NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 12, 2023
The Hurricanes advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Stars push the Kraken to the brink of elimination, the Vezina Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-2 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils to win their best-of-seven second-round series in five games. Jesper Fast tallied the game-winner, Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns scored in regulation and Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots for the Hurricanes. Dawson Mercer and Timo Meier tallied for the Devils, who got a 36-save performance from Akira Schmid.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes await the winner of the Florida Panthers-Toronto Maple Leafs series. The Panthers hold a 3-1 lead in that best-of-seven series and could wrap things up with a win tonight in Toronto.
This was the most closely-contested game of the series following four lopsided contests between these two clubs. The Devils dominated the play for long stretches and had several opportunities to break the game open but failed to cash in on their scoring chances.
Steady goaltending from Andersen, a solid defense corps and experience made the difference in this series for Carolina. Depth forwards such as Fast and Jordan Martinook also stepped up offensively for the Hurricanes in this series.
The Devils may be disappointed over the outcome of this series but it doesn’t overshadow their significant improvement this season. They reached the playoffs for the first time since 2018, finishing third overall with a franchise-record 112 points. They also won their first playoff series since 2012 by eliminating the arch-rival New York Rangers in the first round. Led by young stars like Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, the Devils have a bright future ahead.
Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz scored twice and collected an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken to take a 3-2 lead in their second-round series. Jason Robertson collected three assists while Joe Pavelski tied Chris Drury for the most career game-winning playoff goals (17) by a US-born player. Adam Larsson and Jared McCann replied for the Kraken. Game 6 goes Saturday evening in Seattle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 38-year-old Pavelski also became the oldest player to score at least seven times in a playoff series. Stars winger Mason Marchment missed this game after taking an elbow to the head in Game 4.
This game was much close than the score suggests as the Kraken narrowed Dallas’ 3-0 lead to 3-2 before Hintz put the game out of reach in the third period. The Stars should anticipate a tough battle from the Kraken in Seattle.
NHL.COM: Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders and Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins are this season’s finalists for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL’s best goaltender.
The department of player safety handed down one-game suspensions to Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and Edmonton Oilers blueliner Darnell Nurse.
Pietrangelo’s punishment was for slashing Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl in Game 4 of their second-round series on Wednesday. Nurse’s is for instigating a fight with Vegas defenseman Nicolas Hague with less than five minutes remaining in Game 4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nurse was suspended because he instigated a fight within the final five minutes of Game 4. However, Hague reportedly asked the Oilers’ defenseman for the fight. I guess the thinking here is that Nurse could’ve refused but didn’t.
Pietrangelo made a deliberate attempt to injure with his lumberjack slash on Draisaitl. It was uncharacteristic of him and was apparently provoked by his anger over uncalled infractions during the game. Nevertheless, that doesn’t excuse what he did. While Draisaitl wasn’t injured on the play, Pietrangelo’s action should’ve merited more than a one-game suspension.
TSN: Joseph Woll will get the start again for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they face off tonight against the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of their second-round series. Ilya Samsonov remains sidelined by an upper-body injury. Matt Murray will serve as Woll’s backup.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: As expected, the Flyers formally announced Keith Jones as their new president of hockey operations. They also confirmed that Daniel Briere is now their full-time general manager after serving in the role on an interim basis since March.
OTTAWA SUN: Actor Ryan Reynolds and the Remington Group won’t be submitting their $1 billion bid for the Senators. They reportedly sought exclusive negotiating rights with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa to get a deal to build a new arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There are seven other groups that are anticipated to make bids for the Senators by the anticipated May 15 deadline.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Karl Subban, the father of former NHL defenseman P.K. Subban, has joined the group Ban Ads for Gambling to get ads for sports betting removed from hockey broadcasts. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has also called for a ban on the use of celebrities to sell sports betting.
A former school principal, Subban is concerned about children being exposed to gambling ads involving celebrities and NHL players.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames have reportedly blocked former general manager Brad Treliving from interviewing with other teams before his contract expires at the end of June.