NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

The Avalanche and Lightning draw first blood in their respective second-round series, the Selke Trophy finalists are announced, the Jets interview Barry Trotz, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Josh Manson lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round series. Valeri Nichushkin and Samuel Girard also scored for Colorado while Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou tallied for St. Louis. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 51 saves in this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was outstanding in this contest and couldn’t be faulted on Manson’s screened shot eluding him in overtime. However, the Blues must do a better job containing the Avalanche’s fast-paced offense or this series won’t last long despite Binnington’s heroics in net.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves for the win. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left this contest in the second period after blocking a shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was looking forward to this series as last year’s first-round matchup between these two clubs was among the best of the 2021 postseason. Sadly, this game failed to match last year’s pace and intensity. Here’s hoping that improves as this series progresses. Penalties proved costly for the Panthers as three of the Lightning’s four goals came on the power play.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm are this season’s finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the 11th straight season Bergeron has been a finalist for the Selke. He’s tied with Hall-of-Famer Bob Gainey for the most Selke wins (four) and could break that record this season. Barkov won the award last season while this is Lindholm’s first time as a finalist.

SPORTSNET: The Winnipeg Jets will be interviewing Barry Trotz for their vacant head-coaching position. Trotz, 59, is a two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. He’s third all-time in NHL coaching wins, won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Washington Capitals, and guided the New York Islanders to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final and the 2021 semifinal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s how that interview with Jets general manager Ken Cheveldayoff should go: “Hi, Barry, how much money do you want, who do you want as your assistant coaches, and is there anything we can do to ease your family’s move to Winnipeg?”

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe will be returning in their roles next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So will team president Brendan Shanahan. As I said after the Lightning eliminated the Leafs from the first round, the club’s franchise-best 115-point season and pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to seven games in that series would buy that trio another season to get it right.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl could be dealing with a high-ankle sprain as his club prepares to face off with the Calgary Flames in their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl is believed to have suffered the injury in Game 6 of their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. He played in Game 7 but has taken time away from recent Oilers’ practices.

TSN: It looks like Chris Tanev will be ready for tonight’s game against the Oilers. The Calgary Flames defenseman missed Game 7 of their first-round series with the Dallas Stars dealing with an undisclosed injury. He participated in practice with his teammates on Tuesday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and head coach Mike Sullivan denied a report claiming he was cleared to play in Game 6 against the New York Rangers after suffering a head injury in the previous game. The report also claimed Crosby was held out of Game 6 by management.

A head injury also sidelined winger Rickard Rakell for most of that series. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin suffered a knee injury in Game 1 and was also nursing a foot injury that nagged him throughout the season. Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith underwent season-ending core muscle surgery due to an injury suffered in Game 1.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Tyler Seguin played through a fractured foot in that series against the Flames. Forward Luke Glendening suffered a groin injury, a twisted knee and concussion symptoms. Center Roope Hintz missed Game 7 following a reaction to treatment for an oblique injury while forward Radek Faksa left Game 7 with a concussion. Backup goaltender Braden Holtby missed the final two months of the season and the series against the Flames with a hip injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL player and current league executive Ray Whitney will reportedly interview for the post of Sharks general manager on Thursday. Whitney currently works in the league’s department of player safety.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2022

The Blues eliminate the Wild, the Lightning, Bruins and Oilers force Game 7 in their respective series, the Hart Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues advanced to the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 of the opening-round series. Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko were among the goal scorers while Jordan Binnington made 25 saves for the win. The Blues go on to face the Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues’ offensive depth made the difference in this series, particularly on the power play. They scored two goals with the man advantage in three of the six games and were held scoreless on the PP just once.

Despite a franchise-best regular season with 53 wins and 113 points and Kirill Kaprizov setting single-season franchise scoring records, the Wild once again came up short in postseason play. They haven’t won a playoff round since 2015 and haven’t advanced past the second round since 2003.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin faces a challenging offseason. He’s got over $12 million in dead cap space from last summer’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter biting deeply into his salary-cap payroll for next season. Winger Kevin Fiala is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in line for a substantial raise while trade deadline acquisition Marc-Andre Fleury is an unrestricted free agent.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images)

There will be a seventh and deciding game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. Brayden Point’s overtime goal lifted the Lightning to a 4-3 victory in Game 6 to tie their first-round series at 3 games apiece. John Tavares tallied twice and Auston Matthews also scored for the Leafs, who overcame a 2-0 deficit for the second straight game. However, they couldn’t hold the lead this time as Nikita Kucherov’s third-period power-play goal tied the contest and forced the extra period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, Toronto fans, here you are again, with your club extending their inability to win in a series-clinching contest to nine straight games dating back to 2013. With the series returning to Toronto for Game 7 on Saturday, it’s gut-check time for the Maple Leafs.

