NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2022

The Lightning, Oilers and Hurricanes advance to the second round. Check out the recaps of Saturday’s action in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first-round series. Nick Paul tallied both goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves for the Lightning as they took the series four games to three. Morgan Rielly replied for the Maple Leafs.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a well-earned victory for the Lightning as they continue their quest to become the first team to win three consecutive Stanley Cups since the 1982 New York Islanders. Vasilevskiy seemed ordinary through most of this series but he stepped up in Game 7. With their best scorers neutralized, the Bolts got timely goals from Paul, a depth player acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline.

It was a costly win for the Lightning, however, as Braydon Point suffered a leg injury late in the first period and spent the remainder of the game on the bench. No word yet as to whether he’ll be sidelined for their upcoming series against the Florida Panthers but it would be a significant loss for the Bolts if he is.

As for the Leafs, their postseason series drought is now at 18 years. This disappointing loss, however, is unlike this current group’s previous ones. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, they were a young team on the rise going up against better, more experienced opponents in the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. They underachieved against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2020 playoff bubble while overconfidence cost them last year against the Montreal Canadiens.

This time, the Leafs pushed the defending Stanley Cup champions to the limit with their best players performing well. It was a very entertaining series but the Leafs failed to put the Lightning away in this contest and in Game 6 when they held a 3-2 series lead.

There were calls last year from fans and pundits for the Leafs to make big changes following their stunning collapse against the Canadiens. The front office ignored those cries and focused instead on building up around the core. It’ll be interesting to see what they do this time. I’ll have more in the Sunday NHL rumor mill.

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist while Mike Smith kicked out 29 shots to shut out the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in Game 7 of their first-round series. Cody Ceci also scored for the Oilers, who will face off against the Calgary Flames or Dallas Stars in the second round. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 39 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could’ve won this 6-0 if not for Quick’s outstanding goaltending. They dominated the Kings with McDavid leading the way as they advance to the second round for the first time since 2017. There were concerns before this game whether Leon Draisaitl would play following a leg injury in Game 6 but he was in the lineup and picked up an assist on the Ceci goal.

The Kings exceeded expectations in this series, pushing the favored Oilers to the limit. Their performance in this series can be used as a building block going forward. However, it marks the end of Dustin Brown’s 18-season NHL career, all of them spent with the Kings. He announced last month that he would retire following the postseason. The former Kings captain leaves as one of the best players in franchise history after leading them to two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.

The Carolina Hurricanes are marching on to the second round after holding off the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 7 of their opening-round series. Max Domi scored twice and Antti Raanta made 27 saves in his first Game 7 appearance. Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak replied for the Bruins. Having taken this series four games to three, the Hurricanes await the winner of the New York Rangers-Pittsburgh Penguins series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The home team won each game in this series. Raanta was the series MVP for the Hurricanes, filling in for sidelined starter Frederik Andersen and shaking off an injury suffered in Game 2. The Hurricanes got clutch scoring from a trade deadline acquisition in Domi, who finished this contest with three points in what was perhaps his best performance as an NHL player.

Among the questions facing the Bruins heading into the offseason is the future of captain Patrice Bergeron. The long-time Bruins star is an unrestricted free agent this summer and remains among the league’s best two-way forwards. However, there’s speculation the 36-year-old center could retire or perhaps sign elsewhere if he and the Bruins fail to reach an agreement on a new contract. I’ll have more about that in today’s rumor mill.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2022

The Leafs, Hurricanes, Blues and Kings go up 3-2 in their respective series, the Canadiens win the 2022 NHL draft lottery, the Vezina Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews snapped a 3-3 tie to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 of their first-round series. Toronto rallied from a 2-0 deficit and held a 3-2 lead until Ryan McDonagh tied it for Tampa Bay before Matthews netted the game-winner. William Nylander had a goal and two assists and John Tavares had a goal and an assist for the Leafs, who hold a 3-2 series lead over the Lightning as the series returns to Tampa Bay for Game 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was the most entertaining game of this series. The Lightning dominated the opening period but the Leafs rallied in part thanks to a motivating between-period speech by center Jason Spezza. Their biggest test comes on Thursday as they must finally get the monkey off their backs and win the franchise’s first playoff series since 2004.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko tallied a natural hat trick in the third period to lead his club to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their opening-round series. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington picked up his second straight win by stopping 32 shots. Kirill Kaprizov scored both Wild goals. The series heads back to St. Louis on Thursday for Game 6 with the Blues holding a 3-2 lead.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues showed their mettle by overcoming a 2-1 series deficit to put themselves in the driver’s seat heading into Thursday’s contest. We’ll find out if the Wild can do the same to force a seventh and deciding game back home in Minnesota on Saturday.

