NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 21, 2020

by | Aug 21, 2020 | News, NHL | 20 comments

The Stars and Islanders advance to the second round, Matt Niskanen gets a one-game suspension for a cross-check that fractured Brendan Gallagher’s jaw and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Dallas Stars forward Denis Gurianov (NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: Denis Gurianov scored four times as the Dallas Stars overcame a 3-0 deficit with seven unanswered goals to crush the Calgary Flames 7-3, winning their opening-round series four games to two. Five of those goals came in the second period. Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen had a goal and three assists while teammate Joe Pavelski tallied one goal and set up two others.







SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved victory for the Stars in this game and in this series. They’ll face the Colorado Avalanche in the second round. I was very impressed with Heiskanen’s performance in this series. The 21-year-old NHL sophomore is rapidly blossoming into an elite defenseman. Pavelski, meanwhile, continues to prove at 36 he’s still a reliable postseason performer. As for the Flames, some big changes could be coming after this meltdown.

Anthony Beauvillier scored twice, including the game-winner, as the New York Islanders blanked the Washington Capitals 4-0 to take their first-round series four games to one. Semyon Varlamov made 21 saves for the shutout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A dominant performance by the Islanders, shutting down the league’s second-best offensive team. It was a master class by Isles bench boss Barry Trotz as he outcoached the Capitals’ Todd Reirden in this series. Two years following the Caps’ Stanley Cup championship, some changes could be in store for the roster and behind the bench.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The NHL Department of Player Safety handed a one-game suspension to Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen for cross-checking Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher in the face during Game 5 of their first-round series.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Niskanen’s cross-check fractured Gallagher’s jaw, sidelining the Canadiens winger for the remainder of this series and possibly longer should the Habs advance to the second round.    


CBS SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers suffered a slightly separated shoulder. He’ll be sidelined for the remainder of the Canucks’ series with the St. Louis Blues. Canucks winger Tyler Toffoli (lower-body injury) could be in the lineup for Game 6 tonight.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Former NHL coach Bill Peters has tested positive for COVID-19. The head coach of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, Peters is reportedly asymptomatic.


  1. Holy WTF Batman

    Was tired last night so at 3-0 Flames I went to bed…. figured on to next game. Flames were frigging dominating

    7 straight goals by Stars??

    I have it on PVR so if I get time I’ll watch it; but wow; that’s a collapse of gargantuan proportions

    Congrats Isles and Stars

    Gallagher out… surgery… 1 game for Niskanen ???

    • I just saw that Dallas only had 24 shots….. stopping only 17/24….708 save percentage….🤪🤯

      Guryanov… I know he was somewhere in the low mid first round (12th ? 13th.) 5 years ago; only 1 goal before 19/20 but then was on pace this year for mid 20’s in goals…. now 4 in one playoff game…. I know he doesn’t have Arb rights… but what is he worth?

      He continues like this in future round(s) ….. $’s start to rise

    • But it’s the PLAYOFFS Pengy – he could have taken his head off and it still would only be 1 game. It’s the Pronger Rule. What it says is, while that kind of blatant action might get you 5 in the regular season – especially if you’re a repeat offender – in the PLAYOFFS you can virtually get away with anything and all it will cost is 1 game.

      Too bad it wasn’t a game 7 coming up – that would really have put the NHL’s biggest joke in a dilemma.

      • Right on, George. Brian Burke said the ratio in opening round series was 4:1 so, even in the regular season, it would only have been four games. Sad.

      • I’ll say this the flyers better hope it’s a close game because if they get too far ahead like vinauglt said there will be some “ hockey plays “ happening to his players

      • Hi George and BCleafFan

        Yep playoffs and ratios of punishment games to infraction are much lower (yes Burkie has said 4-1 but he also said 3-1)

        No matter what; I believe a cross-check to the face is cowardly and heinous

        I see how the safety committee is potentially rationalizing 1 game round 1 = 3 or 4 in reg season; I just wholeheartedly disagree with the 1 game suspension

        Wishing a full and speedy recovery to Ghalleger

      • Niskannen would be in jail if he did this on the streets …

      • I get the whole ‘playoff scale’ idea regarding playoffs. Two game suspension would have meat the Habs/Flyers series would be over. One game means, for the Habs, game 7 is played without Gallagher BUT the Flyers get Niskanen back…..a play then that is well worth causing the injury to Gallagher. So much for promoting player safety……

      • Would not argue the Niskanen suspension if equal justice for Suzuki hit on Sanheim in the 2nd period.

      • Cause Sanheim was so injured he could not play today……..sounds fair……..

  2. Wow, what a meltdown from the flames. Have they gotten out of the CQF’s since losing to Tampa in 04?
    Should be a great series between Dallas and Colorado.

  3. Caps mailed that game in last night very early which was surprising

  4. This will be way out in left field for many readers.
    I admit I am just a fan. I never had the talent to make hockey my profession.
    As I see it, the way you do something effective when something like the Gallagher incident happens, is to deduct points from the team of the guilty party. If they are leading 4 points to 0 now they are down to 2 points or whatever.
    If they have 0 points at the time of the incident they start out with negative points in the series.

    If we were in the normal situation with home games I would also impose a loss of home game(s) to the guilty party. The other team involved would get the extra home game(s).
    Something like that, which hurts the whole team in the race for the cup and at the gate would go a long way towards ending this kind of thing.

    • Hi JRR

      Your strategies have logic; but I just can’t see them being implemented

      Something MUST be done

      Vinnie (see below) is bang on …. completely inconsistent

      I’m not talking just the comparison of Kadri suspension vs Niskanen; I’m talking overall

      Flyers are penalized one game w/o Niskanen …. no Sal in playoffs… so the culprit is not penalized

      Reg season they lose Sal

      Maybe if 1 first round game = 4 reg season; then player is also then fined the equivalent of 4 games worth of Salary

      • Thanks Pengy
        Maybe we have to start by replacing the persons who impose the discipline….have someone or a group of say 3 who have no connection to the teams or players.
        That having been said I wonder what Roger Neilson would have suggested.
        I agree it will be hard to impose my suggestions.
        But for the sake of the game I think that is what has to happen.

  5. Well here we go again. NHL Player Safety? Are you kidding me. The only thing safe I suppose is their jobs. So Niskanen breaks Gallagher’s jaw and will probably not play for awhile and gets a 1 game suspension. Is this like a joke? I can’t believe the press isn’t ripping this apart. Philadelphia must be the preferred team to win the series? Wonder what a broken neck would get you? A steak dinner.

    • Player Safety can’t please everyone with their decisions but I agree, one game for a cross check that breaks a guy’s jaw is ludicrous.

      Player Safety called it wreckless and an intentional attempt to use a sharp, forceful blow. Correct.

      One game? A farce.

  6. Pengy, I guess Ovi and the Capitals wanted out of the bubble; not that the NYI didn’t deserve the win; but the Capitals played uninspired hockey.

    • Certainly were uninspired yesterday

      Overall series… Isles deserved to advance

      I’m a fan of high scoring many chances type of games so the Isles type of game bores me; but Kudos on them for the win

      We (as do they) await the determination of their 2nd round opponent

      • One thing is certain, whoever the opponent will be probably wishes their next obstacle would be coached by anyone not named Trotz.

        For even if they win, they know it’s going to be a tough series from start to finish – no collapses like Calgary last night.