We already know what the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning are made of because they’ve proven it over the past two years and in this series. They rise to the occasion under playoff pressure. The Leafs must finally get this monkey off their backs or endure a miserable postseason that could lead to changes on the roster, behind the bench and in the front office.

Speaking of rising to the occasion, the Boston Bruins did that with a convincing 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to force Game 7 in their series on Saturday. Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle and Tomas Nosek each had a goal and an assist while Jeremy Swayman kicked out 23 shots for the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boston coach Bruce Cassidy made a key adjustment for this game by shifting David Pastrnak down to the second line and moving Jake DeBrusk onto the first line. The adjustment worked as the Bruins jumped to an early 2-0 lead and controlled the game after that. The Hurricanes made it interesting when Andrei Svechnikov cut the lead to 2-1 in the third period but the Bruins replied with three straight goals to put this one out of reach.

Each team has won their games in this series on home ice. That’s a trend the Hurricanes will hope to continue on Saturday.

The Edmonton Oilers got three-point performances from Connor McDavid and Evander Kane to double up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Mike Smith turned aside 30 shots for the win to send this series back to Edmonton for Game 7 on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of clubs needing to shake off a recent reputation for postseason failure, the Oilers have an opportunity to win their first series since 2017. Momentum seems to be on their side following Game 6 but the Kings have proven quite resilient, pushing this series further than most observers expected. I’d say the pressure remains on the Oilers.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin are this year’s finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player deemed most valuable to his team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is a two-time Hart winner who led the league in points with 123. Matthews, however, could be the favorite after becoming the first player to reach the 60-goal plateau since Steven Stamkos in 2012. However, I think a solid case can be made for Shesterkin, whose outstanding goaltending this season was crucial to the Rangers’ reaching the playoffs. My guess is Matthews ends up winning it.

THE ATHLETIC: A source claims Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is being evaluated for a concussion suffered during Game 5 against the New York Rangers. He left that contest in the second period after being elbowed in the head by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins are saying Crosby suffered an “upper-body injury” but everyone is well aware of his concussion history. It’s questionable if he’ll be available for Game 6 tonight in Pittsburgh. The Pens have recalled forward Radim Zohorna from their AHL affiliate to fill in for Crosby if he’s unavailable.

CBS SPORTS: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and won’t play in tonight’s Game 7 against the Washington Capitals. Marchment’s been out of action for the past two games.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been declared “good to go” for Game 1 of his club’s upcoming second-round series against the St. Louis Blues. Kuemper suffered an eye injury in Game 3 of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 12, 2022

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.

GAME RECAPS

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.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

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.

HEADLINES

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.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 24, 2022

The number 13 proves to be lucky for the Panthers, the Blues extend their points streak, Sidney Crosby ties Jaromir Jagr for the second-most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers set a franchise record with their 13th consecutive win by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Brandon Montour. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists, Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots. Mitch Marner and Justin Holl scored for the Leafs while teammate Auston Matthews was held scoreless in his return to the lineup after missing three games with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers also set an NHL record for the most overtime goals in one season with 13. They have opened a four-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche in the overall standings with 120 points. Meanwhile, Toronto picked up a point and sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 109 points. Leafs rookie winger Michael Bunting is expected to miss some time after leaving the game with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Justin Faulk lifted the St. Louis Blues over the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 to extend their points streak to 15 games (13-0-2). Faulk finished the game with two goals and an assist. Coyotes rookie winger Bokondji Imama tallied his first career NHL goal. The Blues are tied with the Minnesota Wild with 107 points but the latter holds second place in the Central Division with a game in hand.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Sidney Crosby tied Jaromir Jagr for the second-most 30-goal seasons in Pittsburgh Penguins history as he led his club over the Detroit Red Wings 7-2. Crosby has ten 30-goal campaigns and sits one back of franchise leader Mario Lemieux. Evgeni Malkin scored twice and Kris Letang had a three-point performance as the Penguins opened a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for third place in the Metropolitan Division with 101 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings forward Filip Zadina missed this game and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with appendicitis.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored multiple points for the fifth straight game in a 6-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Stamkos had a goal and two assists and has 13 points in his last five contests. Nikita Kucherov also had three points as the Lightning (104 points) sit five points back of the Leafs in third place in the Atlantic Division. Predators captain Roman Josi scored to become the first defenseman to reach 90 points since Raymond Bourque in 1993-94.

