NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2022
The Rangers go up 2-0 over the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, Carey Price wins the Masterton Trophy, Charlie McAvoy is among three Bruins defensemen to undergo surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves as his New York Rangers held off the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 3-2 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Mika Zibanejad’s goal early in the third period proved to be the game winner though the Lightning cut the lead to 3-2 late in the period on a goal by Nicholas Paul. Adam Fox and Chris Kreider each had two assists for the Blueshirts while Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning.
With the win, the Rangers take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which moves to Tampa Bay for the next two games. Game 3 goes Sunday afternoon at 3 pm ET.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was closer than Game 1’s 6-2 blowout. Nevertheless, the Rangers still controlled the play for most of this game, out-hustling and out-chancing the Lightning while thwarting the latter’s scoring opportunities.
Shesterkin is winning the goaltending duel with the Bolts’ Andrei Vasilevskiy, who looks vulnerable high to the blocker side and is having difficulty at times controlling the puck. Shesterkin also acts as a third defenseman with his skillful stickhandling and accurate outlet passes to his teammates.
This is the first time since 2019 that the Lightning has lost consecutive postseason games. They face a big challenge bouncing back on home ice against the hungry Rangers. The ongoing absence of sidelined center Brayden Point is also becoming a factor in this series. The Bolts are missing his clutch scoring and reliable two-way presence.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is the 2022 winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. He underwent knee surgery last summer and voluntarily entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program in October to deal with substance-abuse issues. Price missed most of this season recovering from his knee surgery before returning for five games late in the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price worked hard to recover from complications arising from his surgery while also seeking treatment for substance abuse. His future as an NHL player remains uncertain as he continues to encounter post-game swelling in his knee. Nevertheless, there’s no question he’s show perseverance in attempting to overcome the obstacles he’s faced this season.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins announced top defenseman Charlie McAvoy underwent surgery on his left shoulder with a recovery time of six months. Blueliner Matt Grzelcyk had a procedure on his right shoulder and is expected to require five months to recover. Rearguard Mike Reilly underwent right ankle tendon repair and removal of bone fragments and will require three months to recover.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will have a depleted roster to start next season. Reilly could be back in the Bruins’ lineup in October. McAvoy, however, won’t be back until January given his recovery timeline while Grzelcyk could be out until December, which is also when winger Brad Marchand is expected back from his recent hip surgeries. Factor in the possible retirement of captain Patrice Bergeron, and 2022-23 could be a grim season for the Bruins.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers captain Connor McDavid must find a way to break through against the Colorado Avalanche’s defense with his club down 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals. Game 3 is tonight in Edmonton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid had three points in Edmonton’s 8-6 loss in Game 1 but was shut down by the Avs in Game 2. The Oilers need more from all their scorers but McDavid remains their offensive linchpin. They’ll need him to find a way to break through if they’re to have a chance to come back in this series.
TSN: Speaking of the Oilers, winger Zack Kassian was fined $2,500.00 for unsportsmanlike conduct in Game 2 for ripping Bowen Byram’s helmet off his head after the Avalanche defenseman was checked over the boards.
THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche hope to extend their perfect road record in this postseason. They are 5-0 heading into Game 3.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs have given the Oilers fits with their speed, depth and puck possession. Should that trend continue, their road record could reach 7-0 and they’ll be heading to the Stanley Cup Final.