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 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 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2022

The Lightning, Bruins, Kings and Blues tie their best-of-seven first-round series at two games apiece. Check out the details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning took a 5-0 lead after two periods over the Toronto Maple Leafs on route to a 7-3 victory, tying their best-of-seven opening-round playoff series at two games apiece. Ross Colton scored twice while Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Brandon Hagel each collected two assists. William Nylander tallied two goals for the Leafs while teammate Jack Campbell was pulled after giving up five goals on 16 shots. The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Tuesday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs are learning the hard way that the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning rises to the occasion when their backs are to the wall. At least the Lightning hasn’t held a lead in this series but that could change if the Leafs come out with another flat effort in Game 5.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored twice and set up three others to lead his club over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 to square their first-round series at two games each. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists and David Pastrnak scored and picked up a helper. Jeremy Swayman got the win with a 24-save performance while Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed this game due to COVID protocol. Game 5 is in Carolina on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ill-disciplined play proved costly for the Hurricanes as the Bruins went two-for-nine on the power play. Marchand was also his usual pesky self, getting into the head of Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo by appearing to call him a racist during a heated exchange. Meanwhile, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour was frustrated when his challenge of Jake DeBrusk’s tying goal in the second period for goalie interference was ruled as incidental contact while attempting to make a play with the puck loose in the crease.

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 31 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 to tie their series at 2-2. He set the playoff shutout record (10) for American-born NHL netminders. Carl Grundstrom scored two goals and collected an assist while Trevor Moore and Troy Stecher each had a goal and an assist. The series shifts back to Edmonton on Tuesday night for Game 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings looked done like dinner following lopsided losses in the previous two games. Quick’s superb goaltending and the Kings’ veteran leadership were crucial in this series-tying win. The Oilers played as though they were expecting another easy victory. This game should be a wake-up call that they’re facing an opponent they cannot take lightly.

The St. Louis Blues got a 28-save effort from Jordan Binnington in his 2022 postseason debut to tame the Minnesota Wild 5-2 and even their series at two games apiece. Jordan Kyrou scored two goals while Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron each picked up three points. Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy replied for the Wild. The two sides face off in Minnesota for Game 5 on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues’ revolving door blueline continued in this game as Scott Perunovich returned to action for the first time since January while Marco Scandella left this game with a lower-body injury. It’s possible Nick Leddy, Robert Bortuzzo or both could return for Game 5.

HEADLINES

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper escaped a serious eye injury on Saturday but swelling could keep him out of Game 4 against the Nashville Predators on Monday. The injury occurred in Game 3 when the blade of Predators center Ryan Johansen’s stick accidentally poked through the cage of Kuemper’s mask. Johansen was remorseful over the incident and was glad to hear the Avs goalie wasn’t seriously hurt.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Teresa Walker reports Predators coach John Hynes said starting goalie Juuse Saros will not be playing in Game 4 against the Avs. He’s been sidelined since April 26 by a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Predators down 3-0 in this series it would be folly to put Saros in net if he’s not fully recovered.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was fined $5,000.00 by the NHL department of player safety for high-sticking Calgary Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane during Game 3 of their first-round series on Saturday.

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov received the same fine for a similar infraction against Florida Panthers forward Noel Acciari in Game 3 of their series on Saturday.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Capitals, winger Tom Wilson remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. An update on his status is expected later today before Game 4 against the Panthers.










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 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 4, 2022

The Penguins down the Rangers in triple OT, the Avalanche bury the Predators, the Flames blank the Stars and the Capitals tame the Panthers in the opening games of their first-round playoff series. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored in triple overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the New York Rangers 4-3 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round series in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jake Guentzel scored two goals in regulation, Bryan Rust had a goal and two assists and Sidney Crosby collected two assists. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 79 saves in the six-period marathon while Chris Kreider and Mike Zibanejad each had two points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins’ third-string goalie Louis Domingue got the win after replacing Casey DeSmith in the second overtime when the latter suffered a lower-body injury. DeSmith is being evaluated and his status is listed as day-to-day. Penguins starter Tristan Jarry’s been out since April 14 with a lower-body injury.

