NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2012.

Flyers and Kings have Penguins and Canucks on the verge of elimination, Panthers win first playoff game since 1997, suspensions start coming down, and more.


Penguins losing their cool & their series against Flyers

PHILLY.COM/PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: The Philadelphia Flyers pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to the brink of elimination with a convincing 8-4 victory. The Penguins did nothing to help their situation, losing their cool, getting shoddy goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury, and playing lousy defensive hockey. The Penguins, including captain Sidney Crosby, have been justifiably criticized for their undisciplined performance, looking nothing like the seasoned playoff professionals we’d come to expect from a former Stanley Cup champion. The Flyers, meanwhile, have only been marginally better with their defensive play and goaltending, but combined with their poise and offensive talent, have been the better team and deserve to be where they are in this series.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Jonathan Quick made 41 saves and Dustin Brown scored the only goal, as the Kings down the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 to push the President’s Trophy winners to the verge of elimination. Brown also laid out Canucks captain Henrik Sundin with a hard but clean bodycheck, which could be a metaphor for this series. For more on the Canucks, visit “Canadian Corner”.

MIAMI HERALD/NJ.COM: For the first time since 1997, there was a rain of plastic rats following a Florida Panthers playoff game, as the Panthers hung on for a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, evening their series at a game apiece heading back to New Jersey for Games Three and Four. Stephen Weiss scored twice for the Panthers, who received loud support from their fans throughout the game, especially in the final minutes.

THE TENNESSEAN/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Shea Weber, Kevin Klein and Sergei Kostitsyn scored while Pekka Rinne made 41 saves, as the Nashville Predators downed the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead, prompting one Detroit sportswriter to suggest the Wings are the victims of bad luck and bad calls. Perhaps to a degree, but that doesn’t diminish Rinne’s outstanding performance in this game.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers forward Carl Hagelin has been suspended for three games for his elbowing Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in the head during Game Two of the Rangers-Senators series. For more on the Senators, visit “Canadian Corner”.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw will learn his fate today for running over Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in Game Two, while the Coyotes hope to overcome adversity after losing three players (Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski) to injury in the first two games of this series.

CSNNE.COM/WASHINGTON POST: Bruins forward Milan Lucic believes his club’s top lines has to improve their play against the Capitals, whose rookie goalie Braden Holtby has been the star of the series thus far.

STLTODAY.COM/MERCURYNEWS.COM: The Blues are winning the battle of the top lines in this series, while Joe Pavelski, Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau have surprised by displaying a willingness to scrap in this series.


  1. Claude Giroux’s head was the target of both Neal and Crosby in game 3. I think everyone has seen the attempt by Neal, but nobody is mentioning that Crosby took his hand and smashed G’s head off the glass behind the net. This is the guy that’s missed the last two years from hits to the head. Absolutely no respect! Crosby is showing his colors in this series. His post game interview was embarrassing to watch as well. He’s the poster-boy of the NHL, pull yourself together.

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with MAF, but something is really off. Injury?

    • That Neal elbow was dirty dirty dirty. Thank the hockey gods the missed as much as he did. I still think he should be suspended one game for his actions.

  2. So last year everyone critisized the Sedins for “skating away and not showing push-back”.
    Now, Crosby is pushing back and everyone is critisizing?

    Hmmm…. a double standard here?

    Look, is it the wrong strategy for the Pens to fight back? Absolutely. Should Crosby be fighting back? Absolutely. Hey if Peter Forsberg could do it, why can’t Sid? I think he needs to play with that edge to be successful.

    Keep in mind it has not been Crosby who has hurt the Pens this series. It has been Toskala-like goaltending out of MAF, and unspirited play by Malkin.

    In a series like this, you expect that Giroux and Crosby with cancel each other out. Advantage then goes to Malkin to take over. He hasn’t.

  3. The excitement level this weekend was outstanding, almost as high a level as the disgusting antics. The refs have no sense of maintaining control and this is only compounded by Shanahan’s inconsistency and reluctance to punish. Flying elbows, crosschecks to the head and pounding a guy after he is down, regardless of who is committing the act, has to be dealt with.

  4. James Neal has 2 separate hearings for hits on Couturier and Giroux in game 3. Asham also has a hearing for his attack on Schenn in the same game. Both are repeat offenders and should be suspended.

  5. Crosby is the captain of the team and they followed his lead (antics) in game 3. I’d like to see him at least fined, as was Weber, for pounding a player’s head into the glass.