NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2023
The Golden Knights regain their series lead over the Oilers while the Blackhawks win the draft lottery. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS DEFEAT OILERS IN GAME 3
NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights regained the lead in their second-round series over the Edmonton Oilers with a 5-1 victory on Monday evening. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice while Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist. Adin Hill made 24 saves for the win relief of Laurent Brossoit, who suffered what appeared to be an injured right leg in the first period. Warren Foegele replied for the Oilers while Stuart Skinner got the hook after giving up four goals on 23 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet regarding the severity of Brossoit’s injury. An update is expected sometime today. Hill did a fine job covering off for his sidelined teammate while the Golden Knights limited their trips to the penalty box, silencing the Oilers’ vaunted power play. They also effectively neutralized their opponents at even strength.
This was the worst performance by the Oilers in this postseason. They scored the first goal but spent the rest of the game on their heels, struggling to generate quality scoring chances while making costly mistakes in their own zone. They’ll need a much better effort in Game 4 on Wednesday or face returning to Las Vegas on the brink of elimination.
BLACKHAWKS WIN 2023 DRAFT LOTTERY
The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, earning the right to select top prospect Connor Bedard in the first round of the draft on June 28. The Blackhawks had the third-best odds (11.5) of winning the lottery.
The Anaheim Ducks had the best odds (18.5) but slipped to second overall while the Columbus Blue Jackets (13.5) will pick third.
The Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick was 12th overall. As per the conditions of the Jakob Chychrun trade on March 1, that pick belongs to the Arizona Coyotes (stick tap to Cap Friendly).
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Anaheim Ducks
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. San Jose Sharks
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Washington Capitals
9. Detroit Red Wings
10. St. Louis Blues
11. Vancouver Canucks
12. Arizona Coyotes (via Ottawa Senators)
13. Buffalo Sabres
14. Pittsburgh Penguins
15. Nashville Predators
16. Calgary Flames
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Choosing Connor Bedard will positively affect the Blackhawks on and off the ice. He’ll help to improve the on-ice product while giving their fans a watchable star as the club continues its rebuilding program.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard on his own won’t turn the Blackhawks back into Stanley Cup contenders again. Management still faces the daunting task of surrounding him with a strong supporting cast via the draft, trades and free agency over the next several years. Nevertheless, Bedard gives them a solid foundation on which to base their rebuild.
There was a negative reaction on social media over the Blackhawks winning this lottery. The conspiracy-minded believe it was rigged to help the Hawks, though these are the type of people who would claim the lottery is on the level if their team had won.
Many were angry that the Blackhawks hadn’t had their 2023 pick stripped away as part of their punishment after an investigation two years ago revealed the club covered up Kyle Beach’s allegations that he was sexually assaulted in 2010 by the team’s video coach. General manager Stan Bowman was forced to step down for his role in the cover-up as did former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville from his job as Florida Panthers head coach.
Given the Hawks odds, everyone knew they had a good chance of winning the lottery but no concern was raised before the event. While the outrage is understandable it probably wouldn’t have been on the same level had the Hawks got the second or third-overall pick or if they wound up much lower in the draft order.
NEW YORK POST: ESPN insider Kevin Weekes inadvertently revealed the Blue Jackets had fallen to No. 3 before deputy commissioner Bill Daly officially revealed it. The incident occurred just before the network went to a commercial break.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks on social media saw this as proof that the lottery was rigged. They overlooked the fact that the lottery had been held well beforehand and not in real time on the air as Daly announced each position in the draft order. The network knew the results before the show went on the air and wrote their script accordingly. It was likely a technical error that led to Weekes’ accidentally revealing the Jackets’ position.
IN OTHER NEWS…
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen is listed as day-to-day after being struck in the face by a puck during Game 3 of his club’s second-round series with the Seattle Kraken. He is not in concussion protocol but is uncertain for Game 4 tonight in Seattle.
TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov is feeling better and will undergo tests (including an MRI) to determine his status for Game 4 against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. Samsonov suffered an upper-body injury during Game 3 after teammate Luke Schenn accidentally fell on him trying to break up a play near the Leafs net.
New Jersey Devils winger Tomas Tatar was fined $5,000.00 for high-sticking Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho during Game 3 of their second-round series on Sunday.
CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Hurricanes, goaltender Antti Raanta participated in practice yesterday after missing the last two games due to illness.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed prospect Mackie Samoskevich to a three-year entry-level contract.
ILLEGAL CURVE: Winnipeg Jets winger Nino Niederreiter will play for Switzerland in the upcoming IIHF World Championship
SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks were fined $50,000.00 for violating the NHL’s offseason training rules. They reportedly held on-ice sessions with a number of players in mid-April after the season ended, which is a violation of the CBA.
NHL.COM: Former NHL winger Vic Stasiuk passed away over the weekend at age 93. Stasiuak spent 14 seasons in the league from 1949-50 to 1962-63 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins. In 745 regular-season games, he scored 183 goals and 437 points along with 34 points in 68 playoff games. Between 1969-70 to 1972-73, he was head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, California Golden Seals and Vancouver Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Stasiuk’s family, friends and former teammates.