NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023
NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 18, 2023
Recaps from the opening night of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Treliving departs as the Flames GM, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on an overtime goal by Alex Iafallo. Anze Kopitar scored the game-tying goal in the dying seconds of the third and Adrian Kempe tallied two goals as the Kings take a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven first-round series. Leon Draisaitl scored twice for the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar finished with a goal and three assists to take the early lead among playoff scorers. Penalties proved costly in the third period for the Oilers. The game-tying and winning goals by the Kings came on the power play.
Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman scored in double overtime in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of their first-round series. Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson kicked out 52 shots for the win while Sam Steel had a goal and an assist. Jake Oettinger made 45 saves for the Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars also lost winger Joe Pavelski following a late hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba in the second period. Pavelski was helped from the ice and Stars coach Pete DeBoer said he wasn’t confident about the winger’s return for Game 2.
Dumba initially received a five-minute major for roughing but it was reduced to a minor penalty. Stars winger Max Domi received two minutes for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct when he confronted Dumba and threw several punches at the Wild blueliner.
The Boston Bruins drew first blood in their series with the Florida Panthers with a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Brad Marchand scored what proved to be the winning goal and Linus Ullmark stopped 31 shots for his first NHL playoff win. Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins played without captain Patrice Bergeron as he was battling stomach flu. Nick Foligno returned to the Bruins lineup for his first game since being sidelined on Feb. 27.
The Carolina Hurricanes nipped the New York Islanders 2-1 to take Game 1 of their opening-round series. Sebastian Aho and Stefan Noesen scored for the Hurricanes. Ryan Pulock replied for the Islanders, who got a 35-save performance from Ilya Sorokin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game wasn’t as close as the score suggests. The Islanders were outplayed by the Hurricanes, whose margin of victory would’ve been wider if not for Sorokin’s solid goaltending.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames and general manager Brad Treliving announced they have agreed to part ways. He had turned down a contract extension last year. Don Maloney was promoted to president of hockey operations and holds the role of interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports a deteriorating relationship with head coach Darryl Sutter is believed to have played a role in Treliving’s departure. Sources believe Sutter, who has two years remaining on his contract, will return as head coach.
CALGARY SUN: John Bean, the president and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., rejected the notion that there’s something bigger going on behind the scenes that led to three notable names departing the Flames.
Treliving’s announcement comes nine months after winger Johnny Gaudreau’s departure as a free agent and Matthew Tkachuk forcing a trade to Florida when he declined to sign a long-term contract extension. On Friday, centers Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund were non-committal about signing contract extensions before their UFA eligibility next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those departures may be merely coincidental but that’s not going to dispel speculation of bigger issues going on that are forcing some key people to leave. Lindholm’s and Backlund’s comments only stoke concerns among Flames followers regarding the uncertainty swirling around this team following this season’s disappointing performance.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar participated in full practice yesterday and declared himself ready to go for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series tonight against the Seattle Kraken. Blueliner Josh Manson is also expected to play tonight for the Avs.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights captain Mark Stone will return to action for his club’s opening-round series tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. He’d been sidelined for the past three months by back surgery.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Tanner Jeannot returned to practice yesterday for the first time since suffering a leg injury two weeks ago. He won’t be suiting up for Game 1 of his club’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs but is now listed as day-to-day.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is very optimistic about signing Elias Pettersson to a long-term contract extension. Pettersson, 24, has a year remaining on his three-year bridge deal with an average annual value of $7.35 million. He finished 10th among NHL scorers with a career-best 102 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely cost the Canucks well over $10 million annually to re-sign Pettersson. 100-point forwards entering their playing prime don’t come cheap. And no, he won’t accept a hometown discount.
OTTAWA SUN: Winger Alex DeBrincat will let the Senators know before the NHL Draft in June if he’s willing to sign a long-term extension. If he’s not, it will provide the Senators with time to shop him in the trade market leading up to the opening round of the draft.
The 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent who’s a year away from UFA status. Senators GM Pierre Dorion has stated his club will make a qualifying offer of $9 million to DeBrincat if there is no contract in place.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if Dorion starts quietly laying the groundwork for a potential trade in the coming weeks. He’ll have to work fast to find a suitable trade if DeBrincat declines a long-term extension.
TSN: Speaking of the Senators, Dorion confirmed they won’t offer a new contract to pending UFA goalie Cam Talbot.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: There’s mutual interest between Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan and winger Tom Wilson in a long-term extension. Wilson, 29, has a year remaining on his current six-year, $31 million contract. He prefers to spend the remainder of his career with the Capitals.
In other Capitals news, they’ve parted ways with assistant coaches Kevin McCarthy and Blaine Forsythe.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson revealed he played with multiple broken bones in his left hand trying to help his club reach the playoffs. A sprained MCL factored into the decision to end his season when the Sabres were officially eliminated from contention in the 80th game of their schedule.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is on pace for a full recovery after suffering a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 25.