NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 25, 2017

New York Islanders captain John Tavares scores the game winner in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game recaps, injury updates, latest on the Olympics & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: John Tavares scored the game winner in a shootout and Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves as the New York Islanders edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. The Isles (82 points) move into a tie with the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. It was also Halak’s first game back in the NHL since his demotion to the AHL on Dec. 29.

The Isles also learned forward Ryan Strome (broken right wrist) won’t require surgery but will be sidelined beyond the end of the season on April 9. 

Speaking of the Penguins, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk wasn’t pleased that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby didn’t face discipline for injuring Sens defenseman Marc Methot with a slash to his right hand during their game on Thursday. Calling Crosby a “whiner”, Melnyk believes the Pens captain should’ve received a lengthy suspension. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The department of player safety likely looked at intent in deciding not to levy supplemental discipline against Crosby. While the Penguins captain may not have intended to hurt Methot, in my opinion the severity of the injury should’ve merited some form of action from the league. Players have to be careful with their sticks. If the roles had been reversed, you can bet the Penguins would’ve called for Methot to be suspended. 

Nikita Kucherov’s overtime goal gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning (81 points) are within one point of the Isles and Bruins for that final wild-card spot in the East. The Bolts also learned defenseman Jason Garrison is day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered on Thursday. 

Corey Perry, Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg scored to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Ducks (91 points) vaulted into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with the slumping San Jose Sharks. Earlier in the day, the Ducks announced they sent defenseman Clayton Stoner to their AHL affiliate on a long-term conditioning stint

Adam Cracknell’s hat trick powered the Dallas Stars to a 6-1 drubbing of the Sharks, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi returns to their lineup after missing the last dozen game with an ankle injury. 

CBC SPORTS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation must make concessions in order for NHL players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. “If nothing changes, I don’t see anybody participating,” Bettman said. “If somebody proposes something that’s pragmatic, that’s radically different, that gets the attention of the clubs where they say, `You know what, we don’t like going, but on balance it’s worth it because of this,’ we’ll have to look at it again.” The IIHF has asked the NHL for a decision by the end of April.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Typical Bettman negotiating tactic. I believe he’s using the deadline set by the IIHF to squeeze them and the IOC to do more to pick up the travel and insurance costs of the players and to agree to sharing more broadcast revenue with the league. If they don’t bend to Bettman’s demands, the NHL won’t participate. 

OTTAWA SUN: The NHL confirmed yesterday the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche will participate in back-to-back regular season games in Sweden on Nov. 10 and 11, 2017. 

YAHOO SPORTS: The failed NHL Guardian Project has resulted in a $500K lawsuit award to Filmula Entertainment.