The Carolina Hurricanes atoned for their undisciplined Game 4 loss against the Boston Bruins with a 5-1 victory in Game 5. Seth Jarvis scored two goals, Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck and Tony DeAngelo each had three points and Antti Raanta made 33 saves for the win. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy returned to the lineup after spending Game 4 in COVID protocol. The Hurricanes lead the series three games to two heading back to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the first and spent the next two periods falling further behind as they tried to play catch-up. They need more from their secondary scorers such as Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk and Craig Smith or this series will be over on Thursday.

An overtime goal by Adrian Kempe lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of their series. The Oilers overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period on two goals by Leon Draisaitl to force the extra frame. Kempe and Draisaitl each finished the night with two goals and an assist. The Kings hold a 3-2 series lead heading home to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are poised to pull off the first upset of the 2022 NHL playoffs unless the Oilers can win Game 6 and return home to Edmonton to take Game 7 on Saturday. The Oilers haven’t won a playoff series since 2017 so it’s gut-check time for Draisaitl, fellow superstar Connor McDavid and their teammates.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens will select first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft after winning the draft lottery on Tuesday evening. The New Jersey Devils won the second-overall selection while the Arizona Coyotes will get the No. 3 pick. The draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7-8.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for the full list of the draft order from selections 1 through 16. The remainder of the order will be determined by the outcomes of the four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The top prospect in this year’s draft is Kingston Frontenacs center Shane Wright. However, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes played coy over which player he’ll select on July 7, indicating he and his staff will continue to evaluate the prospects before making their final decision.

Winger Juraj Slafkovsky of TPS Finland and center Logan Cooley of the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) are also ranked among the top three in this year’s prospect pool.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens will conduct due diligence but they’ll likely take Wright, who was ranked this year’s top prospect throughout this season. While the 18-year-old center isn’t a generational talent, he’s drawn favorable comparisons to Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. If Hughes chooses Wright, Canadiens fans will be thrilled if he becomes a multiple Selke Trophy winner.

Hughes’ son, Jack, is also among this year’s top-32 prospects. However, the Canadiens GM joked he wouldn’t be taking him with that selection.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks wound up with the sixth-overall selection. However, that pick goes to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the terms of last year’s Seth Jones trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could work in the Blackhawks’ favor. Had this year’s pick landed among the top two, the Blue Jackets would’ve received the Hawks’ first-rounder in the 2023 draft, which is considered to be deeper in talented prospects.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights wound up with the 16th overall pick but that selection goes to the Buffalo Sabres as part of last November’s Jack Eichel trade. The Sabres also own the ninth-overall pick.

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames’ Jacob Markstrom, Nashville Predators’ Juuse Saros, and New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin are the 2022 finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These three are certainly worthwhile candidates. Shesterkin is considered the favorite as he led all starters during the regular season with a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Patrick Marleau officially announced his retirement as an NHL player on Tuesday. He spent 21 of his 23 seasons with the San Jose Sharks and holds the league record for most games played with 1,779. Marleau is also the Sharks’ all-time leader with 1,607 games played, 522 goals and 1,111 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Marleau and his family in their future endeavors.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was fined $5,000.00 by the department of player safety for a dangerous trip on Calgary Flames forward Trevor Lewis during Game 4 on Monday.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights center Jack Eichel played the final six weeks of the regular season with a broken finger.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2022

The Avalanche take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Predators while the Capitals, Penguins and Stars go up 2-1 in their respective first-round series. Check out the details plus the latest news in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche are on the verge of sweeping the Nashville Predators following a 7-3 victory in Game 3 of their best-of-seven opening-round series. Their win, however, was overshadowed by an eye injury suffered by goaltender Darcy Kuemper as he left the game late in the first period when the blade of Predators center Ryan Johansen accidentally poked through the protective cage of his mask.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (NHL Images).

Pavel Francouz replaced Kuemper and made 18 saves for the win. Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and set up two others while Cale Makar had three assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thankfully, it appears Kuemper’s injury wasn’t as serious as feared as Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said the netminder could potentially return for Game 4 on Monday in Nashville. He also absolved Johansen, calling the episode an accident.

Penalties proved costly for the Predators in this contest as the Avalanche went four-for-seven on the power play. Up three games to none, they can wrap up this series in Game 4.

