NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 22, 2012.

Blues eliminate Sharks in five games, Blackhawks fend off elimination against Coyotes, Torres suspended 25 games, Bruins and Rangers on brink of elimination, and more.


Blues celebrate first round victory over Sharks.

STLTODAY.COM/MERCURYNEWS.COM: For the first time in ten years, the St. Louis Blues won a playoff round, downing the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to win their series in five games, leaving the Sharks struggling to find answers for their early exit. Expect speculation of off-season changes for the Sharks to ramp up soon.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Jonathan Toews scored 2.44 into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory and preventing the Phoenix Coyotes from a golden opportunity to end the series on home ice in five games. Every game in this series has ended in overtime.

Coyotes forward Raffi Torres, meanwhile, received a 25-game suspension for his blindside head shot on Chicago forward Marian Hossa in Game Three. It’s been reported a few NHL GMs, speaking on condition of anonymity, were “furious” with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, considering this suspension too long. Those gutless curs lack the courage to voice their displeasure, preferring instead to hide in the shadows and snipe at Shanahan from the sidelines. I have no problem with a GM disliking the suspension, but if they’re afraid to voice their displeasure publicly- be it out of fear of receiving a fine from the league, or of looking like a douchebag – then the swine should keep their pieholes shut and their opinions to themselves.

WASHINGTON POST/BOSTON HERALD: Troy Brouwer’s goal with less than 90 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, and a 3-2 series lead, pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to the brink of elimination. The Bruins could be without center Patrice Bergeron (suspected head injury) and defenseman Joe Corvo (possible knee injury) for Game Six, which goes today in Washington at 3 pm ET.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM/NJ.COM: Jose Theodore made 30 saves as the Florida Panthers downed the New Jersey Devils 3-0, giving the Panthers a 3-2 series lead and a chance to win their first playoff round since 1996, while the Devils are facing the possibility of another early playoff exit.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers find themselves on the brink of elimination following a 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators, falling behind 3 games to 2. The Blueshirts also lost forward Brian Boyle to a concussion incurred from a hit by Senators forward Chris Neil. It remains to be seen if that hit will come under review by the league. For more on the Senators, check out “Canadian Corner”.

PHILLY.COM/PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The young Flyers are learning how difficult it is to win a playoff series, while  the Penguins remain focused on the knowledge today’s game is do-or-die.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: After another extended break in this series, the Kings are hoping to wrap things up today in Game Five against the Vancouver Canucks. For the latest on the Canucks, go to “Canadian Corner”.

THE TENNESSEAN: Predators frenzy is building in Nashville in the wake of their club’s five game elimination of the Detroit Red Wings. Critics who once constantly lumped Nashville  among those southern-US cities where they believed hockey couldn’t flourish haven’t had much to say about the city in recent years. Just goes to show that a well-run, well-maintained, competitive southern-based NHL franchise can gain and maintain a large following, just like those in more northern climes.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Ville Leino reflects on his disappointing first season with the club and looks ahead to next season.


  1. The reaction about the GM’s talking to the media is out of line. Who is to say that they have not talked about to the league already, and their friends at the newspaper also asked while the GM’s emotions are running high. It doesn’t matter if they put their name behind it or not to the media because they likely also talked to the league and voiced their displeasure privately. Nobody knows for certain if they already went to the league which is really the only important thing so saying “I have no problem with a GM disliking the suspension, but if they’re afraid to voice their displeasure publicly- be it out of fear of receiving a fine from the league, or of looking like a douchebag – then the swine should keep their pieholes shut and their opinions to themselves.” Is quite out of line.

  2. Nonsense. If they have a concern about it, that’s fine. If they’ve made it known privately to the league, that’s fine, too. I don’t expect everyone to fall in line and like the suspension. What I don’t like is whisper campaigns aimed at trying to belittle or weaken Shanahan’s authority,which is what these certainly appear to be. My opinion, my site. You’re entitled to yours too. You may think it’s “out of line”, and that’s cool. I encourage differing viewpoints. But I’m not going to apologize for mine.