DeSmith wasn’t the only Penguin injured in this game. Winger Rickard Rakell suffered a head injury following a hit by Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren in the first period and didn’t return. He’s also being evaluated.

A five-goal first period carried the Colorado Avalanche to a lopsided 7-2 victory over the Nashville Predators in the first game of their best-of-seven opening-round series. Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen led the way with three points each. Matt Duchene scored both Nashville goals while Predators goalie David Rittich got the hook after giving up five goals on 13 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To say the Predators missed sidelined starting goaltender Juuse Saros in this contest is an understatement. Nevertheless, the Predators still would’ve lost this game even with a healthy Saros between the pipes, only it wouldn’t have been quite so one-sided. The Avalanche dominated this game from the opening puck drop. The Predators will need a better team effort as well as better goaltending or this series will be over quickly.

Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom had a 16-save shutout and Elias Lindholm scored the only goal in a 1-0 blanking of the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of their first-round series. Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger acquitted himself well in his first-ever playoff game with 25 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A line brawl broke out during the first period after Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk hit Dallas defenseman John Klingberg behind the Stars net. Tkachuk wound up scrapping with Michael Raffl while Klingberg wound up tangling with Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson. Both blueliners received game misconducts.

The Washington Capitals got three third-period goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller to double up the Florida Panthers 4-2 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves in a losing cause. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger Tom Wilson left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He is being evaluated and his status for Game 2 remains uncertain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson’s injury was the only blight on what was a solid defensive effort by the Capitals in neutralizing the Panthers’ vaunted offense.

HEADLINES

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said head coach Bruce Boudreau will not receive a contract extension. They are instead willing to bring him back on his current deal, which has an option year in which either side can opt-out by June 1.

Rutherford praised Boudreau’s performance after the club went 32-15-10 when he took over from Travis Green in December. However, the club president pointed out his interim bench boss did not coach a full season. He said that Boudreau was informed that the club wants him back next season on his current deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So the decision now rests with Boudreau if he’ll return for next season or look elsewhere for a long-term coaching job. He shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new team given the fine work he did in reversing the Canucks’ sagging fortunes this season.

Rutherford’s announcement also gives the impression he’d like to bring in a coach of his choosing. He inherited Boudreau, who was hired days beforehand.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford receive a one-game suspension for boarding Lightning forward Ross Colton in Game 1 of their first-round series on Monday. Lightning forwards Pat Maroon and Corey Perry and Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds received fines for unsportsmanlike conduct during that contest.

Minnesota Wild captain Jared Spurgeon was fined $5,000.00 for cross-checking St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchenvich during the first game of their opening-round series on Monday.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is tinkering with his top-four defense pairings for Game 2 of their series against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. Matt Grzelcyk will move up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the left side of the first pairing while Hampus Lindholm drops to the second pairing with Brandon Carlo.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said he’ll be meeting with club management to discuss his future with the franchise. He has a year remaining on his contract. DeBoer also confirmed starting goalie Robin Lehner will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday while backup Laurent Brossoit will require an offseason medical procedure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBoer expressed his hope to return with the Golden Knights next season. We’ll find out soon if management gives him that opportunity after the club missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Multiple knee injuries have forced Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin to end his playing career. The 26-year-old has spoken with management about an off-ice role with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morin was a highly-touted blueliner who was chosen 11th overall by the Flyers in the 2013 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2017 but the knee injuries began soon afterward, derailing what could’ve been a promising career.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired St. Louis Blues director of player personnel Rob DiMaio as their new assistant general manager.

THE ATHLETIC: The Seattle Kraken parted ways with goaltending coach Andrew Allen.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former and current Canadiens, hockey luminaries, politicians and fans bide a final farewell to Hall-of-Famer Guy Lafleur during his state funeral in Montreal on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rest in peace, Flower. You will never be forgotten.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2022

The regular season ends for all but two teams, the opening-round playoff matchups are set, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 37 saves for his first win of the season as his Montreal Canadiens thumped the Florida Panthers 10-2. Montreal rookie Cole Caufield scored his first career NHL hat trick. The Canadiens finish last in the overall standings and have the best odds heading into the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery in May. The Panthers clinched the Presidents’ Trophy with the best overall record and rested several of their best players from this contest.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