Alex Ovechkin scored and collected an assist while goalie Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves for his first playoff win to defeat the Florida Panthers 6-1 and take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, Anthony Mantha and Marcus Johansson each collected two points. Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Panthers. Game 4 is Monday night in Washington.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, Samsonov admitted feeling emotional as Washington fans chanted his name. He also commended his teammates’ solid defensive play in this contest, which has been a significant factor in both Capitals’ wins in this series.

The Pittsburgh Penguins blew a 4-1 lead but recovered to down the New York Rangers 7-4 to take a two-game to one lead in their series. Three unanswered third-period goals by Danton Heinen, Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter put the game away for Pittsburgh. Carter and Evan Rodrigues each tallied twice while Penguins third-string goaltender Louis Domingue stopped 32 shots. Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin was pulled after giving up four goals on 15 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That game was certainly a wild ride for fans of both clubs. The power play made the difference for the Penguins, going two for three with the man advantage. The two clubs clash again in Game 4 on Monday in Pittsburgh.

Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski scored two goals, including the game-winner to lead his club over the Calgary Flames 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Jake Oettinger kicked out 39 shots for the win while Miro Heiskanen chipped in two assists. Flames forward Elias Lindholm netted his team-leading second goal of the series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the second straight game Pavelski tallied the winning goal. At 37, he continues to defy Father Time while playing a key role as a top-line forward for the Stars. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau had a great chance to tie the game 3-3 late in the third but Oettinger stopped his breakaway scoring chance.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Jordan Binnington could see his first start of this postseason as his St. Louis Blues face off against the Minnesota Wild this evening in Game 4 of their first-round series. Ville Husso was between the pipes for the Blues in the previous three games.

Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich could also make his debut in this series after being sidelined since January by a wrist injury. He would replace Torey Krug, who left Game 3 with an injured leg and is expected to miss some time.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes could shake things up for Game 4 today against the Boston Bruins. Derek Stepan could replace a sidelined Jordan Martinook while Max Domi or Martin Necas could take a seat in favor of Steven Lorentz.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former Sharks forward Patrick Marleau will make an announcement on Tuesday regarding the future of his hockey career. The 42-year-old hasn’t played since the 2020-21 season and is the all-time NHL leader in games played with 1,779. He spent 21 of his 23 NHL seasons with the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If I were a betting man I’d say Marleau will be officially announcing his retirement. If so, it’ll be interesting to find out if he intends in staying in the game in some capacity, perhaps in a front-office role with the Sharks.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks parted ways with five of their amateur scouts on Friday. Former NHL players Pat Conacher and Ted Hampson.

NJ.COM: Former NHL forward Jay Pandolfo was named the new head coach at Boston University. He played for BU in 1995, helping them win the national title before going on to a 15-year NHL career, including 13 seasons with the New Jersey Devils.

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday that Russian prospects will remain eligible for selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. It remains to be seen if Russia will be invited to participate in a potential World Cup of Hockey before the 2026 Winter Olympics. The NHL suspended business ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2022

The Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead over the Predators while the Panthers, Rangers and Stars even their respective series at a game apiece. Check out the details and other news in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Cale Makar lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Nashville Predators 2-1 to give them a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven opening-round series. Nathan MacKinnon opened the scoring for the Avalanche while Yakov Trenin replied for Nashville. Predators goalie Connor Ingram made 49 saves.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for Ingram this could’ve been another blowout loss for the Predators. They must get their offense going as the series shifts to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 or risk getting swept by the powerful Avalanche.

The Florida Panthers evened their first-round series with the Washington Capitals at a game apiece with a 5-1 victory. They got three unanswered second-period goals by Mason Marchment, Anton Lundell and Carter Verhaeghe while Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for the win. Capitals netminder Vitek Vanecek got the hook after giving up five goals on 19 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The suffocating defense that worked so well for the Capitals in Game 1 vanished in this contest. They also missed rugged winger Tom Wilson as he was sidelined by a lower-body injury. All five Panthers’ goals came at even strength. This series shifts to Washington for the next two games.

New York Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and two assists to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2, squaring their opening-round series at one game apiece. Igor Shesterkin kicked out 39 shots for the win. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for the Penguins as this series heads to Pittsburgh for the next two contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins need more from their secondary scorers. Almost all their goals in this series have come from the Crosby line. Meanwhile, Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin missed Game 2 with a lower-body injury. Rangers winger Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Ryan Lindgren were also sidelined by injuries. Goodrow (lower body) is listed as week-to-week.

The Dallas Stars got a 29-save shutout from Jake Oettinger to blank the Calgary Flames 2-0, tying their first-round series 1-1. Joe Pavelski and Michael Raffl were the goal scorers. Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Stars thanks to young Oettinger’s goaltending. He’s tied with Markstrom for the best goals-against average (0.50) thus far among postseason netminders.

