NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2023
The Stars fall to the Kraken despite Joe Pavelski’s record-setting performance, the Panthers draw first blood against the Leafs, the Selke Trophy and Lady Byng Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken blew a 4-2 lead to the Dallas Stars but emerged with a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 1 of their best-of-seven second-round series. Stars winger Joe Pavelski set an NHL record as the oldest player (38) to score four goals in a playoff game. Yanni Gourde tallied the game-winner and Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist for the Kraken. Game 2 is Thursday in Dallas.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The previous record was held by Maurice “Rocket” Richard, who was 35 when he scored four goals in a playoff game in 1957. It was Pavelski’s first game since being sidelined by a concussion during Game 1 of the Stars’ first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.
Six goals were scored in the first period with the Kraken taking that early two-goal lead. I don’t think we’ll see another period like that as both teams become more familiar with each other as this series rolls along.
Kraken winger Jared McCann did not make the trip with his teammates to Dallas. He’s expected to miss both games there. The Kraken’s leading scorer in the regular season, McCann’s been sidelined by an undisclosed injury after being hit by Cale Makar in Game 4 of the Kraken’s first-round series with the Colorado Avalanche.
Speaking of blown two-goal leads and recovering to win, the Florida Panthers doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening game of their second-round series. The Leafs overcame a 2-0 deficit with two second-period goals but Carter Verhaeghe tallied what proved to be the winning goal. Matthew Tkachuk collected three assists while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots. Leafs rookie Matthew Knies netted his first-ever NHL goal. Game 2 is Thursday in Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers had little time to rest and recuperate from their first-round upset of the Boston Bruins. Nevertheless, they showed plenty of jump in this game while the Leafs at times seemed to struggle to get up to speed. I expect we’ll see a better effort from the latter in Game 2.
NHL.COM: Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier and Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are this year’s finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as this season’s top defensive forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the 12th consecutive season that Bergeron has been a finalist for the Selke. He won it last season for a record-setting fifth time and could be the sentimental favorite given the uncertainty over whether he’ll return for another season. This is the first time Hischier and Marner have been finalists for this award.
New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes, Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar and Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point are finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy awarded to the NHL’s most gentlemanly player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar is a three-time finalist who won the award in 2015-16. This is the first time that Hughes and Point are been named as finalists.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy said he dealt with minor injuries and didn’t give himself sufficient recovery time. He believes that affected his play down the stretch and in their first-round series against the Leafs.
TSN.CA: Speaking of the Lightning, Victory Hedman dealt with a hip impingement suffered in Game 1 against the Leafs. Brayden Point suffered a rib cage cartilage fracture in that series. Defenseman Erik Cernak is making progress in his recovery from a concussion suffered in Game 1 as a result of an illegal hit to the head by the Leafs’ Michael Bunting. Winger Tanner Jeannot was in and out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark played coy over a report suggesting that he suffered from a debilitating injury that affected his movement during his club’s first-round series against the Florida Panthers. Asked several times if he was hurt in that series, he replied, “No. Yes and no.” He said he wasn’t going to clarify his status until he completed his end-of-season physical.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the Bruins, Dmitry Orlov expressed interest in returning to the Washington Capitals but isn’t sure if that’s possible given their salary-cap constraints. The 32-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He spent his entire career with the Capitals until acquired by the Bruins before the March 3 trade deadline.
TSN: Darren Dreger reported there’s a chance Joel Quenneville could return to the NHL coaching ranks if he receives clearance from the league this summer.
Quenneville stepped down as head coach of the Florida Panthers in 2021 after specifics were revealed of how the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled allegations that player Kyle Beach was sexually abused by a member of their coaching staff in 2010. Quenn3ville was the head coach of the Blackhawks at that time.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed forward Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $4 million contract. He was eligible for UFA status on July 1.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed defenseman Alex Alexeyev to a two-year, $1.65 million contract extension. He was due to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed defenseman Egor Zamula to a one-year, $775K contract.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings prospect Simon Edvinsson underwent surgery on his left shoulder on Monday. His recovery time is four-to-six months.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former first-round draft pick Henrik Borgstrom has signed with HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chosen 23rd overall by the Florida Panthers in 2016, the 25-year-old Borgstrom struggled to earn a regular roster spot in the NHL. He bounced between the big league and the minors with the Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks and the Capitals since 2017-18, netting 13 goals and 26 points in 111 NHL games.