  3. 25 games? Really? How could that be 25 games and Weber’s ‘slam the head into the boards on a player without the puck’ be nothing?!

    Really wish there was more consistency than ’cause I felt like it’.

  4. I too was surprised about the length of the Torres suspension. That said, it did need to be seriously addressed. If Torres had finished a late hit and hit Hossa in the chest (primarily) I would be really disappointed in Shanny handing out 25 games. The fact that Torres left his feet agressively, seemingly to target Hossa’s head, was appalling. To me, this was far more viscious than the other hits this playoffs. Good for Shanny for having the guts to hit Torres just as hard as he hit Hossa.

  5. Apparently, some GMs feel that you can repeatedly, throughout their career, target peoples’ heads and never get a clue and that’s fine with them. Torres has a long history of this and seems not to give a damn. It’s exactly this kind of callous disregard of other players long-term health that needs to be eradicated. If over the next two years these hits were punished more severely than they have been, players might learn to keep their skates on the ice and their elbows tucked in. Does the league have to mandate that each team employ a hitting coach?

  6. Is the anger displayed by Lyle because of the media’s sense of entitlement, the desire not to report the news but to create and influence it. Some have forgotten the difference between news and editorials. I have little doubt the GM’s involved arent afraid to state anything, but have been directed not to further encourage this inane debate within the media and to put any more pressure on Shanahan.

    Just because you aren’t included in the “need to know” doesnt mean its a circle of whispers. The league has a very long standing posture of closing ranks and feeding the media what it wants. Thats not cowardice, thats discretion.

    As far as the suspension, of course it’s too long. That has been acknowledged by most pundits, most main stream media and most players interviewed over the last 48 hours. The invasive nature of 24 hour news created a sensation that had to be dealt with to silence the curs. It happens every five years or so.

    The hit was no worse than Rome’s, definately less worthy than Keith’s, and would not have been anywhere close to 25 games if it wasn’t “Raffi”.

    It’s ironic, most of those who play professional hockey, who coach professional hockey, who are involved in it in any way, have few complaints about the game. It’s just as telling that the fan base is loving the intensity and even the violence of the playoffs and ratings/interest has been more than the league could have hoped for.

    The people who have the issue, are the ones being paid to “find” and issue, exploit it, and to milk it for everything it’s worth, until the next one.

  7. I applaud the 25 games. He is a repeat offender and it was a very dirty hit. Of course, had Ovechkin done this, no penalty, no suspension.

    And yes, although I was rooting for Nashville, Weber did deserve a one-game suspension. But we can’t suspend a star, now can we? Double standard at work. Ovie can crosscheck Seidenberg in the face and get nothing. Thornton was spot on when the cameras caught him saying to the refs, “If I did that, I would be gone.”

    Congrats to good guy Jose Theodore for the shutout. He’s been pulled from playoff games more than he deserves.

    The league needs to get consisency in the officiating and suspensions. Horrible right now on both counts.

  8. As far as league discipline goes, until it’s administered by a 3rd party with no league ties, it will always be wrought full of mistakes and slights to more anonymous players. Anyone who thinks that another ‘hockey mind’ will do a better job than Shanahan, Campbell, or even old Burke at that, is seriously kidding themselves. The doling out of league discipline is exactly that, LEAGUE discipline. The NHL isn’t going to dole out any discipline that will put a negative light upon itself as a whole or in any way (bad light costs money and reputation). It’s all about the greenback eventually, players should still have their own backs because no-one/nothing else does. The best way for players to cover their backs is to show respect to their fellow players, hits like Torres’ are completely unneccesary and don’t bring anything to the game at all. All that said, 25 games is too much if I’m allowed to crank someone’s head into the unforgiving glass at any arena and receive a FINE that’s not even equivalent to 1% of my annual salary.