NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2019

The latest on the Sharks, Blues, and Bruins, plus an update on Justin Williams, in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer offered no updates yesterday on the status of Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, and Tomas Hertl. The three were injured during the Sharks’ 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. 

Joe Pavelski is one of three players uncertain to play for the San Jose Sharks tonight in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images)

Karlsson appears to be nursing an old injury that he aggravated in Game 4 of the series. Pavelski left Game 5 after receiving a high hit from Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. Hertl was also on the receiving end of a high hit from Blues forward Ivan Barbashev. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Down 3-2 in the series and facing elimination tonight, the Sharks’ odds of winning Game 6 become slimmer with three of their best players on the sidelines. 

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of Barbashev, he won’t face supplementary discipline for his hit on Hertl

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league was “unable to determine conclusively that the head was the main point of contact.”  Sure looked like his head was the primary point of contact to me. I stopped trying to make sense of rulings from the department of player safety a long time ago. 

WEEI.COM: Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said he’s learned a lot from his early days as an NHL coach. Cassidy recently faced criticism from former NHL player Bates Battaglia, who played for Cassidy with the Washington Capitals in 2003-04. Since taking over as Bruins coach, Cassidy has a regular-season record of 117 wins, 52 losses, and 22 overtime defeats.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: People can change and improve and that’s certainly what Cassidy’s done since his first tenure as an NHL head coach. After being fired by the Capitals, Cassidy spent one season as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks (2005-06), two seasons with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, and eight seasons with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence. In his 2 1/2 years as the Bruins’ bench boss, he’s coached them to three straight playoff appearances and their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2013. 

THE SCORE: Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams is undecided if he’ll return for a 19th NHL season. The 37-year-old winger led the Hurricanes to their first postseason appearance in a decade. If he does return, Williams made it clear it’ll be with the Hurricanes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams scored 23 goals and 53 points during the regular season, along with seven points in 15 playoff games. If he’s willing to agree to a one-year, bonus-laden contract worth the same annual salary-cap hit as his current contract ($4.5 million), I think he’ll come back for another season. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2019

Game recaps, Timo Meier fined, Jean-Gabriel Pageau suspended and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov had his second consecutive two-goal game leading his club to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. With the loss, the Coyotes slide into a tie with the Colorado Avalanche (78 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Panthers sit seven points out of a playoff berth in the East. 

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand had three assists in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images)

Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Brad Marchand collected three assists as the Boston Bruins downed the New Jersey Devils 5-1. The Bruins (96 points) hold a six-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division. Speaking of Marchand, the well-known trash talker lobbed some good-natured verbal bombs at NBC Sports’ Joe Haggerty before last night’s contest over a recent column in which Haggerty wondered if the Bruins are a better team without defenseman Torey Krug. 

Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman each had three points to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Lightning forward Yanni Gourde could face a suspension after receiving a match penalty for a hit to the head of Hurricanes center Jordan Staal, who left the game briefly as a result. The Lightning now has a league-leading 58 wins and 120 points, while the Hurricanes (87 points) hold a two-point lead for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot. 

The Montreal Canadiens (85 points) regained the second Eastern wild-card berth by blanking the New York Islanders 4-0. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price kicked out 28 shots for the shutout while the Isles (91 points) are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division. 

Ivan Barbashev tallied his first career NHL hat trick as the St. Louis Blues clipped the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. Thomas Vanek scored both goals for the Wings. The Blues have points in their last four games and hold third place in the Central Division with 86 points. 

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal lifted his club to a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The Penguins are now tied with the Islanders (91 points) for second place in the Metro Division. 

Carter Hart made 40 saves to backstop the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Sean Couturier had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (80 points), who sit five points out of a playoff spot in the East. The Blackhawks (74 points), meanwhile, remain four points out of a wild-card position in the West. 

The Colorado Avalanche moved into a tie with the Coyotes by beating the Dallas Stars 3-1. Philipp Grubauer turned aside 40 shots while Tyson Barrie collected his 300th career point for the Avs. The Stars (82 points) still hold the first Western wild-card spot. 

Matthew Tkachuk and Garnet Hathaway each had a goal and an assist in the Calgary Flames 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. With 99 points, the Flames hold a five-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference standings. Flames forwards Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett both returned to action after being sidelined by injuries. The Senators played without center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who received a one-game suspension for boarding Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ashton Sautner. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets (84 points) fell behind the Canadiens in the Eastern wild-card race by dropping a 4-1 decision to the Edmonton Oilers. Leon Draisaitl collected three assists for the Oilers (73 points), who sit five points out of a Western playoff spot. 

Malcolm Subban made 20 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each scored twice for the Golden Knights (89 points), who sit third in the Pacific Division.

The San Jose Sharks dropped their fourth straight game by falling 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings. With 94 points, the Sharks sit five behind the Flames. Earlier in the day, Sharks forward Timo Meier was fined $2,000.00 for diving by the Department of Player Safety.

OTTAWA SUN: During an appearance yesterday on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said the key for his club is to identify who his club’s true fans are. “For our fans, our real fans, we’re doing the best we can and all you can do is just keep doing what you’ve been doing,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So Melnyk is asking Senators fans to stay away and keep up their #MelnykOut campaign? Because that’s what the real fans are doing. They’re fed up watching promising rosters being torn apart because of the constant parade of their best players out of Ottawa. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forward Jesper Fast may have played his final game this season. He’s been nursing a shoulder injury for the past three months. 

SPORTSNET: The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks will open next season with a game in Prague on Oct. 4. The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning, meanwhile, will face off in two November contests in Stockholm.