The Carolina Hurricanes got an overtime goal by Seth Jarvis to nip the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Hurricanes rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov made 19 saves for the win in his first NHL game. With the win, the Hurricanes opened a two-point lead over the New York Rangers atop the Metropolitan Division with 110 points.

Speaking of the Rangers, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Boston Bruins. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist in his return to the Bruins lineup after missing eight games with an undisclosed injury. The Bruins hold a two-point lead over the Capitals for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with 101 points.

Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm scored his 40th goal of the season in a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Chris Tanev collected three assists, Dillon Dube scored twice and Johnny Gaudreau collected two points for the Flames, who sit in first place in the Pacific Division with 108 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss leaves the Canucks’ playoff hopes hanging by a thread. With 87 points, they’re six behind the Dallas Stars for the final wild-card berth. The Stars need just one point to eliminate the Canucks from postseason contention.

Speaking of the Stars, they overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Roope Hintz tallied twice and Jake Oettinger kicked out 30 shots for the win. Kraken rookie Matty Beniers was held pointless for the first time in six games.

The Los Angeles Kings improved their chances of securing a playoff spot by doubling up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. Anze Kopitar, Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev each collected two points as the Kings hold a seven-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for third place in the Pacific Division with 96 points. Trevor Zegras scored to set the Ducks rookie points record with 58.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 with rookie forward Mark Kastelic scoring his first two NHL goals and Anton Forsberg making 44 saves. Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield scored his 20th goal of the season and Rem Pitlick tallied twice. Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot was held scoreless in his first game since breaking his hand on March 16.

Forwards Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson each had a goal and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres extended their win streak to four games with a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders.

San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier scored his 34th goal of the season in a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Kaapo Kahkonen got the win by stopping 27 shots.

IN OTHER NEWS…

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner missed practice for the second straight day amid speculation he requires season-ending knee surgery. The Golden Knights have declined to comment and remain hopeful he’ll play tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forwards Mark Scheifele and Cole Perfetti have been shut down for the season due to nagging injuries.

CBS SPORTS: An upper-body injury could sideline Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba for the remainder of the regular season and possibly the first game of their opening-round series against the Blues.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: The Flyers have ruled all their injured players except for Nick Seeler are sidelined for the season. That list includes Cam Atkinson, Carter Hart, Rasmus Ristolainen, Sean Couturier and Cam York.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2022

More scoring milestones were reached by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, Jordan Staal collected his first hat trick in years, the Wild stage a six-goal comeback against the Kings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Nashville Predators 3-2. With three points, Crosby reached the 1,400th career-point plateau in his 1,100th career NHL game. Rickard Rakell collected three assists for the Penguins, who sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 94 points. The Predators, meanwhile, hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 87 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins center Evgeni Malkin could face supplemental discipline after cross-checking Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the mouth. Malkin received a double minor as Borowiecki left the game after losing several teeth.

The Washington Capitals got unanswered third-period goals from Lars Eller and Alex Ovechkin to double up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Ovechkin’s goal was his 45th of the season and was his 100th career goal in the month of April, tying Wayne Gretzky for the most career months with 100-plus goals. With 90 points, the Capitals hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference and sit five points behind the Bruins.

Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal tallied his first hat trick since April 18, 2012, to lead his club to a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. With the win, the Hurricanes hold a two-point lead over the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 102 points. The Ducks, meanwhile, were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Minnesota Wild scored six unanswered goals to overcome a three-goal deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3. Jared Spurgeon and Matt Boldy each had a goal and an assist while Kirill Kaprizov scored his 42nd goal to tie the franchise single-season record. The Wild are tied with the St. Louis Blues with 94 points but the Wild hold second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. The Kings, meanwhile, cling to third place in the Pacific Division with 86 points, two up on the Vegas Golden Knights.

A 28-save performance by Brian Elliott enabled the Tampa Bay Lightning to shut out the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist as the Lightning moved back into third place in the Atlantic Division with 96 points, one ahead of the Bruins.

Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson scored two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Roope Hintz collected three points for the Stars (86 points), who sit one point behind the Predators in the final Western wild-card spot. Patrick Kane and Kirby Dach each had two points for the Blackhawks.

