NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2024

The Rangers eliminate the Hurricanes, the Canucks push the Oilers to the brink, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The New York Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 of their second-round series. Chris Kreider tallied a natural hat trick in the third period to rally the Rangers from a 3-1 deficit while Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves for the win. Having won this series 4 games to 2, the Rangers await the winner of the Boston Bruins-Florida Panthers series.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was one of the greatest playoff comeback games in Rangers history and the biggest collapse in Hurricanes history. Kreider’s performance was one of the best single-period efforts by one player I’ve ever seen and will long remembered by Blueshirts fans.

The Hurricanes were in complete control of this game entering the third period. Five minutes into that period, it seemed they would win their third straight to tie this series and send it back to New York for a seventh and deciding game on Saturday.

Kreider changed all that. You could see the Hurricanes’ confidence wane after he cut the lead to 3-2. When he cashed in on the power play with the tying goal, you knew the Rangers would win this contest.

The ice seemed tilted in the Carolina zone as the Rangers poured it on. The Canes defense, which had played so well through the first two periods, fell apart in the face of the onslaught. It was only a matter of time that the Rangers scored the game-winner. That it was Kreider who sank the dagger was appropriate.

Offseason changes are expected for this Hurricanes roster after another disappointing postseason. I’ll have the latest in today’s Rumors update.

A late goal in the third period by J.T. Miller lifted the Vancouver Canucks over the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. They also hold a 3-2 lead in this second-round series, putting them on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference Final. Carson Soucy and Phillip Di Giuseppe also scored and Arturs Silovs stopped 21 shots for the Canucks. Evander Kane and Mattias Janmark replied for the Oilers. The Canucks can wrap up this series as it returns to Edmonton for Game 6 on Saturday, May 18 at 8 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks deserved this victory. They did a great job shutting down Edmonton superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and killing off all five of the Oilers’ power-play opportunities. They also played without winger Ilya Mikheyev as he’s listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

The Oilers need their best players to step up for Game 6 or face another disheartening postseason exit. Goaltender Calvin Pickard earned his second straight start for the Oilers and played well, turning aside 32 shots. He should get the nod for Game 6.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins captain Brad Marchand took part in practice on Thursday and could play in Game 6 of their second-round series with the Florida Panthers. Marchand missed the last two games with an upper-body injury following a questionable hit by Panthers forward Sam Bennett in Game 3.

Speaking of that hit, Marchand felt that Bennett “got away with one” but called the Panthers forward “an extremely physical player; great player for the group.” He added that he wasn’t complaining about the hit, calling it a part of playoff hockey. Marchand also acknowledged he’s been guilty of similar plays and hits in the past. “S**t happens, and that’s part of it,” he said.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar’s efforts in Game 5 of his club’s series with the Dallas Stars should remind everyone why he’s a great playoff performer. The 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy winner scored twice in that game as the Avs forced Game 6 in Denver on Friday.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: NHL analyst Ed Olczyk noted Joe Pavelski’s declining production in this postseason. It raises questions about whether the 39-year-old winger is helping or hindering linemates Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It hasn’t been hurting Johnston. He leads the Stars with seven goals, two of them game-winners.


DAILY FACEOFF: The Los Angeles Kings and Trent Yawney mutually agreed to part ways. Yawney had been an assistant coach with the Kings since 2019-20.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed forward Mitchell Chaffee to a two-year, one-way contract with an average annual value of $800K.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The Islanders signed Russian forward Maxim Tsyplatov to a one-year entry-level contract. The 25-year-old winger scored 31 goals and 47 points in 65 games with KHL club Moscow Spartak.

TSN: Long-time Sportscentre host and TSN personality Darren Dutchyshen passed away on Thursday following a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 57. Dutchyshen had been a beloved mainstay on TSN’s flagship news program since 1997.

He passed as he was surrounded by his closest loved ones,” the Dutchyshen family said in a statement. “His sharp wit remained until his final moments, classically delivering plenty of jokes – most of them pretty good and all of them inappropriate.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sincere condolences to Dutchyshen’s family, friends and TSN staff. Most Canadian sports fans knew him as “Dutch” and he was a familiar face on the Sportscentre desk for decades. He will be missed.