lottery odds were released yesterday, with the Montreal Canadiens leading the 16 eligible teams with 18.5 percent, followed by the Arizona Coyotes (13.5) and the Seattle Kraken (11.5). The lottery will be held on May 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the complete list by clicking the link above.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Thousands of Canadiens fans lined up yesterday outside the Bell Centre to pay their respects to the late Guy Lafleur as he lies in state through today. His funeral will be held in Montreal on Tuesday. Lafleur succumbed to lung cancer on April 22 at age 70.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 1, 2022

The three stars and the rookie of the month for April are announced, the Red Wings fire head coach Jeff Blashill, plus the latest on Carey Price, Ryan Ellis, Patrik Laine, Mathew Barzal and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are the NHL’s three stars for April 2022. Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight was named the rookie of the month.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings yesterday fired head coach Jeff Blashill. They also announced assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko were relieved of their duties.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blashill spent seven seasons as the Wings’ bench boss. He wasn’t to blame for the club’s struggles as management tore down and rebuilt the roster during those years. However, the Wings’ failure to meet heightened expectations this season led to his downfall.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen reports Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could seek a head coach who will demand more from his players and develop the club’s young talent. He listed former NHL coaches like John Tortorella, Paul Maurice, Claude Julien, and Jim Montgomery among the possible candidates Yzerman could consider as Blashill’s replacement. It’ll be interesting to see if the Wings GM hires one of those veterans or opts for someone else.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he didn’t believe the current state of his surgically repaired knee would be sustainable to play an entire season. He indicated he’ll be seeking a second opinion regarding ongoing swelling of the knee after games and didn’t rule out a second procedure.

Price, 34, admitted he approached Friday’s season-closing game against the Florida Panthers as if it could be his last. Nevertheless, he remains determined to resume his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price will have a longer offseason recovery period this time around compared to last year. Still, the uncertainty over his future could affect the Canadien’s offseason plans. I’ll have more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Canadiens, general manager Kent Hughes said he’d like to sign interim head coach Martin St. Louis to a three-year contract. On Friday, St. Louis indicated he would be shedding the interim tag and returning next season behind the Canadiens’ bench.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens showed noticeable improvement once St. Louis took over in February. It bodes well for what he might be able to achieve with a better, healthier roster.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis dismissed recent speculation suggesting he was unhappy with the team. He also indicated he and the club have determined the root cause of the pelvic injury that limited him to just four games this season. Ellis indicated they now have a clear rehab plan in place and he’s hoping to be healthy for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis was expected to be the core piece of the Flyers’ defense corps and an important part of what management hoped would be a bounce-back season for the club. His absence played a big part in their downfall. Getting him back healthy for 2022-23 could help the Flyers get back on track.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the subject of Flyers defensemen, Keith Yandle played the final game of his NHL career on Saturday as confirmed by teammate Nick Seeler. The 35-year-old reigning NHL Ironman (989 consecutive games) didn’t speak to the media yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yandle’s performance has been in decline over the past three seasons. In 1,109 games with the Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers and Florida Panthers, he has 103 goals and 516 assists for 619 career regular-season points.

NHL.COM: Patrik Laine doesn’t see any issues that would prevent him from signing a new contract this summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 24-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He also thanked the club for their support as he coped with injuries and the death of his father in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine had 56 points in as many games to finish third among Jackets scorers. He’s completing a one-year, $7.5 million contract and could seek a lucrative long-term deal.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins admitted he found it difficult at times this season to maintain his focus while dealing with the grief of the sudden death last summer of his close friend Matiss Kivlenieks. He said he and goalie coach Manny Legace relied on each other to cope with the emotional trauma. Kivlenieks died during a fireworks accident at Legace’s home last July 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins admitted he was rattled at times earlier this season by the celebratory cannon fired at Blue Jackets home games and from fireworks displays during last New Year’s Eve celebrations. He managed to overcome those issues thanks in part to Legace’s support.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders center Mathew Barzal indicated his willingness to sign a contract extension. The 24-year-old has a year remaining on his current deal with an annual cap hit of $7 million. “This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win,” said Barzal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello would probably love to ink Barzal to a new deal this summer. His reputation as a tough negotiator, however, could make it a slow process. I’m not saying it won’t get done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if talks drag on through the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets chairman Mark Chipman confirmed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue in his role into the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That douses the recent rumors floating around about Cheveldayoff’s future. He has a busy offseason coming up as he must find a new head coach, improve the Jets’ porous defense, and sign restricted free agent center Pierre-Luc Dubois to a new contract.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid was fined $2,187.50 by the NHL department of player safety for kneeing Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno on Friday. Avs forward Logan O’Connor was fined $1,812.50 for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the same game.

ARIZONA HOCKEY NOW: The Coyotes played their final game at Gila River Arena on Friday. After 19 seasons, they’ll be moving next season to Arizona State’s new hockey arena while awaiting word on a proposed new NHL arena in Tempe.

THE ATHLETIC: Malcolm Subban earned praise from his Buffalo Sabres teammates after singing the National Anthem during the club’s final game of the season on Friday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban sounded pretty good. Maybe there’s a future for him as a singer following his playing career.