Speaking of hat tricks, Steven Stamkos picked up the 10th of his career to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning over the New York Islanders 6-4. The Lightning finished the season with 110 points and third place in the Atlantic Division. Zdeno Chara scored for the Islanders in what could be his final NHL game.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander tallied two goals in a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Leafs have secured second place in the Atlantic Division with 115 points. Craig Smith had two assists for the Bruins (107 points) as they finish with the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. Marcus Pettersson had a three-point game while Evgeni Malkin and Brian Boyle each had a goal and an assist. The Penguins finish the season in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 103 points.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scored his 47th goal of the season in a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan Greenway tallied twice for the Wild, who finished second in the Central Division with 113 points and hold home-ice advantage in their upcoming first-round series with the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche, meanwhile, finish atop the Western Conference with 119 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild head coach Dean Evason was unhappy with Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid for a knee-on-knee hit that knocked Wild winger Marcus Foligno from the game. He also chided Avs forward Logan O’Connor for cross-checking Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov into the boards. MacDermid received a game misconduct.

The Blues, meanwhile, dropped a 7-4 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored twice for the Golden Knights, who were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week. Ryan O’Reilly scored two goals and added an assist as the Blues finish third in the Central Division with 109 points.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves to backstop his club over the Calgary Flames 3-1. Matthew Tkachuk scored his 41st goal of the season as the Flames finished in first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points.

The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Dryden Hunt’s game-winning goal in the third period. Kaapo Kakko and Braden Schneider each had two assists for the Rangers, who finished in second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals lost their final four games of the regular season but hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 100 points.

A shootout goal by Devin Shore gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers finished in second place in the Pacific Division with 104 points and rested superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl from this contest. Conor Garland had a goal and an assist for the Canucks while teammate J.T. Miller scored to finish the season with a team-leading 99 points.

Dallas Stars sophomore winger Jason Robertson scored his 41st goal of the season as his club clinched the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 98 points in a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks pressed emergency backup Thomas Hodges into action when goalies John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz both went down with injuries. Hodges, a 28-year-old insurance salesman by day, stopped two of the three shots he faced in the third period and received praises from his teammates and the Stars following the game.

The Nashville Predators finished the season in the final Western Conference wild-card spot with 97 points after blowing a 4-0 lead to fall 5-4 to the Arizona Coyotes. Shayne Gostisbehere scored twice and Harri Sateri got the win in relief of Coyotes starter Karel Vejmelka by stopping all 27 shots he faced in the game.

Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt’s overtime goal lifted his club to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Following the game, the Sabres and their fans honored long-time play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret as he signed off for the final time as he retires after 51 seasons with the club.

Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger finished the season with a 24-save shutout to blank the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Yanni Gourde, Adam Larsson and Victor Rask were the goal scorers.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves to win his first NHL game in five years by downing the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Michael Rasmussen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk scored his 30th goal of the season as his club doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. Tkachuk’s teammate Josh Norris netted his 35th.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NHL.COM: The opening-round series of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs are now set and will begin on Monday, May 2.

In the Eastern Conference, the Florida Panthers will face off against the Washington Capitals, the Toronto Maple Leafs will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Carolina Hurricanes tangle with the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers square off against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Western Conference sees the Colorado Avalanche face the Nashville Predators, the Minnesota Wild take on the St. Louis Blues, the Calgary Flames going up against the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers battling the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow the link above for the dates, timings and broadcast networks for each series.

NHLPA: The NHL Players’ Association executive board has voted in favor of forming a search committee to lead the search for a new executive director to eventually replace Donald Fehr. The committee will provide a progress report to the executive board during its summer meeting in Toronto in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This comes in the wake of an independent investigation that cleared Fehr and his staff of fault over their handling of Kyle Beach’s allegations that he was sexually assaulted by the former video coach of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010.

It’s uncertain at this point if those findings – and the questions and criticism that were subsequently raised – played a role in this decision by the board. There had been previous reports raising concerns over the 73-year-old Fehr’s succession plan before the next round of collective bargaining in 2026. The results of the Beach investigation may have hastened things.