HEADLINES

TSN: Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was fined $5,000.00 for slashing Carolina Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov in Game 2 of the first-round series on Wednesday. Marchand’s teammate Derek Forbort also received a $5,000.00 fine for high-sticking Hurricanes winger Teuvo Teravainen.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Bruins, defenseman Hampus Lindholm has been ruled out of Game 3 on Friday. The club also confirmed Jeremy Swayman will get the start in that game.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, goaltender Antti Raanta skated with his teammates today but his status for Game 3 is uncertain. He left Game 2 after being shaken up in a collision with Bruins winger David Pastrnak.

THE SCORE: Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour believes the Bruins are deliberately targeting his goaltenders. “It can’t get any more obvious,” he told reporters following Game 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL headquarters could issue a warning to both clubs about running goalies. Brind’Amour could also get a call about his comments.

NHL.COM: Center Shane Wright of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs is the No. 1 prospect among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of this year’s top prospects. Left winger Jural Slafkovsky of TPS in Finland is the top European skater.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils confirmed Lindy Ruff will return next season as head coach. The announcement comes a day after they announced they were parting ways with assistant coaches Mark Recchi and Alain Nasreddine.

PHILLY.COM: The Flyers have added Sami Kapanen and Kyle Shero to their scouting department.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2022

The Hurricanes take a 2-0 series lead over the Bruins, the Lightning, Oilers and Wild tie their opening-round series, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes became the first team in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs to open a 2-0 lead in the opening-round best-of-seven series with a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Pyotr Kochetkov made 30 saves in relief of an injured Antti Raanta for the win in his first-ever NHL playoff game. Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter each scored twice for the Hurricanes. Patrice Bergeron scored both goals for the Bruins, who also lost defenseman Hampus Lindholm following a thunderous hit from Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta was sidelined in the first period following a collision with Bruins winger David Pastrnak. His status, and that of Lindholm, remains uncertain as there was no update on their respective conditions following this game.

Dominated by the Hurricanes for lengthy stretches in the first two games, the Bruins have been forced to play catch-up thus far in this series. I expect Jeremy Swayman to replace Linus Ullmark in goal for the Bruins as the series shifts to Boston for the next two games.

The Canes, meanwhile, will be hoping Raanta or sidelined starter Frederik Andersen will be ready for at least backup duty in Game 3. Third-stringer Kochetkov played well in Game 2 but they’re running out of healthy netminders with NHL experience.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (NHL Images).

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman had a goal and three assists as his club held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3, tying their first-round series at a game apiece. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each had two points for the Leafs while teammate Michael Bunting scored in his return to the lineup after being sidelined by injury on April 23. The series moves to Tampa Bay for the next two games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning rebounded well from their lopsided loss in Game 1. They made the Leafs pay for their undisciplined play in this contest, going three for seven on the power play.

Speaking of bounce-back performances, the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 to tie their opening-round series 1-1. Mike Smith picked up the shutout with a 30-save effort while Evander Kane scored twice and collected an assist. Games 3 and 4 of this series will be played in Los Angeles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers blew this one open with three goals in the second period, outshooting the Kings 19-9 in that frame. They remain lethal with the man advantage in this series, going two for four on the power play for the second straight contest.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a hat trick and teammate Joel Eriksson Ek tallied twice in a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, tying their series at one apiece. Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out 32 shots for the win. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist for the Blues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaprizov continues setting franchise records for the Wild. He became the first player in team history to record a postseason hat trick.

St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo left the game after being struck in the head by a puck in the first period. Blues rearguards Marco Scandella and Nick Leddy missed Game 2 with injuries while sidelined Scott Perunovich won’t be ready for Game 3.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban and Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty are among this season’s 32 players nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is presented annually to the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to the community.”

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger Tom Wilson (lower-body injury) is a game-time decision for Game 2 of his club’s series with the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins announced goaltender Casey DeSmith (undisclosed injury) and winger Rickard Rakell (upper body) are listed as day-to-day. Each remains under evaluation. The Penguins recalled netminder Alex D’Orio from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Penguins starter Tristan Jarry still rehabbing an injured right foot, Louis Domingue will get the call for tonight’s game if DeSmith isn’t cleared to play.

