NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2018
Penguins and Predators advance to second round of the playoffs, Calder Trophy nominees revealed and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: A four-goal performance by Jake Guentzel propelled the Pittsburgh Penguins to a wild series-clinching 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins took the series in six gamd and await the winner of the Columbus Blue Jackets -Washington Capitals series. At one point the Flyers held a 4-2 lead in this game until Guentzel and Patric Hornqvist tied the score in the second period, setting the stage for Guentzel’s three-goal outburst in the third.
Flyers forward Sean Couturier tallied a hat trick playing with a torn MCL that should’ve sidelined him for weeks. Fortunately, Couturier won’t require surgery and is expected to be fully healed in time for training in September. Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov played with a shoulder injury suffered in Game 5.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only fitting that the highest-scoring series in the opening round should end like that. Five of the six games saw the winning team tally five goals or more. Guentzel and Couturier both finished this game with five points. It was a gutsy performance by Couturier, who was his team’s best player in both of the last games despite his injured knee.
Pekka Rinne had a 22-save shutout performance and Nick Bonino tallied a goal and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the Nashville Predators 5-0 to win their opening-round series in six games. The Predators will face the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The underdog Avalanche were a difficult opponent but the Predators were simply too strong. The stage is set for what should be an entertaining series between the Predators and the Jets.
New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser and Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller are this year’s finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All three are worthwhile candidates but I anticipate Barzal will be the winner. He was the leading scorer among this year’s rookies by a wide margin.
Matt Martin is also taking part in the skate today.
Mike Babcock says Leo Komarov is at 85 per cent and isn’t yet considered available to play.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 22, 2018
Joe Thornton ruled out for Game 1 of the next round by DeBoer
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) April 22, 2018
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) April 22, 2018
LA KINGS INSIDER: Defenseman Slava Voynov could attempt to return to the NHL next season, but it will require a proceeding before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Voynov was suspended indefinitely following his Oct. 2014 arrest on domestic assault charges. He spent the past three seasons in the KHL.