NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2020

by | Aug 10, 2020 | News, NHL | 20 comments

The Blue Jackets eliminate the Leafs from the qualifying round, Blues and Bruins fall to No. 4 seeds in their conferences, the second phase of draft lottery goes tonight, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets advanced to the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs by blanking the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in the fifth and deciding game of their qualifying-round series. Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo turned in a 33-save shutout while Zach Werenski, Liam Foudy, and Nick Foligno were the goal scorers. The Jackets face the Tampa Bay Lightning in a rematch of their 2019 opening-round series. Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie left the game with an undisclosed injury in the second period.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski scored the winning goal in a 3-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of their qualifying-round series (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid effort by the Jackets in withstanding the Leafs’ offense and avoiding a repeat of their Game 4 collapse. Foudy’s goal was the dagger as the Leafs visibly sagged after that.

Another disappointing end to another season sparked plenty of fan and pundit criticism of the Leafs management over how the roster was constructed. I’ll have more later this morning in the Rumor Mill. As for Barrie, that game was likely his last as a Leaf. He’s an unrestricted free agent and not expected to return.

Braden Holtby kicked out 30 shots as the Washington Capitals held off the Boston Bruins 2-1 in round-robin play. T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson scored for the Caps while Jake DeBrusk replied for the Bruins. The Capitals earn the third seed in the Eastern Conference while the Bruins slipped to fourth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were winless in their three round-robin games. One reason is the “Perfection Line” (Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand) was anything but, collecting just one assist between them. The Bruins need more from their top line as they face off against the hungry young Carolina Hurricanes in the opening round.

The defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues dropped into the fourth seed in the Western Conference following a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars in round-robin play. The Stars picked up the third seed following Denis Gurianov’s game-winning goal after Joe Pavelski tied it late in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s interesting that last year’s Cup finalists didn’t play that well during round-robin play, looking nothing like their dominant selves during the regular season. Maybe beging guaranteed playoff berths had something to do with it. Perhaps they couldn’t get motivated for the round-robin after going through a four-round slog last spring. Maybe they need a little more time getting up to speed following a long layoff. Whatever the reason, they’d better rediscover their winning ways soon or their hopes for another shot at the Cup will be quickly dashed. 


The opening-round match-ups and schedules were released last night. The first games begin Tuesday, Aug. 11. Each series is now a best-of-seven format:

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia Flyers vs Montreal Canadiens

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders

Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes

Western Conference

Vegas Golden Knights vs Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche vs Arizona Coyotes

Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames

St. Louis Blues vs Vancouver Canucks

Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery goes tonight at 6 pm ET to determine which of the eight clubs eliminated from the qualifying round will win the first-overall pick. Each team as a 12.5 percent chance of winning the pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect howls of outrage from some observers if the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Toronto Maple Leafs win that pick. I, on the other hand, will delight in the chaos and the possibilities that could arise if one of those teams wins the pick. Will they shop it to address their roster weaknesses, or keep it and instead trade away a current star? That will stir the rumor mill for weeks leading up to the draft in October.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Winger Max Pacioretty has joined his teammates in Edmonton for Game 1 of their opening-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Pacioretty had remained in Las Vegas during the round-robin to treat a minor injury suffered during training camp.

THE WASHINGTON POST’s Samantha Pell reports Capitals coach Todd Reirden hopes defenseman John Carlson will be ready for Game 1 against the New York Islanders. Carlson hasn’t played since being sidelined during exhibition play nearly two weeks ago.

CBS SPORTS: Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz was a full participant in practice yesterday. He’d been sidelined with an undisclosed injury suffered during exhibition play.

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (undisclosed) returned to practice yesterday and could be ready for Game 1 against the Capitals. He’d been sidelined since suffering an apparent head injury in Game 1 of the qualifier series against the Florida Panthers.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu, 37, is uncertain if this season was his last with the Wild and in the NHL. He’s an unrestricted free agent but intends to weigh his options, including talking with Wild management to see if they’re interested in bringing him back next season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings re-signed winger Evgeny Svechnikov to a one-year contract extension. Salary details weren’t disclosed.


  1. I think the CBJ will be a REAL good team for a REAL long time—starts in goal and on defense!!
    However, I don’t envy them in a rematch with TB.

    My Blues????

    • The talk is how CBJ slowed Leafs offensive but they also pinned them in their own zone controlling the puck alot last night…it was not just a trapping game

      Blues and Bruins looked 2 steps away from last spring but could still see a Cup repeat

      • Well ds, this Bruin fan isn’t feeling good about our chances.
        They were flat in every game. Other than the 4th line, no intensity and not enough battle.
        At least they are healthy.
        We will see, but I wouldn’t bet the farm they can turn it on.

