NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 17, 2020

by | Aug 17, 2020 | News, NHL | 14 comments

Recaps of Sunday’s action plus the latest on Andrei Svechnikov, David Pastrnak, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (NHL Images).

  NHL.COM: The New York Islanders have the Washington Capitals on the brink of elimination following their 2-1 overtime victory in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round series. Mathew Barzal broke a 1-1 tie to give the Isles a commanding 3-0 series lead. Anders Lee opened the scoring for the Islanders while Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it in the second period.



SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have been outplayed by the Islanders, especially five-on-five. They held Washington captain Alex Ovechkin to just one shot in this contest. The Isles also held the Caps to just five goals in this series and can complete the sweep on Tuesday.

Joe Pavelski’s hat trick set the stage for Alexander Radulov’s overtime goal as the Dallas Stars edged the Calgary Flames 5-4 to tie their series at two games apiece. Stars defenseman John Klingberg picked up three assists. Flames forward Sam Bennett scored twice while Calgary goalie Cam Talbot made 57 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A vintage playoff performance by Pavelski, having the type of game the Stars expected when they signed him last summer. The Flames’ undisciplined play did in them in, taking seven penalties to the Stars’ four.

Corey Crawford made 48 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks staved off elimination with a 3-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Drake Caggiula, Matthew Highmore, and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks. Vegas winger Max Pacioretty was fined $2,500.00 for slashing DeBrincat as he scored into the empty net.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crawford saved the Blackhawks’ bacon. Most of this game seemed to be played in the Chicago zone but he put in a stellar performance to steal this one and keep his team’s hopes alive.

Braydon Schenn scored in overtime as the St. Louis Blues nipped the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 3 of their first-round series. Jake Allen made 39 saves for the win while Ryan O’Reilly collected two assists. Jacob Markstrom kicked out 46 shots for the Canucks, who lead the series 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big win for the Blues to avoid falling behind 3-0. Allen was solid replacing a struggling Jordan Binnington. The Blues were also playing without Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen as they were declared unfit to play for this game. Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes is just the third rookie defenseman in NHL history to tally points in six straight playoff games.

The Philadelphia Flyers spoiled Montreal Canadiens’ goalie Carey Price’s 33 birthday with a 1-0 win to take a 2-1 lead in their opening-round series. Flyers goalie Carter Hart made 23 saves while Jakub Voracek scored the only goal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good bounce-back performance by Hart and his teammates after getting blown out 5-0 in Game 2. This was a tight-checking, choppy game with Hart and Price once again the standouts.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Caroline Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said it’s highly doubtful Andrei Svechnikov returns to action during their opening-round series against the Boston Bruins. The winger suffered a leg injury during Game 3 on Saturday and will undergo an MRI today. Brind’Amour doesn’t rule out Svechnikov returning if the Canes reach the Eastern Conference Final or the Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Svechnikov’s injury might not be playoff-ending for him, but his absence will be felt by the Hurricanes. He and linemate Sebastian Aho provided Carolina with a potent one-two scoring punch.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy guessed there’s a 50-50 chance David Pastrnak suited up for Game 4 today against the Hurricanes. The winger’s been sidelined since suffering an apparent leg injury during Game 1.


  1. Looks like the Sharks opted to hang onto the wrong player when they let Pavelski walk.

    And, boy, am I ever impressed with the overall play of the NY Islanders.

    • Barry Trotz is proving maybe that coaching does matter????

      • No doubt about that whatsoever. If he isn’t the best coach at the NHL level right now he’s damned close to it. And Lou is showing he’s still a cagey GM.

      • Agree on Trotz, completely disagree on Lou.

        Other than Trotz, Lou pitched for Tavares, Lehner and Panarin and missed on all of them. Traded for Pageu and Greene. Brought in Brassard. Other than that am I missing something?

        This is still very much the team Snow built.

        Lou drove the NJ devils into the ground by not understanding how to navigate in the cap world. Didn’t do a world of winter for Toronto….

      • World of wonder … not winter!

      • George even a broken clock is right two times a day. He might still know how to build a team but Nyr is right about his ability with the cap and attract FAs.

    • I don’t think so George. What has he done all season? The Sharks needed to let him move on or pay him, and the chose the former. Keeping Thorton was a much lower risk as there was no term to worry about, like the Stars now have with Pavs. I think their big mistake was signing Karlsson. They should have kept that money and got some lesser, younger players to fill their roster. I have to admit that I was all for the original signing, but after he got injured and played so little, I was not in favor of an extension.

  2. Would be nice to see Pasta back on the ice & see Krug helping out a little

    • Krug isn’t playing like a $7m dman; I was impressed with the play of Studnicka.

      Well i always said Boston couldn’t win the Cup with Rask in the nets; maybe now they have a chance.

      • We will find out Caper. We knew Halak was a solid #2, we’ll see if he can handle being the #1.
        Vladar showed some promise this past season, not sure I want to see him starting a game if Halak gets hurt.
        Studnicka looked like he belonged but didn’t play much, at least not until Bjork got benched for being a dumb ass. Better than he looked in round robin for sure. Nerves seem settled.
        The B’s played well as a team. Everybody was in.
        Coyle flying again, Kase generated chances and engaged in puck battles as well. Kuraly being Kuraly, Debrusk engaged.
        McAvoy is playing great and has been awesome in his own end and moving the puck. Playing like a #1 against the other teams best. Skating great, physical, poised. Controls the game when he plays like that.
        Agree on Krug, give Charlie the PP keys next season and let’s move on.

      • Not sure how Halak would feel about being “a solid #2”. 😂

  3. Lyle,

    Don’t you stay awake until 1:00am CST??

    Blues= WHEW!!

    I’m going to take a morning nap

  4. Maybe it is just because we have more opportunity to watch games we wouldn’t necessarily have had in years past, but I am seeing that above average goaltending just isn’t good enough this year. Some of these performances have been lights out spectacular.

    Tenders standing on their heads giving their teams more than ample opportunity to succeed.

    So far, it has been outright entertaining if you are a hockey of any manner.

  5. Nate Thompson seems motivated to play against his former team, maybe it is time to give Jordan Weal an opportunity to play against his???