NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 7, 2023
The Oilers down the Golden Knights to tie their second-round series, Gerard Gallant is out as Rangers’ head coach and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1 in Game 2 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored twice, Zach Hyman collected three assists and Stuart Skinner kicked out 30 shots for the win. The series is tied at a game apiece as it shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers dominated the Golden Knights from the opening drop, rolling to a 4-0 lead in the first period and never looking back.
Once again, their power play was lethal, scoring three goals with the man advantage. The Oilers’ power-play success rate is a phenomenal 56.0 percent in these playoffs thus far.
They were also dangerous on the penalty kill with one of McDavid’s goals scored while shorthanded.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers announced Saturday that they and head coach Gerard Gallant have mutually agreed to part ways. This comes less than a week after the Rangers were eliminated from the opening round of the playoffs by the New Jersey Devils.
Gallant was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award last season after coaching the Rangers to a 110-point performance. They also reached the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. They finished this season with 107 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have now gone through three head coaches since 2018. Gallant’s status was the subject of media speculation for most of last week. He fact criticism over his strict adherence to his coaching system and supposed inability to adjust to in-game situations.
Speculation has already started regarding Gallant’s replacement. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumors update.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano acknowledged his recent play “hasn’t been good enough.” The 39-year-old blueliner is playing in the second round of the playoffs for the first time in his career. He’s been on the ice for 11 even-strength goals against during this postseason.
TSN: Rookie defenseman Luke Hughes will be in the lineup for the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Hughes replaces Ryan Graves, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 2.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope wondered who will take over as Blackhawks captain when Jonathan Toews departs via free agency on July 1. Seth Jones or Connor Murphy would be suitable candidates but Pope also wondered if the club might not bother naming a captain for next season.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of team captains, Steve MacFarlane wondered if offering the Flames’ captaincy to Mikael Backlund might convince the 34-year-old center to sign a contract extension. He’s slated next summer to become an unrestricted free agent.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed defense prospect Lian Bichsel to a three-year entry-level contract. The 2022 first-round pick is currently recovering from a broken ankle.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have signed 2022 first-round pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki to a three-year entry-level deal.
OTTAWA SUN: Another celebrity has joined another group bidding for the Ottawa Senators. Canadian music star Abel Tesfaye (also known as The Weeknd) has agreed to partner with Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel of the Harlo Capital Group to purchase the club.
Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and superstar rapper Snoop Dogg are also part of two other groups bidding for ownership of the Senators. The deadline for final binding bids is reportedly May 15.