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The Bruins draw first blood in Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. A recap and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Sean Kuraly scored the game-winner and collected an assist. Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the Blues. Game 2 goes Wednesday night in Boston.
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug ignited his teammates with a big hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas in the third period. Boston captain Zdeno Chara left the game late in the third period after getting cut on the left forearm from blocking a shot. Chara received stitches but insists he’ll be ready for Game 2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lengthy layoff between series affected the Bruins’ play in the first period. But after the Blues went up 2-0, they regained their game legs and dominated the rest of the contest.
NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov issued a statement denying he used illegal drugs after video emerged showing him sitting next to a table with lines of an identified powder. The video was shot in Las Vegas last June after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup. The video doesn’t show Kuznetsov snorting or ingesting the powder. The Capitals and the league are investigating.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuznetsov said he was in an unfamiliar room with some friends, grew uncomfortable and quickly left. We must reserve judgment until the league and the Capitals have completed their investigations.
SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said changes will be coming to video review during meetings of the competition committee and general managers next month. Those changes could be implemented for next season following a series of controversial calls in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Bettman admitted being upset over an uncalled hand pass leading to an overtime goal by the San Jose Sharks during the 2019 Western Conference Final. He also dismissed the idea of doing away with video replays, adding the league wants to find ways to improve the process.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said collective-bargaining discussions with the NHL Players Association are ongoing and expected to continue throughout the offseason. Both sides hope to hammer out an agreement and avoid another work stoppage. Both sides can opt out of the current agreement in September.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Video replay can and should be improved. Don Cherry suggests providing on-ice officials with earpieces to off-ice officials monitoring the game in the arena to quickly address questionable calls.
It’s a good sign the league and the PA are continuing discussions. Hopefully, the two sides can reach an agreement come September. If one or the other does so, the current agreement will terminate on Sept. 15, 2020.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Xavier Ouellet to a one-year, two-way contract.
TRIBLIVE.COM: New research indicates Pittsburgh could be the birthplace of professional hockey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to reader “Chrisms” for the link.