NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2020

by | Aug 15, 2020 | News, NHL | 13 comments

Recaps of Friday’s action, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask opts out of return-to-play, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy finalists are announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat opened and finished the scoring as he led his club to a 4-3 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues, taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven opening-round series. Horvat’s game-winner came after the Blues’ Jaden Schwartz tied the game in the dying seconds of regulation. Canucks forwards Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser each had two points, as did the Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron.



SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues outhit the Canucks 41-27 but struggled at times to keep up with their speedy young opponents. They’re also getting no production from sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. The Canucks have an opportunity to take a stranglehold on this series in Game 3 on Sunday.

Tomas Tatar and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens thumped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 to square their first-round series at one game apiece. Carey Price kicked out 30 shots for his second shutout of the postseason. Flyers winger Travis Konecny left the game in the third period after injuring his left foot blocking a shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Determined to win this game for sidelined coach Claude Julien, the Canadiens came out flying with a rare dominating performance. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault expressed his displeasure following the game over Habs interim coach Kirk Muller putting his top power-play unit on the ice late in the game. Muller said it was merely to give a little more work to his club’s erratic play with the man advantage.

Vigneault indicated he’d try to use that as motivation for his players in Game 3. If that’s his intended rallying point, the Flyers could be in worse shape than we thought. They’re a better team than what we’ve seen thus far in this series, but most of their scoring forwards have fired blanks thus far in this postseason. If those players don’t start scoring soon, the Flyers could be in big trouble against the underdog Habs.

Calgary Flames goaltender Cam Talbot made 35 saves to shut out the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 3 of their series, putting his club up two games to one. Mikael Backlund and T.J. Brodie were the goalscorers for the Flames, who hope to have sidelined winger Matthew Tkachuk back in their lineup for Game 3 on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the Flames announced forward Austin Czarnik has returned home to attend to a personal matter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot stole this one for the Flames, as the Stars dominated the play for most of this contest. They were also their own worst enemies, missing several quality scoring chances.

Three unanswered goals by Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, and Anders Lee powered the New York Islanders over the Washington Capitals 5-2, giving the Isles a 2-0 series lead. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied both goals for his club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders were the better-disciplined team in this contest, as the Capitals were sloppy defensively and took too many unnecessary penalties. Without a better effort in Game 3, the Caps could fall into a hole too deep to climb out of against the determined Isles.

The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 series lead over the Arizona Coyotes with a 3-2 victory. Andre Burakovsky snapped a 2-2 tie with 2:53 remaining in regulation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a disappointing defeat for the Coyotes, who had a strong bounce-back effort after being dominated by the Avs in Game 1. Game 3 now becomes a must-win for the Desert Dogs.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has opted out of participating further in the return-to-play plan. In a statement released by the team, Rask indicated he’s making the decision for family reasons. “I want to be with my teammates competing, but at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family.”  Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Rask’s priorities are in the right order, noting the goalie had a newborn baby daughter born just months ahead of the return-to-play in Toronto. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing their starting goaltender is a significant blow for the Bruins in the midst of their opening-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes. Backup Jaroslav Halak will take over the starter’s role, and NBC Sports suggests Daniel Vladar will be Halak’s understudy.

Some will rush to criticize Rask’s actions, but we don’t know the full story other than it’s for family reasons. He may have found being isolated from his family for weeks simply too difficult to bear. The Bruins and the league are respecting his decision. We should too. 

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, and New Jersey Devils blueliner P.K. Subban are the finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins winger David Pastrnak didn’t practice yesterday and remains uncertain for Game 3 today against the Carolina Hurricanes. The 48-goal scorer was unfit to play in Game 2 following an apparent left injury in the previous game.

TSN: The Florida Panthers plan to interview former Los Angeles Kings assistant GM Mike Futa as they search for a replacement for former general manager Dale Tallon.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs have let go of assistant coaches Paul McFarland and Andrew Brewer.

WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres are reportedly hiring Seth Appert as head coach of their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings have suspended the mascot actor who performs as team mascot Bailey. He is being investigated for alleged sexual misconduct.


  1. Two emerging surprises so far – The Canucks and Islanders. Good for them.

    If all Vigneault has in the bag of tricks to get his team riled up is the fact Muller put his top pp unit on the ice late in the game, the Flyers may be in trouble.

    • Bo Horvat holy molly, what a goal. Series isn’t over, but the young guns in Vancouver look good.

      The amount of abuse Petterson takes after every whistle is something the Canucks may want to address at some point.

      • Yeah, but as long as the kid shows that that crap isn’t getting to him it will stop. So far he’s handled it pretty well – answering back with his skill.

        And Markstrom keeps showing why he has become a constant name in any discussion of the best goaltenders in today’s game.

      • And Quinn Hughes seems unaffected with similar physical play. He is impressive

  2. Rask opted out for the remainder of the tournament.
    Let’s win with Halak!

    • @shore
      can Bruin fans welcome him back after this?

      • Hey, ds. I’m not sure but I think he has a fresh baby girl at his house. I’m not willing to speculate, but I hope everyone is healthy and well.

        I’m not a Rask fan. He looks indifferent at the best of times.
        Gets beat over the shoulder often. Lets in untimely goals with less than 2 minutes in a period, often.
        His stats are great, but every goalie succeeds in the Bruins net. We’ve made backups rich over the last decade, after playing in Boston.

        I like Halak and whoever comes next.
        But that’s just me.

      • Hi ds

        No idea on full rationale re his decision; if it is as he said… fam… I’m sure his team and fans will support him

        Fam first

    • B’s looked good today. Halak was good even with the FU late.
      They rallied.

  3. Congrats and great going Habs👍👍👍

    5-0 is certainly a statement

  4. Just made got be the last time you’ll see Rask in a Bruin uniform ….he was making statements here and there during season about lack of interest with hockey

  5. I just can’t side with players who commit then bail because they want to be with their family, unless there are extreme cases like life threatening illness, etc.
    Do you know how many soldiers would rather be in the bubble than overseas?
    Do you know how many soldiers would rather be home with their families than overseas?
    I just can’t feel sorry for professional athletes in a bubble. Even though they’re not being paid for the playoffs, they earn millions throughout the season/s.

    • Fully agree Nasdaq40 … and hockey players make more in a week than most soldiers make all year