NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2019

Blues tie Western Conference Final at two games apiece, John Davidson returns to the Rangers, Stanley Cup Final schedule released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee Headlines. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues held off the San Jose Sharks 2-1 to tie the Western Conference Final at two games apiece. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 29 saves while Ivan Barbashev and Tyler Bozak were the St. Louis goal scorers. Tomas Hertl replied for San Jose. There’s concern over the status of Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, who spent a significant amount of time on the bench in the third period in obvious discomfort. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson appeared to be hampered by an injury during a Game 4 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a solid bounce-back by the Blues from their controversial loss in Game 3. Binnington once again displayed his remarkable ability to shake off a tough loss with a strong follow-up performance.

As for Karlsson, we’ll learn more about his status between now and Game 5 on Sunday afternoon in San Jose. If it’s his nagging groin injury flaring up it could have consequences for the Sharks in this series. 

The 2019 Stanley Cup Final will begin on Monday, May 27 in Boston as the Bruins host either the Sharks or Blues. 

NEW YORK POST: John Davidson stepped down as president of hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets to take the same position with the New York Rangers. Davidson spent most of his NHL playing career with the Rangers and was their lead analyst on national broadcasts for 19 years. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Davidson’s hiring affects the Rangers’ rebuild.

TSN: The NHL’s unrestricted free agent interview period begins on June 23 at 12:01 am ET. The restricted free agent contact period begins three days later on June 26. “During the period, pending free agents will be able to meet with prospective teams, but are not permitted to discuss contract details. The NHL’s free agency period will open on July 1 at noon ET.”

SPORTSNET:  Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov signed with KHL club AK Bars Kazan.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun donated $10,000.00 to The New Foundation, “a local foundation that focuses on mental health awareness.”

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 8, 2019

Blues eliminate Stars in Game 7 double-overtime win, Oilers introduce Ken Holland as their new GM, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy gets a one-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues are going to the Western Conference Final. Patrick Maroon scored in double-overtime for a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars to take their second-round series in seven games. Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop made a career-high 52 saves, while his teammates managed just four shots combined in the second and third periods. Vince Dunn opened the scoring for the Blues while Mats Zuccarello countered for the Stars.

St. Louis Blues winger Patrick Maroon scored the series-clinching goal in double-overtime against the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of their second-round series (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you had suggested to me in early-January that the Blues, who were dead last in the league at one point, would be in the Western Conference Final I would’ve laughed out loud. Yet here they are. They were the better team in this game. It’s also fitting that Maroon, a St. Louis native, tallied the winning goal. 

If not for Bishop’s heroics between the Dallas pipes, this game never would’ve reached overtime. He deserved a better fate. The Stars were dominated throughout most of this contest but Bishop gave them a chance to steal a win in this one. 

NEW YORK POST: Because of the Stars elimination, the New York Rangers won’t see the 2019 second-round pick they received in the Zuccarello trade turn into a first-rounder. If Zuccarello re-signs with the Stars, the 2020 conditional third-round pick they also received in the deal would become a first-round pick.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers officially introduced Ken Holland yesterday as their new general manager and president of hockey operations. During the press conference, Holland said Ken Hitchcock would not return as head coach.

Many observers noted the change in the appearance of Oilers owner Daryl Katz. It was revealed he’s spent the past two years battling a life-threatening sinus infection. Katz has undergone three surgeries with one more to go but he’s over the worst and the prognosis for a long-term recovery looks good.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Katz on a full recovery. As for Holland, replacing Hitchcock will be among his priorities.

Reaction toward Holland’s hiring was mixed among Oilers followers. Some point to the long period of success he had with his former team, the Detroit Red Wings. Skeptics point to the club’s decline over the past decade. Given the mediocrity the Oilers have been mired in for nearly 15 years, it’s understandable that many of their fans aren’t getting their hopes up. 

NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski (concussion) remains day-to-day and isn’t expected to participate in tonight’s Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will be suspended from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final for an illegal hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks will not qualify the rights of defenseman Derrick Pouliot, who’ll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pouliot’s defensive miscues turned him into a frequent healthy scratch this season. That won’t help his efforts to sign with a new NHL club this summer. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2019

Sharks and Hurricanes win Game 1 of their respective second-round series, Jack Adams Award finalists revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Brent Burns had a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) while teammate Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist (his 100th career playoff assists) to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of their second-round series. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win.

The Sharks were without captain Joe Pavelski (head injury) and winger Joonas Donskoi (undisclosed) for this contest. Both remain questionable for Game 2 on Sunday. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns had a four-point performance against the Colorado Avalanche in a 5-2 Game 1 victory (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks forward Kevin Labanc’s game-winning tally was a thing of beauty, dodging a hit from Avs winger Mikko Rantanen near the Colorado blueliner and firing a high wrister past netminder Philipp Grubauer. 

The Carolina Hurricanes drew first blood in their second-round series with the New York Islanders as Jordan Staal’s overtime goal gave them a 1-0 Game 1 victory. Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek made 31 saves for the shutout while Isles goalie Robin Lehner also kicked out 31 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a one-goal playoff game, this one was rather entertaining. There were some good scoring chances, several flashy saves, and some big hits in this contest. The Islanders didn’t look too rusty from their 10-game layoff while the Hurricanes had little difficulty adjusting to a new opponent after ousting the Washington Capitals less than 48 hours prior. 

Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders are this year’s finalists for the Jack Adams Award, “given annually to the coach voted as the best in the NHL.”

THE SCORE/TSN: Boston Bruins pesky left winger Brad Marchand wasted no time trolling Columbus Blue Jackets forwards Cam Atkinson and Riley Nash. Marchand broke Atkinson’s stick in Game 1 by stomping on it during a faceoff. “I think he was trying to dull my blade there,” Marchand said. He chided former teammate Nash following Game 1 for his hit on David Krejci that sidelined the Bruins center with an upper-body injury. “I don’t think he had a hit in two years with us.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, at least he’s not cheap-shotting someone or licking an opponent’s face. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday re-signed center Jordan Weal to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.4 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens acquired Weal from the Arizona Coyotes before the February trade deadline. This is the second re-signing in as many days of a depth forward they traded for this season, having inked Nate Thompson on Thursday to a one-year contract. Both are reasonable short-term signings. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov is likely to return to the KHL next season. The Leafs remain interested in re-signing him. 

CBS SPORTS: Former NHL winger Jannik Hansen is hanging up his skates. He spent nearly 13 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks – all but two with the Canucks – from 2006-07 to 2017-18. In 626 NHL games, the 33-year-old tallied 109 goals and 147 assists for 256 points, as well as seven goals and 19 points in 70 playoff contests. He spent this season in the KHL with CSKA Moscow.