Where Are They Now: 1999 Dallas Stars
Bruins defeat Blue Jackets and advance to the Eastern Conference Final, Avalanche force Game 7 with the Sharks, Flyers hired Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Tuukka Rask had a 39-save shutout to backstop the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets to eliminate the latter from the second round in six games. The Bruins will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. David Krejci, Marcus Johansson, and David Backes were the goal scorers.
The game wasn’t without controversy, as Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy received only a two-minute penalty for an illegal hit to the head of Jackets winger Josh Anderson during the dying seconds of the second period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins seized control of this series in Game 4, winning three straight games. It’ll be interesting to see if McAvoy receives supplemental discipline. NHL rules stipulate there is no five-minute major penalty for an illegal hit to the head but the official can levy a match penalty. Most observers considered the light punishment yet another example of the poor officiating that’s clouded the 2019 postseason.
Gabriel Landeskog scored in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche edged the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in Game 6 of their second-round series. Game 7 goes Wednesday night in San Jose. Avs winger J.T. Compher scored twice and set up another while defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied twice for the Sharks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was punch-counterpunch all game long, as the Avalanche would take a one-goal lead and the Sharks would tie it. This entertaining series is now poised for what could be an exciting finale.
SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop claims he’s fine after taking a slapshot off his left collarbone in Game 6 of his club’s second-round series with the St. Louis Blues. Bishop is expected to start Game 7 tonight in St. Louis.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reiterated his commitment to the organization. He recently raised eyebrows following recent comments to a Swedish interviewer suggesting there’s no guarantee he’ll finish his NHL career with the Blueshirts. Lundqvist claims he and the Rangers remain on the same page. “While it is still my goal to win the Cup in New York before I retire, at the same time I understand as a player that I have to respect the position we are in and the process we are going through.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Lundqvist is signed through 2020-21 with a full no-movement clause. I don’t doubt his desire to stick with the Rangers and help them return to Cup contention. Nevertheless, he could be leaving the door open for a departure to a contender if the rebuild takes longer than expected.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek (lower-body injury) and winger Micheal Ferland (upper body) returned to practice yesterday. They claim they’re ready to go when their club faces the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.
NEW YORK POST: Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck played through a “stress fracture, rotated vertebrae, two slipped discs, pinched nerve” over the past two months. He could face either a diskectomy (four-to-six week recovery) or a spinal fusion (four-to-months) procedure.
SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas confirmed Mike Babcock will return as their head coach next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock had come under criticism from Toronto fans and pundits this season, especially in their opening-round playoff series against Boston. He’s got four years remaining on his contract.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers hired former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien and former St. Louis Blues bench boss Mike Yeo as their new assistant coaches.
THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have hired Pat Verbeek as assistant general manager under GM Steve Yzerman. Verbeek held the same role with Yzerman in Tampa Bay.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins agreed to a 10-year deal to keep their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.