NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 12, 2022
The Rangers stave off elimination, the Panthers and Flames take 3-2 leads in their opening-round series, the Calder Trophy finalists are announced and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New York Rangers avoided elimination from their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5-3 victory. Filip Chytil snapped a 3-3 tie with a power-play goal early in the third period while Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves as the Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second period with three straight goals. Jake Guentzel tallied twice for the Penguins. Game 6 is in Pittsburgh on Friday with the Penguins holding a 3-2 series lead.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanging over this game was the departure of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in the second period after receiving an unpenalized elbow to the head by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. Until that moment, the Penguins were controlling the game with a 2-0 lead. The Rangers tallied three straight times after Crosby’s departure.
Crosby has a well-documented history of concussions. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said he was still being evaluated. It would be a significant blow for the Penguins if their captain is sidelined from this series.
Sullivan was obviously displeased by Trouba’s actions during the postgame press conference but maintained his composure. “Did you see the hit?”, he said when questioned by a reporter. “You probably have the same opinion as I do.”
The Florida Panthers overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Washington Capitals 5-3 in Game 5 of their opening-round series. Carter Verhaeghe lead the way with two goals and three assists while Claude Giroux netted the insurance goal and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots. T.J. Oshie tallied twice for the Capitals, who are on the brink of elimination as the series returns to Washington for Game 6 on Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: During a post-game interview, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said his club gave this game away. He’s not wrong. They seemed to have this game under control early in the second period up 3-0 but soon gave up three unanswered goals in that period that shifted the momentum in the Panthers’ favor.
Three unanswered third-period goals lifted the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of their series. Calgary forwards Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist. Stars netminder Jake Oettinger made 29 saves. With the win, the Flames hold a 3-2 lead and can finish off the Stars in Game 6 on Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have been the better team for most of this series. Oettinger is the reason the Stars have won two of five games thus far. He leads all playoff starters with a .956 save percentage while his 1.63 goals-against average is tied for second with Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Unless he gets more goal support from his teammates, however, this series could be over on Friday.
NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Michael Bunting, Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider are the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: These three have promising NHL futures. Seider is considered the favorite, leading all rookies in ice time per game (23:02) and power-play points (21) while finishing fourth in scoring with 50 points.
SPORTSNET: Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy anticipated Hampus Lindholm will return to action for Game 6 against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. The defenseman has been sidelined since Game 2 following a bit hit from Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse received a one-game suspension by the department of player safety for head-butting Los Angeles Kings center Phillip Danault in Game 5 on Tuesday. Oilers winger Zack Kassian, meanwhile, received a $5,000.00 fine for cross-checking Kings defenseman Sean Durzi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nurse’s undisciplined actions could prove costly to his team. Down three games to two and facing elimination by the Kings, the Oilers enter the most crucial game of their season without their best defenseman.
THE PROVINCE: Bruce Boudreau is expected to finalize details of his return behind the Vancouver Canucks’ bench by as early as next week. Hired in December with the Canucks at the bottom of the standings, the club went 32-15-10 under Boudreau’s coaching and narrowly missed the postseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was concern Boudreau could hit the open market this summer if he declined the option year in his contract by the June 1 deadline. President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford recently said the club wanted to bring him back under that deal.
NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks announced Joel Bouchard has been relieved of his duties as head coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego. Assistant coaches Daniel Jacob and Max Talbot were also let go. Meanwhile, Ducks assistant coach Geoff Ward has left the club for personal reasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before heading to San Deigo, Bouchard spent three seasons as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens AHL affiliate in Laval. It’ll be interesting to see if he ends up returning to the Canadiens’ organization in some capacity.