  2. That CBJ-Leafs game revealed to even the most die-hard Leafs fans – and that is their inherent problem in moving the puck out of their own end. Long stretch passes may work and generate excitement in Oct-Nov hockey … but a good fore-checking team when the ships are on the line will neutralize that in a hurry.

    • Ships too … but here “chips”

      • It’s funny that the so called leaf “ haters “ were saying the whole time what the problem was now even the homer media is saying it also

  3. Easy win for the Flyers 4-0, 4-1
    I’m curious how Carolina will play this year against Bruins. Are they going to be swept like last year, or maybe finally they will win against Boston.
    Fun team to watch vs experience.
    I’m afraid that Tampa will have their revenge for last year.

    • I think the Flyers will win, Gary. But the Habs team now is better than the regular season team. First, they have a healthy roster now. secondly. Their two young Centers, Suzuki and KK, have taken a big enough step that Danault played third line.

      The Flyers will win but it won’t be a cake walk.

  4. With that offense, being shutout twice in 5 games.

    Personally i was hoping for the leafs to move on, not move out.

    TB has more grit then last season but i’ll wait to we hear news on Hedman, if Victor is not in the lineup that will be a huge blow to TB.

    Pengy at least you now have a 25% chance one of your teams get the top dog.

    • Hi Caper

      yes true mathematically

      Karma though… says “NO” 🙁

  5. Sad night again (as well as Friday– Pens) for me.

    Officially Leafs miss this years playoffs as these were “play-in” series. So a kicker in the jewels for me 🙁

    However, I was not upset with the effort. Leafs were pounding; great chances; posts etc.

    Jackets played very very well; Korp played fantastic. The speed and tenacity of some of their youngins (especially Foudy) was impressive

    So Sadly, I offer humblest of congrats to Jackets.

    Pens playoff streak ends (again, this was play-ins, not playoffs).. 🙁

    Re worries by many posters here of the luck (some will say Gary conspiracy) of possibility of Lafrennierre going to Leafs OR Oil OR Pens OR (some have posted here) Rangers.

    Well— yes flip of coin (%) that one of those teams get him

    But also flip of coin that he goes to one of Jets, Wild, FLA, Preds

    Would I love for Lafrenniere to go to Pens or Leafs— yes. Although, if Leafs, they just might use this as a trade chip in a deal to get a top 4 D.

    However, I am pulling for Jets; but my gut says he’s heading to within 90 miles of Cuba.

    Re Leafs next season— can’t win with 1/2 Cap spent on 4 forwards. AM and JT won’t be moved. Market on Marner (ability to take his Cap; and need) I believe is nowhere near as big as for WW (now only owed $2.5 M for next year and effectively Cash AAV for balance of contract ~ $5M per). I believe WW can be moved for a 22-25 year old top 4 D (now or trending) with term and at much less Cap hit that his $7M per. Cap savings, D improvement.

    Changes must happen

    Re playoffs:

    I personally have strong confidence in :

    Knights over Chi

    Bolts over Clb (yes, I am one of those that say ; excuse the Pun “Lightning can’t strike twice” (back to back Clb over Bolts series)— sorry couldn’t resist the pun

    Avs over ‘Yotes

    Phi over Habs

    Blues over ‘Nucks

    The speedy Canes will give their best against Bruins (and they have been lackluster) ; but I think Bruins will come through

    Now…. Flames vs. Stars?????? I wouldn’t be surprised by a sweep or triple OT in game 7; or anything in between. This could go back and forth period by period, game by game. I have no gut and/or projections on that series. Will be fun to watch.

    For me, cheering going forward; now onto my 3rd favourite team: VGK; who I predicted months ago; would go to the WCF.

    • I stick to my guts. Laf to Pit or Rangers.
      I will be happy if he will go somewhere else, ideally Jets, but somehow I don’t belive in that. It would be nice to see Vegas in the finals this year

      • Be funny if we’re all wrong in our hoped and predictions and the # 1 goes to Minnesota!

      • Hey! I picked Minny.

      • I wouldn’t mind that lol. We will see it…tonight?

      • Well I picked Chicago, and then they went and won.
        I’ll go with the team they beat and the Oil.
        1 – I live in Edmonton
        2- the sh** storm of rigged, the NHL is a joke, Covid draft, lottery is a joke, blah blah will be entertaining.

      • As Lyle says, Ray, if Edmonton, Toronto or Pittsburgh win the lottery he’ll be in Blog Heaven because the s*&t-storm it would generate in posts would be through the roof.

        The worst-case scenario – from his standpoint – would be a Florida, Minnesota win because then it would be “ennhh … good for them” – and end there.

      • To steal from Mark Spector – “Team E” was the 12th seed and won the first lottery.

        Team E.
        Team E.

      • If the Oilers win, does everyone cry foul?
        I’d just laugh.
        I don’t want to see him in the East.

      • As I said before 50 000 times 1st to the Rangers.
        This league is a joke