TSN: Don’t expect any change to the current NHL playoff format. League commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday dismissed the notion of expanding the format, claiming the current one creates greater competition and more meaningful games during the regular season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league’s expansion to 32 franchises has some pundits calling for an expansion from the current 16-team setup to 20 or 22 with a “play-in” round. The only way I see Bettman changing his mind is if it can be proven that expanding the format will bring about a significant increase in revenue. Any change to the current format will have to come from a majority of the NHL board of governors.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils parted ways with assistant coaches Mark Recchi and Alain Nasreddine. No word on the future of head coach Lindy Ruff, who has a year remaining on his contract.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Former NHL player Mike Ribeiro has been charged with sexual assault stemming from two incidents last June in East Texas. He was arrested on April 28 and released the same day on a $200,000 bond.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Frans Nielsen intends to retire after he plays for Denmark in the upcoming 2021 World Championships. The 38-year-old center spent 15 seasons with the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings and was bought out of the final year of his contract with the Wings last summer. He spent this season with Eisbaren Berlin, helping them win the German DEL championship.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nielsen was considered a solid two-way center during his playing prime. He finished with 167 goals and 306 points for 473 points in 925 NHL contests. Best wishes to Nielsen in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2022

The opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw the Leafs shut out the Lightning, the Kings upset the Oilers, the Blues blank the Wild & the Hurricanes tame the Bruins. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Auston Matthew scored twice in a three-point performance and Jack Campbell made 24 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven opening-round series. Mitch Marner scored to snap an 18-game playoff goal drought and collected two assists. Leafs forward Kyle Clifford was ejected from the game in the first period for boarding Lightning forward Ross Colton.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was total domination by the Leafs. They out-skated and outworked the Lightning, who were stymied on the power play and gave up too many odd-man rushes. This lopsided defeat could spark a better effort from the Lightning in Game 2, but the Leafs deserve full marks for their strong effort in this series-opening contest.

A turnover by Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith led to Phillip Danault’s game-winning goal as the Los Angeles Kings got a 4-3 upset win in Game 1 of their opening-round series. The Kings jumped to an early 2-0 lead but the Oilers bounced back on goals by Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick made 37 saves for the win while Trevor Moore had a goal and two assists. Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson (undisclosed) missed this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t know what Smith was thinking but attempting to pass the puck up the middle from behind his own net rather than chipping it up along the boards was a big mistake. Quick was outstanding for the Kings, showing the form that backstopped his club to two Stanley Cups.

St. Louis Blues winger David Perron tallied a hat trick while Ville Husso had a 37-save shutout to blank the Minnesota Wild 4-0 in the first game of their opening-round series. Perron finished with four points while Torey Krug collected three assists. It was reported the league will review a nasty downward cross-check by Wild captain Jared Spurgeon across the ankle of Blues winger Pavel Buchenich.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild controlled the play for most of this game, out-shooting and out-chancing the Blues. Husso, however, proved up to the challenge in his first-ever NHL playoff game while his teammates capitalized on their chances, including two power-play goals.

Third-period goals by Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck and Andrei Svechnikov carried the Carolina Hurricanes to a series-opening 5-1 victory in Game 1 against the Boston Bruins. Backup Antti Raanta kicked out 35 shots for the win.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta was superb between the pipes as this game went along, shaking off what appeared to be a nervous start with several big saves as the Bruins pressed to open the scoring. The Hurricanes will need more of that from him as starter Frederik Andersen could remain sidelined for Game 2 with a sprained knee.

HEADLINES

DAILY FACEOFF: The Philadelphia Flyers will be moving on from interim head coach Mike Yeo as they’ll search for a new bench boss. Yeo took over from Alain Vigneault when the latter was fired in December.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are also searching for a new head coach, though interim Dave Lowry will have the opportunity to interview for the job. Lowry replaced Paul Maurice when the latter resigned in December. Associate coach Jamie Kompon and assistant coach Charlie Huddy face uncertain futures.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Flyers and Jets will be seeking new coaches given their disappointing performances this season.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Bruce Boudreau is confident he’ll be returning next season as the Canucks’ head coach. The club missed the playoffs but made significant improvement after he took over behind the bench in December. Boudreau said he’s spoken with Canucks management and is hopeful a contract can be worked out.

TSN: Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (left leg injury) will miss the first two games of his club’s opening-round series with the Colorado Avalanche.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker has been cleared to play in Game 1 of his club’s first-round series with the New York Rangers. Zucker was sidelined on April 26 with an undisclosed injury.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond will no longer be participating in the upcoming World Championships for his native Sweden as originally planned. His father, Jean Raymond, and his agent, Peter Werner, explained the rigors of his first NHL season took more physical and mental energy than expected. “My advice to Lucas was to listen to his mind and body,” said Werner. “He needs this time to during the summer to recharge the batteries.”