The Winnipeg Jets kept their faint wild-card hopes alive by holding off the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and two assists while Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist. Brady Tkachuk scored twice and chipped in an assist for the Senators. With 79 points, the Jets are seven points behind the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Jets as center Mark Scheifele left the game near the end of the second period following a high hit from Senators forward Parker Kelly. He will not play in tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken signed top prospect Matty Beniers to a three-year entry-level contract. Beniers, 19, was their first-round pick (second overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Speaking of teams signing prospects, the Flyers inked Bobby Brinks to an entry-level deal. The 20-year-old right winger helped Denver defeat Minnesota State on Saturday to win the NCAA championship.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed winger Oskar Steen to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $800K.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 20, 2022

A record-setting night for Filip Forsberg, the Bruins attempt to sign recently-acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm, Tyler Bertuzzi speaks out about trade rumors, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg tallied his franchise-record 211th career goal (and tied his single-season personal best of 33 goals) in a 6-3 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Predators captain Roman Josi collected three assists to become the first NHL defenseman since Paul Coffey and Al MacInnis in 1990-91 to reach 75 points in 60 games. Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored twice and teammate Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist in his return from a two-game suspension. With 76 points, the Predators hold a four-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the first Western Conference wild-card berth while the Leafs (83 points) remain one point behind the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs winger Ondrej Kase left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head by Predators forward Matt Duchene. He has a history of head injuries and there was no immediate update about his condition.

Speaking of the Lightning, they dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Rangers when Mika Zibanejad snapped a 1-1 tie with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. Igor Shesterkin made 28 saves for the win as the Rangers completed a sweep of their season series against the Lightning. The Blueshirts sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 83 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby enjoyed his 87th career multi-point game with two goals to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored to extend his points streak to eight games. The Penguins sit two points ahead of the Rangers for second place in the Metro Division and are three points behind the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, got a 38-save performance by goaltender Logan Thompson (19 of them in the third period) in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist for Vegas (72 points) as they opened a three-point lead over the Dallas Stars for the final Western wild-card berth. The Kings sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 76 points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3. The Oilers tallied four unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 3-2 deficit and pick up their fifth straight win, sitting two points behind the Kings in third place. Evander Kane scored twice for the Oilers while Jesper Bratt netted two goals for the Devils.

The Calgary Flames dealt a blow to the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff hopes by beating the latter 5-2. Matthew Tkachuk led the way with a goal and two assists for the Flames, who sit atop the Pacific Division with 84 points. The Canucks sit five points out of the final Western wild-card spot with 67 points.

Late goals by Ryan Hartman and Jordan Greenway lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Cam Talbot made 21 saves for the win as the Wild have victories in four of their last six contests. They sit one point behind the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division with 76 points.

The Columbus Blue Jackets got two-point performances from Patrik Laine, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Gustav Nyquist and Emil Bemstrom to hold off the Blues 5-4. David Perron had a hat trick for St. Louis.

New York Islanders center Brock Nelson tallied a hat trick as his club doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for the Isles, who’ve gone 5-0-1 in their last six games. The Stars are three points out of the final Western wild-card berth.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 29 saves for his first win since Nov. 27 in a 5-1 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Jake Evans had a goal and an assist while Cole Caufield extended his goal streak to four games.

A four-goal outburst in the third period carried the Seattle Kraken over the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Yanni Gourde tallied twice for the Kraken.

HEADLINES

TSN: The Boston Bruins are reportedly attempting to sign Hampus Lindholm after acquiring him yesterday from the Anaheim Ducks. Pierre LeBrun reports it’s believed to be an eight-year contract extension that could be completed Sunday. Chris Johnston followed up indicating the annual average value is $6.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be a reasonable cap hit for Lindholm. His current annual average value is over $5.2 million. He might’ve received more on the open market this summer.

The contract term was a sticking point in Lindholm’s contract talks with the Ducks and led to his trade to Boston. Signing an extension with the Bruins gives him an extra year on his contract he otherwise wouldn’t have received in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The full details of Claude Giroux’s trade to the Florida Panthers sees the Flyers receive winger Owen Tippett, a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick. The Panthers also received minor-league forwards Connor Bunneman and German Rubtsov and a 2024 fifth-round pick. The Flyers retained 50 percent of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The details of the trade tended to dribble out during the course of the evening. You can read my reaction to the trade at this link.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi dismissed recent trade rumors, making it clear he’s committed to the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bertuzzi is replying to a recent rumor claiming he’d welcome a move to another club. General manager Steve Yzerman has made no comment about Bertuzzi or any of his other players as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Nino Niederreiter received a one-game suspension for slashing Washington Capitals Axel Jonsson-Fjallby on Friday.