NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2016

Steven Stamkos to undergo vascular surgery, latest on the playoff race & more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines.  THE TAMPA TRIBUNE/TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning’s 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils was overshadowed by the news Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will be sidelined 1-3 months due to upcoming surgery to […]

McLellan delivers memorable presser after Oilers embarrassed once again

The Edmonton Oilers are going out with a whimper. Again.

The club was spanked 5-0 in the Calgary Flames' final visit to Rexall Place, and the Oilers played with little emotion and even less pride. After the game, head coach Todd McLellan gave a memorable presser, ripping his team and its effort to shreds.

McLellan couldn't believe what he saw from his group in game 80 of the season, saying there wasn't a number big enough to describe how unhappy he was with the Oilers' display.

"That's the exact crap we're trying to eradicate from this group," he said. "That's really disappointing after 200 days together.

"Forget about the win and the loss, just the effort. That's frickin' embarrassing. That's the exact attitude and bullshit we're trying to eliminate here."

You can watch McLellan's entire presser here.

The players, meanwhile, were singing a familiar tune.

"We can't let that happen again," Taylor Hall said. "These fans are passionate. They're loyal. They deserve a good show."

"We had days off," Patrick Maroon added, "we should have been rested and we should have played a lot better than that."

"We've got to find a way to regroup," Jordan Eberle concluded.

With only two games left on the schedule, that likely won't be happening.

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Auston Matthews: ‘Coyotes are the reason I started playing hockey’

Music to Gary Bettman's ears.

Auston Matthews remains a long shot to be drafted by his hometown team, but regardless, the Arizona Coyotes will stay close to the projected No. 1 overall draft selection's heart.

"(The) Coyotes are the reason I started playing hockey," Matthews said while in attendance Saturday at Gila River Arena. "We're pretty fortunate to have them in the Valley."

Matthews, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., scored 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games for the Zurich Lions in Switzerland's top division, emerging as one of the very best players in the high-skilled division and on his unconventional path to the NHL.

He'll be the first of what the league hopes will be a steady stream of talent to come out of the area, reflecting meaningful growth in the market.

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If the playoffs began Sunday: Bruins out, Red Wings in … for now

Here's what postseason matchups look like through April 2.

Eastern Conference

Team Team Season Series
A1 Panthers W1 Islanders 2-1 Panthers
A2 Lightning A3 Red Wings 2-2
M1 Capitals W2 Flyers 2-2
M2 Penguins M3 Rangers 3-1 Penguins
  • The Red Wings went into Toronto on Saturday on the outside of the wild-card race, but moved into third place in the Atlantic Division by beating the Maple Leafs - bumping the Bruins from a playoff spot in the process.
  • The Bruins have a game in hand on Detroit, and are in Chicago on Sunday afternoon.

Wild-Card Race

Team Points Games Remaining
1. Islanders 93 5
2. Flyers 91 5
Bruins 90 4
  • If the Bruins beat the Blackhawks, they'll hop back into third place in the Atlantic. It's going to be an interesting final week of the season.

Western Conference

Team Team Season Series
C1 Stars W2 Wild 4-1 Stars
C2 Blues C3 Blackhawks 2-2
P1 Kings W1 Predators 2-1 Kings
P2 Ducks P3 Sharks 3-1 Ducks
  • The Kings, Ducks, and Sharks are separated by three points in the Pacific. The Kings have four games left, the Ducks five, and the Sharks three. The division title remains up for grabs.

Wild-Card Race

Team Points Games Remaining
1. x-Predators 92 3
2. Wild 87 3
Avalanche 82 4
  • The Avalanche are just about done. The Wild are in Winnipeg on Sunday night, while Colorado hosts the Blues. They're all must-win games for the Avs now - and they need some help.

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Holland plays down Datsyuk to Russia speculation: ‘I hear a lot of rumors’

Ken Holland doesn't sound too worried about the prospect of losing one of his star players.

On Saturday night, the Detroit Red Wings' general manager addressed a report that Pavel Datsyuk may be headed home to Russia after this season.

"I haven't talked to Pavel," Holland said, according to The Detroit News' Ted Kulfan. "He has a year to go (on his contract). Are the rumors news to me? I hear a lot of rumors.

"I'll sit down with all of our players at the end of the year, one by one, and talk to them all."

According to Saturday's report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, Datsyuk may head for the KHL for family reasons, forgoing the final season of his contract, which pays "The Magic Man" $5.5 million and accounts for $7.5 million against Detroit's salary cap.

Datsyuk had an assist Saturday, giving the 37-year-old 48 points on the season. Detroit moved into a playoff spot - temporarily, at least - with its win in Toronto.

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Yzerman: Recalling Drouin ‘something we have to consider’ with Stamkos hurt

The Tampa Bay Lightning cannot catch a break.

A season full of adversity was dealt its biggest blow Saturday, when general manager Steve Yzerman announced that captain Steven Stamkos will have surgery Monday for a blood clot in his arm and miss one-to-three months. The timing, of course, is brutal, as the playoffs are set to begin on April 13.

But Stamkos' injury may mean the return of exiled forward Jonathan Drouin, who is playing in the AHL after asking for a trade earlier this season.

Calling up Drouin is "certainly something we have to consider," Yzerman said Saturday night, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith.

Drouin scored his 11th goal of the season for the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday, and is playing his best hockey right now. He has goals in five straight games, and six over that span. He'll turn 22 on March 28, and has 11 goals and two assists in 17 games in the AHL.

The disgruntled forward, drafted third overall in 2013 by Tampa Bay, has two goals and six assists in 19 games with the Lightning this season. He suited up in six playoff games on Tampa Bay's run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, going pointless.

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