May 9 — Fueling the Fire & the Playoff Rookie Race

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

EYE ON THE PRIZE: After coming out mid-way through Game 3, Darcy Kuemper could be ready to go for Game 4 tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Colorado Avalanche goaltender was hit in the eye with a stick in Saturday’s game and will be back as long as the swelling goes down. 

KEEP IT DOWN, WOULD YA?: Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars were fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the current collective bargaining agreement, for separate high sticking violations. Kuznetsov caught the chin of Florida Panthers forward Noel Acciari during the Caps’ 6-1 Game 3 win, while Benn got caught for a high stick on Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane.

BINNINGTON MAKES HIS DEBUT: The St. Louis Blues switched up their goaltenders for Game 4, and Jordan Binnington made his 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut. He made 28 saves, helping his team to a 5-2 win to even up the series at two apiece. It has been interesting for fans to follow the goaltending storyline in St. Louis as the team began the postseason utilizing 27-year-old Ville Husso. 

EVEN STEVENS: All four Game 4s yesterday saw the trailing team tie the series at two games apiece. Boston, Los Angeles, and Tampa followed St. Louis in earning a win on home ice, sending the series back to the higher seed for home-ice advantage.

Motivating the Enemy

We are now in the thick of most first-round series, which always means that emotions are running high and tensions tend to boil over—not only after the whistle but sometimes even well after the final buzzer. Every series has its skirmishes and testy moments, but colors shine through when players and coaches are open about their feelings for the other team long after the game.

This postseason has been no exception, and we’ve already seen the building enmity of some series carry over into the post-game quotes. Although, this has been particularly true of the Flames-Stars and Maple Leafs-Lightning series, which have taken a bit of a personal turn. Let’s take a look:

John Klingberg, Dallas Stars

John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He said it: “He’s acting a little tougher than he is and we’re going to go after him.”

What he meant: Veteran Dallas Stars blueliner John Klingberg aimed this jab at Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson. Klingberg took exception to Andersson engaging him in a fight before he was ready or even aware that he wanted to drop the gloves during a Game 1 skirmish. Where things got extra spicy was Klingberg’s apparent threat that the 25-year-old would be a target for the Stars. That warning didn’t net Klingberg a fine, but it did earn him the wrath of Flames faithful in Game 2.

Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning

Head coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

He said it: “I mean, we have scored seven goals on him in the last two games. If we are going to sit here and have a 3.5 goals-against average in every two-game set, we’ll take that[…] Goal scoring against these guys—that is not a worry to me.”

What he meant: You can chalk much of the quote by Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper up to a “we’re focused on ourselves, not our opponent” messaging, but Cooper knows what he’s doing here. To be so dismissive as to say scoring goals against Toronto “is not a worry to me” seems like a pretty clear shot at the Leafs’ defensive corps and goaltender Jack Campbell.

2022 Playoffs: Rookie Scoring Update

Alexandre Carrier, a 25-year-old Nashville Predators defenseman, notched two assists Saturday in the team’s 7-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Although it wasn’t enough to prevent the Predators from going down 3-0 in the first-round series against the No.1 seed in the Western Conference, it did make Carrier the sole postseason leader in points among rookies. The assist gave him three points (all assists) through three playoff games in 2022.

His team is down 3-0 to the Avalanche, but Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier leads all rookies in playoff points and assists so far (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Carrier, who played in 24 regular-season games and six career playoff games before this year, had 30 points (three goals, 27 assists) in 77 games. After going scoreless in Game 1 against Colorado, he has three assists in the least two games. Carrier is one of 10 rookies who have registered at least one point this postseason and one of four to tally multiple points. Also, five total rookies have found the back of the net. Here are the other rookie leaders so far this postseason.

Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs (2 Points)

Michael Bunting, the regular season rookie points leader, has two of them so far this postseason for the Maple Leafs, who are tied 2-2 going into Game 5 vs. the Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Bunting was one of the best rookies in the NHL during the regular season, finishing with 63 points (23 goals, 40 assists) in 79 games. The 26-year-old winger, who appeared in 26 games for the Arizona Coyotes before this year, has performed well in his first three postseason games. He had a goal in the Maple Leafs’ Game 1 blowout of the Tampa Bay Lightning and an assist in their Game 2 loss.

Ryan McLeod, Edmonton Oilers (2 Points)

Ryan McLeod didn’t put up the regular season numbers that the other rookies on this list did, but he has two points through four playoff games. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

After 10 games with the Oilers last season, McLeod played 71 games for them, tallying 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists). The 22-year-old center had his fourth career multi-point game in the Oilers’ Game 2 blowout of the Los Angeles Kings, scoring a goal and adding an assist.

Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes (2 Points)

Seth Jarvis has been a key player for the Hurricanes, scoring two points in Game 1 of the team’s series with the Bruins, which is currently knotted up going into Game 5 (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Jarvis scored 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 68 games during his first season. In his very first postseason game, he tallied a goal and an assist to help lead the Hurricanes to a 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins. The 20-year-old center hasn’t registered a point in the three games since, but he has taken seven shots.

Anton Lundell, Florida Panthers (1 Goal)

Anton Lundell scored a goal in the Panthers’ lone win through the first three games of their series against the Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lundell had 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 65 games for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers. In his second career playoff game, the 20-year-old center scored to help Florida bounce back from a Game 1 loss to the Washington Capitals with a 5-1 lead.

Matt Boldy, Minnesota Wild (1 Goal)

Matt Boldy scored a goal on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Blues from tying the series with the Wild at 2-2 going into Game 5 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Boldy saw action in 47 games for the Wild this season, totaling 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists). The 21-year-old winger took five total shots through the first three games of the Wild’s first-round series against the Blues but didn’t find the back of the net. That led to him finally breaking through on Sunday, scoring one of Minnesota’s two goals in a Game 4 loss.

Player Spotlight – Tyler Seguin

Tyler Seguin was drafted second overall in 2010 by the Boston Bruins and won the Stanley Cup his rookie season. For the past nine seasons, he has called Dallas home. Seguin currently has one point in three playoff games against the Calgary Flames while seeking his second Stanley Cup. Fans know plenty about what he has brought to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

If You Could Be Any Other Athlete For a Day, Who Would You Be?

LeBron James

Top 3 Favorite Burger Toppings:

Cheese, Lettuce, Ketchup

What Is Your Favorite Junk Food?:


Favorite Animated Movie:


What Is Your Best Skill Off the Ice?:

Being a Good Dog Dad

What’s Your Favorite Tattoo That You Have?:

Stanley Cup Champions Tattoo

Favorite NHL Jersey Growing Up?:

Toronto Maple Leafs

Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

Stanley Cup Playoffs Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule