May 20 — Offensive Outpourings & Priming Polite Players

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

HOCKEY HERSTORY: History was made in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) yesterday when Chloe Primerano became the first female non-goaltender to be selected in the Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft. Primerano, a 2007-born defenseman from North Vancouver, had 19 points in 30 games for her U-15 prep team this season. 

JOSTLING FOR JACK (ADAMS): It should be no surprise that three coaches still in the playoffs have been nominated for the Jack Adams Award. Andrew Brunette (Florida Panthers), Gerard Gallant (New York Rangers), and Darryl Sutter (Calgary Flames) are the NHL’s finalists for Coach of the Year this season.

AT THE BUZZER: Ross Colton gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-0 series lead in dramatic fashion, scoring the go-ahead goal with 3.8 seconds remaining in the third period for a 2-1 victory. The two-time defending champions return to Tampa up two games on their stunned in-state rival Florida Panthers.

BLUES BOUNCE BACK: A pair of second-period goals was all Jordan Binnington needed to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, tying the series at one. Binnington made 30 saves in the win, as David Perron scored two goals to hand the Avalance their first loss this postseason.

FOUCAULT PLAYS HERO: A former Minnesota Wild prospect, and current Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) standout, saved a 6-year-old girl from drowning in the Bahamas last week. Kris Foucault, taken 103rd in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild, was with his family on vacation when he sprung to rescue the girl who had been pulled under by a wave.

Friday Favorites

Let’s look back at our favorite moments of the week.

The Battle of Alberta

I am not sure what hockey fans did to deserve the Battle of Alberta in Round 2, but we are thankful. Game 1 did not disappoint with 15 goals scored, as the Flames gave up a four-goal lead (twice) only to prevail by a final score of 9-6. Matthew Tkachuk scored a hat trick, Connor McDavid finished with four points, and the trash talk seemed endless. It has been 31 years since these two franchises met in the postseason, with the action and rivalry delivering on all fronts. 

Brady Living His Best Life

Brady Tkachuk has been all over Twitter as he has been spotted amongst the fans at Scotiabank Saddledome cheering on his brother Matthew. There have been videos of him high-fiving the fans around him as he downs his beers like a local. It has been great to see him be able to celebrate his brother’s success, and fans love every second of it. 

The Emergence of Jake Oettinger

A star was born by the conclusion of the Round 1 matchup between the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. Jake Oettinger became a household name after his impressive performance in Game 7, stopping 64 of the 67 shots he faced. The 23-year-old goaltender singlehandedly kept his team in the series and has some calling for him to win the Conn Smythe—yes, you read that correctly. It’s always fun to see which players emerge as heroes, and it’s even more fun when that occurs in the first round.

Lady Byng Award Primer

Wednesday, the NHL announced the three finalists for the 2022 Lady Byng Trophy, awarded annually to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” As voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, the ideal candidate is a productive player with minimal penalty minutes. This year’s finalists are Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, and Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin.

If Spurgeon or Slavin wins, it will be just the sixth time that a defenseman has won the forward-dominated award (Red Kelly of the Detroit Red Wings won it in 1950-51, 1952-53, and 1953-54, Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers won it in 2011-12, and Slavin in 2020-21). If Slavin wins it again, he’ll be the first player to win in consecutive seasons since Martin St. Louis in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Here is how each of the finalists fared this season.

Kyle Connor – Winnipeg Jets

Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 25-year-old Connor, whom Winnipeg took with the 17th pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, had a breakout season for the Jets in 2021-22, scoring 93 points (47 goals, 46 assists) in 79 games, which was 20 more points than his previous career-high. Connor is a Lady Byng finalist for the first time and totaled four penalty minutes on two calls this season despite leading all Winnipeg forwards in time on ice (TOI) per game (21:47)—slashing against the Oilers in Edmonton (Nov. 18) and hooking against the Islanders in New York (March 11).

Jared Spurgeon – Minnesota Wild

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It is the eighth time and second straight year in which the 32-year-old Spurgeon has been a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy. He placed second last season after scoring 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) and tallying just six penalty minutes in 54 games for the Wild. In 2021-22, he had 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 65 games. Spurgeon, who was third on the Wild in TOI (21:09), was penalized once for boarding, another for tripping, and three times for slashing.

Jaccob Slavin – Carolina Hurricanes

Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Last year’s winner in a season in which he scored 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) and spent just two minutes in the penalty box in 52 games with the Hurricanes, the 28-year-old Slavin registered a career-high 42 points (eight goals, 38 assists) and accrued 10 penalty minutes in 79 games in 2021-22. He stayed out of the box despite leading Carolina in TOI (23:32). Slavin, a Lady Byng nominee each of the last five seasons, went to the box twice for tripping, once for holding, and twice for hooking—one in the same contest Spurgeon served one of his penalties this season.

When the Postseason Gets Offensive

For some, the very idea of a playoff Battle of Alberta hearkened back to the 1980s, a decade during which the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames matched up three times in the postseason. Those series, all won by Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers, routinely featured a team scoring roughly 10 goals. Then, Game 1 brought things back, with Calgary’s 9-6 triumph accounting for 15 total pucks lighting the lamp.

That Oilers/Flames shootout tied for the fifth-highest single-game goal total in NHL playoff history. Here are the four barn burners that the clubs have in front of them if they keep chasing this uniquely offensive piece of history. With the way Game 1 went, who knows what will come next!

#1 18 Goals (Kings def. Oilers 10-8, 1982)

Grant Fuhr (

It’s hardly a surprise that a Gretzky-led team lands in the top spot here, as the Great One had a goal and three assists, albeit in a losing effort. Los Angeles scored five second-period goals en route to putting nine past Grant Fuhr (the 10th was an empty netter). Ironically enough, the 18-goal explosion also came in Game 1 and involved the Oilers winding up on the losing end.

#2 17 Goals (Penguins def. Flyers 10-7, 1989)

Like their fellow geographic rivals Edmonton and Calgary, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have shared bad blood across numerous playoff series. For the Pens and Flyers, it was Game 5 of Round 2 in the 1989 Playoffs when the offense erupted. Mario Lemieux somehow managed five goals and three assists to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 series lead. However, the Penguins suffered through a bizarre power outage, scoring just three total goals while dropping the next two games before being eliminated.

#3 16 Goals (Oilers def. Kings 13-3, 1987)

Wayne Gretzky #99 (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

The “Gretzky Special” saw the Great One tally one goal and six assists in a 13-3 blowout victory over the Los Angeles Kings. The win marked the first of eight straight for Edmonton along the way to what would be one of five Cups in just seven years. Edmonton had to get past LA in three of those five Cup runs. 

#4 16 Goals (Kings def. Flames 12-4, 1990)

Apart from sporting a different jersey, little was different for No. 99 as Gretzky’s goal and four assists sparked the Kings to a 12-goal eruption and Game 4 victory. It wasn’t a Battle of Alberta showdown, but given that it was the sixth time in eight years that Gretzky met the Flames in the postseason, it may as well have been!

Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

Stanley Cup Playoffs Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule