NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2020

by | Aug 14, 2020 | News, NHL | 16 comments

Recaps of Thursday’s playoff games, Canadiens coach Claude Julien hospitalized, Dan Hamhuis retires, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights edged the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Reilly Smith’s overtime goal in Game 2 of their first-round series, which Vegas now leads 2-0. It was goalie Robin Lehner’s seventh straight win in as many starts with the Golden Knights, who were without winger Max Pacioretty (unfit to play) in Game 2. His replacement, Tomas Nosek, left the game in the second period. Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane collected three assists.


    Dougie Hamilton’s third-period goal lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of their series, tying it at a game apiece. Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov had a goal and an assist. Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who were without winger David Pastrnak following an apparent leg injury suffered in Game 1.  



Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, raised eyebrows with his post-game comments comparing the atmosphere in this playoff bubble to playing exhibition games. “To be honest with you, it really doesn’t feel like playoff hockey out there,” said Rask. “There are no fans, so it’s kind of like playing an exhibition game.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask probably isn’t the only player feeling that way, which could account in part for why some teams and notable players seem to struggle to regain their intensity in the early going. Those who adjust more quickly could have an advantage through the opening round.

Joonas Korpisalo made 36 savers backstopping the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Game 2 of their first-round series, which now stands knotted at a game apiece. Oliver Bjorkstrand snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period, Alexander Wennberg put the game away with his third-period tally and Pierre-Luc Dubois picked up two assists. Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the same story with the Blue Jackets. They get outshot by a big margin (37-22 in this game) but weather the storm and break your heart with their timely offense.

The Dallas Stars tied their series with the Calgary Flames at a game apiece as Jamie Oleksiak’s goal with 40 seconds remaining in regulation gave them a 5-4 victory. Stars blueliner Miro Heiskanen scored twice while teammates Alexander Radulov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist. Ben Bishop returned to the Stars net after being unfit to play in Game 1 while Taylor Fedun filled in for the sidelined Stephen Johns. Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk left the game following a third-period collision with Oleksiak and Jamie Benn.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens head coach Claude Julien was rushed to hospital after suffering chest pains following his club’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of their first-round series. His condition isn’t related to COVID-19. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said Julien won’t return for the remainder of the series. Assistant coaches Kirk Muller, Dominque Ducharme, and Luke Richardson will share the coaching duties in Julien’s absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin indicated he’d received some good news about Julien’s condition yesterday afternoon but didn’t elaborate. Here’s hoping the Habs bench boss makes a quick and full recovery.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is in concussion protocol and won’t take part in Game 2 against the New York Islanders later today. Backstrom was injured following a late hit by Islanders’ captain Anders Lee. Lars Eller will replace Backstrom after returning to the club following the birth of his son.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes hope to have center Nick Schmaltz in the lineup for Game 2 against the Colorado Avalanche later today. He’s been absent since being injured during an exhibition game two weeks ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The low-scoring Coyotes could use Schmaltz’s offense against the Avs. He was their leading scorer during the regular season.

THE SCORE: Defenseman Dan Hamhuis announced his retirement after 16 NHL seasons with the Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks, and Dallas Stars. He played in 1,184 games, netting 356 points. Hamhuis played in two games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final until a groin injury sidelined him for the rest of the series. He won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Hamhuis in his future endeavors. He was among the league’s best defensive blueliners during his playing prime.


  1. Hearing those comments from Rask are understandable but as a fan not encouraging.

    • @caper Rask doesn’t have the fans or Pasta but the refs are holding it down for the B’s the Zebra line has 2G and +2

  2. As I mentioned yesterday…. CJ… speedy and full recovery 😀

    Congrats on your retirement Dan… please replace Maguire on Colour… boy that guy gets irritating

    Korp…. the new “ Wall”…. wow oh wow

    Nice goal in OT Mr. Smith !!

    Re Tuuuuuuuuk’s comments…. 🤪🧐🤓

    I’m not saying it’s not different…. but there is exciting hockey being played (mmmmmm say 8 periods in 1 game !!!!!)

    • The absolute best part of this tournament is I didnt have to listen to Greg Millen drone on during the leaf play in games

  3. I understand not having fans at the arena makes the atmosphere feel like a exhibition game. On tv the hockey looks good and feel like playoff hockey. Personally I hope fans will be allowed in by round two but the world would prefer we walk around like zombies wearing masks and in bubbles. More people died in one month from fentanyl in BC than all year from Covid.

    • Fans won’t be allowed in for Round 2. And fenatyl, unlike Covid, is not contagious.

      • Fans won’t be allowed in for the duration of the playoffs. There won’t be any change to that rule. The league and the PA are taking this very seriously.

    • Sorry other posters, but the Covid not serious, zombie mask bs is annoying me again.
      You do realize that the reason there isn’t multiple times as many Covid deaths is because of the measures we have taken? Seriously Obe, you do accept that don’t you? You saw what happened in places like NY and Italy, the first places hit without any protocols? Freezer trucks at hospitals ring a bell? Forget already or choosing to ignore reality?
      Getting all your info from facebook feed?

      I wear a mask everyday, at work in common areas and at stores. Not a zombie at all. Cheer up Obe, it’s fine!
      Wearing a mask is not a big inconvenience. A little warmer. Why do you think it is one Obe?
      Highly effective (95% reduction in spread) if everybody does it when in groups that can’t distance, especially indoors.
      This isn’t hard to understand. And if people would simply do that we wouldn’t have to shut down again this fall to prevent vulnerable people dying all over the place like what happened in the spring.
      So if a bunch of people die, and the economy shuts down again to prevent that, the people that should be blamed are those that somehow rationalize that wearing a mask is stupid or an infringement on their rights.
      Which you gonna choose Obe?

    • Obe, mostly idiots died from fentanyl overdoses – Covid-19 does not discriminate. Cut out the bravado, macho bulls*^t and climb down off your effing high-horse. 760,000 people have died worldwide and it’s not nearly over yet. Sure, many of those occurred in countries with dense – in both interpretations of the word – populations where they could not prevent mass gatherings. You put thousands of fans in an enclosed arena, with all kinds of asymptomatic in the mix, and you are going to have a huge spike in outbreaks. U.S. college football has seen that likelihood.

      You want to play Russian Roulette in the name of freedom of movement, do it within your own close circle.

    • You are drinking the wrong Kool-Aid …chump

  4. Side note, if NHL Player safety were actually about player safety they would have suspended Reeves but they were about politics instead calling his deliberate hit to the head unavoidable…if Crowse had done it to Marschesault there would have been a suspension

    • The decision had nothing to do with race- that is a disgusting POV.

      • Well said, 2.0. Why, oh why, is race an issue for some people!?

      • My issue with race, comes down to Krug not being able to out race guys to retrieve pucks.

  5. Best wishes to Hamhuis in his future endeavors. He was among the league’s best defensive blueliners during his playing prime.

    I nearly choked on my cup of coffee reading that gem … best??? delusional

  6. Jerry Jones says 40;000 people will watch Dallas Cowboy games this fall I would bet if they allowed 80,0000 the place would be full. Just because people go doesn’t make them idiots and if they have a different opinion than you doesn’t make them stupid or wrong. People will make their own choices they won’t ask you or me if they can go and if the NHL has a change of heart and allow fans and I want to go I will be there and I’m pretty sure I won’t die or infect anyone else. People go every day all over town thousands of them I decide if I want to also I won’t ask your permission you stay in your house if you want to and I won’t tell you what to do either.